artificial feeding-Terri Schiavo - page 5

I posted this here becaue I think this subject is something that we as nurses deal with on a regular basis.....Many many people state that they have a big problem with the feeding being stopped... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    Quote from mitchsmom
    Fergus, interesting to think about the parents vs. the spouses rights. I am not a religious person but I would think that the Bible ranks parents above spouses... it made it into the ten commandments whereas the spouse did not. Of course the law doesn't agree and that's what we have to go with. Just very interesting to think about, lots of angles... your parents will love you when your spouse doesn't anymore, parents will (generally) never eschew you, but a spouse will.
    I am on the fence about the case, don't feel like I know enough to form an opinion.
    Unfortunately unconditional love doesn't come from all parents. I know more than a few people who have terrible, hateful relationships with their parents or their adult children. Parents all want to think that they know best and know everything about their children, but that isn't always the case. Again, if these parents had such a close relationship with their daughter, wouldn't they have known that her husband was beating her? Wouldn't they have known about an eating disorder? Could their upbringing have contributed to her problems? I don't know. I just think people are so quick to put suspicion on the husband, but they never dare to question the parents.

    Also, sometimes a parent's love makes them unable to let go. I've seen so many parents put their needs above their infant's because they just can't bear to suffer the grief of losing a child. It's heartbreaking when you can see parents in total denial and you know that the end will come one way or another but they just can't accept it. I don't know if that's the case here or not, but it's certainly a possibility.
  2. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from webblarsk
    I have mixed feelings about this case. My feelings and thoughts have changed some. The thing that bothers me the most about this case is her husband. I don't think Terri's husband is looking out for her best intrest. I think he is being spiteful and is out to hurt the parents. If they are willing to take over her care I don't think they should be denied that. It would be different if her husband hadn't moved on with his life, but hasn't he remarried?

    On the other hand..........I still feel that living the way she is isn't living and maybe the best thing would be to allow the feeding tube to be removed. I don't feel like it is being cruel, it is done all the time. However I can't say what I would do in that situation. I think letting go of your child would be the most difficult thing in the world to do.
    Such a sad case. I tell my parents and husband everyday what I would want done in a situation like that. I also have a advanced directive.
    _______________
    He hasnt remarried. That is one of the problems. As long as he is married to her, he makes the decisions.

    He refused to divorce her yet has started another family.

    Terri's family is trying to have the courts nullify her marriage since enough time has gone by that he can legally be called a bigamist since he now has common law marriage status with this other woman.
  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from fergus51
    Unfortunately unconditional love doesn't come from all parents. I know more than a few people who have terrible, hateful relationships with their parents or their adult children. Parents all want to think that they know best and know everything about their children, but that isn't always the case. Again, if these parents had such a close relationship with their daughter, wouldn't they have known that her husband was beating her? Wouldn't they have known about an eating disorder? Could their upbringing have contributed to her problems? I don't know. I just think people are so quick to put suspicion on the husband, but they never dare to question the parents.

    Also, sometimes a parent's love makes them unable to let go. I've seen so many parents put their needs above their infant's because they just can't bear to suffer the grief of losing a child. It's heartbreaking when you can see parents in total denial and you know that the end will come one way or another but they just can't accept it. I don't know if that's the case here or not, but it's certainly a possibility.
    Usually women who are abused keep it a secret - even from parents. And eating disorders aren't easy to spot either. I'm not sure it is fair to blame the parents for not knowing about either, if they existed.

    This is such a complicated story. And sad.

    When a child is healthy but brain damaged, doctors used to encourage parents to put them in institutions. Now parents raise these children themselves. We have some local families with kids who have a variety of disabilities. One child with contractures and seizures who cannot talk or eat. She has a feeding tube. She is incontinent. But they pack her up and take her out into the community. She goes to her sibling's ballgames. She acts alot like Terri looks in those videos. I'd say her parents are heros for taking care of her like that, valuing her life, keeping her a part of the family. Because someone is brain damaged doesn't mean their life has no meaning.

    On the otherhand, who would want to live like that?

    I have a friend who's daughter was without oxygen during labor/delivery and had cerebral palsy . . .she would have been a different kid if not for the deprivation of oxygen but does that make who she is now less important or of less value?

    I hate to use the phrase but the slope can get really slippery if we start to allow the state to kill people by removing feeding tubes.

    steph
  4. by   Tweety
    Quote from stevielynn
    ......but does that make who she is now less important or of less value?

    steph
    So much for me staying out of the conversation. And I did have a long response which I just erased.

    Let me just say, those that allow a death to occur value their loved one's life as much as those who keep a person alive in a vegetative state. It's an agonizing, heartbreaking decision, which takes a lot of love and courage. IMO

    No one is saying, their life has no value, so let's just kill them. I wouldn't say to my dad or spouse "I know longer value your life and am going to pull the plug".

    I humbly of course respect if that's how you look at it. Howver, it's not that way for all of us.
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 15, '05
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Tweety
    So much for me staying out of the conversation. And I did have a long response which I just erased.

    Let me just say, those that allow a death to occur value their loved one's life as much as those who keep a person alive in a vegetative state. It's an agonizing, heartbreaking decision, which takes a lot of love and courage. IMO

    No one is saying, their life has no value, so let's just kill them. I wouldn't say to my dad or spouse "I know longer value your life and am going to pull the plug".

    I humbly of course respect if that's how you look at it. Howver, it's not that way for all of us.
    I don't think people who allow death to naturally occur do not value their loved one. I have been involved in a situation with a friend hit by a drunk driver. He was brain dead but on a vent. His parents and siblings decided after much agonizing to take him off the vent. He died shortly thereafter. I think that took great courage.

    I just see removing a feeding tube from a person not terminally ill as different. I DON'T think those that decide to do so do not care. I DO suspect Terri's husband's motives. But she is not terminally ill, brain dead or relying on a vent to breath. This just feels different to me. I don't believe that disabled, but conscious and self-breathing people who can't physically feed themselves or verbally express their desire to live, but who have left no written legal directions as to their destiny in such circumstances, should be starved/dehydrated to death. What is the urgency to let her die anyway? Why not just let her parents take over? I don't get that. At all. Is it ethical to starve/dehydrate a person simply because they cannot feed themselves? All these thoughts keep running through my mind - what is the big hurry??

    I know this hits you deeply . .I respect that. I've said this is complicated and that I wouldn't want to end up like Terri.

    Ok - I keep having this weird spooky feeling that since I've said that so many times, something might just happen to me. Like tomorrow I drive to another softball game with my daughter and the drive is about 2 1/2 hours and what if I was in an accident . Well at least if something happened, y'all would know my wishes.

    Anyway Tweety, I mean no disrespect for your feelings.

    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Mar 15, '05
  6. by   Tweety
    Steph, you've been very respectful, and I've tryed to respect your feelings as too.

    I too am suspect of Terri's husband. Not that he wants to pull the tube, but that he wants to pull the tube so many years later in total defiance of her parents. I agree for him to have closure, why not divorce her and sign custodoy over to her parents.

    We'll just disagree about some other stuff, and that's o.k. We're both getting our two cents in. (And we'd both better watch it, as we've put in quite a bit of two cents on this issues. )
  7. by   shopgal
    I just wonder about the new "wife, girlfriend," whatever she is and what kind of a person she is to get involved with a man like this? I certainly wouldn't want him to raise my children! Maybe she can't see past the $$$$$ either. (So very sad by the way, I hope that Terri comes back and haunts him.)
    I work on a Long-Term Ventilator unit and what I hate is when they want to shut off the feeding, but keep them on the vent. I don't see the justification. I guess if they pull the plug they feel guilty, but I still don't get it.
  8. by   payday
    I wonder if they are subverting God's will for her life??? That's no way to live day in --day out, decade after decade....
  9. by   Kyriaka
    Also, I have read several articles and watched a family when the feeding tube was removed. this not a painless death, yes you are dehydrated but you are also starving.
    ______________
    It is easy for the powers that be to say something is painless. How do they know for sure if the person cannot communicate??

    Even the Romans when they crucified people had compassion enough to wet their lips.
  10. by   Kyriaka
    [QUOTE=shopgal]I just wonder about the new "wife, girlfriend," whatever she is and what kind of a person she is to get involved with a man like this?
    __________________
    It is interested that you bring this up because Men's Daily (online mens magazine) addresses this issue today. Here is the link:

    http://www.mensnewsdaily.com/archive...ough031505.htm
  11. by   KRVRN
    We've had entire threads about death by withdrawing fluid and nutrition, and I hear it's not traumatic if pain meds and anxiety meds are given.

    Hospice nurses? Comments about this?
  12. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from Kyriaka
    (I learned something else the hard way-towards the end of my mothers life she was unable to swallow the wafer-after the priest left I had to clean it out of her mouth.I'm going to Hell because I disposed of it incorrectly.
    _______________
    A priest told you that you were going to hell??

    Yeah, right.

    Sure he did.
    Address the post-NOT the poster.....I am NOT a liar-the catholic church considers the communion wafer to be the actual body of Christ-the priest made no bones about telling me what a serious mistake I had made.....but since I am not a catholic I just took it with a grain of salt.....
  13. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from ktwlpn
    Address the post-NOT the poster.....I am NOT a liar-the catholic church considers the communion wafer to be the actual body of Christ-the priest made no bones about telling me what a serious mistake I had made.....but since I am not a catholic I just took it with a grain of salt.....
    _____________
    Of course it is the body and blood of Christ. That is a given.

    But that has nothing to do with going to hades.

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