artificial feeding-Terri Schiavo

  1. 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 "allowing her to starve to death" The Vatican says " To starve her to death is pitiless" Most everyone agrees that it is one's right to refuse to initiate artificial feeding but somehow this situation "is different" How? The patient "starves to death " in both cases-so why has this one galvanized the WORLD? My husband read me a quote from the Bible -forgive me because I can't remember it in detail-it was something along the lines that a woman marries and leaves her father's house and her husband becomes her family....My husband is my POA I hope no-one in my family questions his motives -He KNOWS exactly what I want....I can't question her husbands motives-I know that some suspect foul play and state the results of a bone scan support this...That bone scan was obtained 53 months after she went into her coma-after her body suffered the effects of her eating disorders for a number of years.... Her present level of responsiveness does not pertain to this matter IMHO-she CAN'T eat naturally--she did not ever want to "be kept alive like that " and she can't state otherwise at this point...So- #1 can someone PLEASE make me see why this case is" DIFFERENT" and #2 How do YOU support your patients and their loved ones when they are agonizing over this decision? ONe thing I always ask is "Did your loved one ever give you any idea of what they would want if something like this happened" and if they did then I advocate that stance for that pt as much possible.......I believe that death is the last great trip we'll go on and we should PLAN it as much as possible.The greatest GIFT we can give to our loved ones is an itinerary...........
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  2. 969 Comments

  3. by   Kyriaka
    I question his motives.

    Last time she was removed from food/water, her parents wanted a priest to giver her last rites. The husband refused.

    There has been a sworn statement from Terri's nurse that her husband came into the room and asked, "is the b*tch dead yet?" and "I am going to be rich!"
  4. by   TheCommuter
    I feel that all patients should have an advance directive on file so their wishes will be honored without confusion. Personally, I would not want to live in a vegetative state.

    Terri's husband probably wants money, and Terri probably wants to be in a better place. I know that sounds highly cruel, but I do not see the purpose of keeping one vegetative.
  5. by   GN1974
    I took a medical ethics class a few years ago and this was one of the topics. From my perspective, UNLESS, the patient has something written down in this type of a situation life should prevail. There is no "heroic" measures (such as a mechanical vent) in this situation. Many people for various reasons (either disease or defects) live quality lives and receive food and fluid by enteral means. Her quality of life is questionable, but repirations and heart beat are naturally maintained. Without a written wish I personally think it should be assumed that one wishes life under non-heroic measures. Being on mechanical ventilation and no brain function is another issue...those measures are above and beyond "ordinary" measures to sustain and maintain life. A very sad situation is at hand. Food and fluid vs. heroic measures is how I see it. Starving one to death when their basic physiologic functions are intact is not something I would do...unless they had living will.
    Karen
  6. by   fergus51
    Families are supposed to make these decisions for their loved ones. My main problem with this case is that the parents are trying to take control for the husband and in our country spouses are supposed to take precedence over parents.
  7. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from fergus51
    Families are supposed to make these decisions for their loved ones. My main problem with this case is that the parents are trying to take control for the husband and in our country spouses are supposed to take precedence over parents.
    so you don't suspect the husband of any unscrupulous intents?

    leslie
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from earle58
    so you don't suspect the husband of any unscrupulous intents?

    leslie
    I certainly do and that negates any spousal role in my opinion. Just because you are a spouse does not give you carte blanche . . .

    He is married to Terri . . he is engaged to another woman and has two children with her . . . if he was my son-in-law I'd smack the heck out of him .... figuratively of course.

    steph
  9. by   fergus51
    I can suspect someone all I want, but there is NO proof. Barring conviction for a crime, I don't think anyone has the right to declare his marriage null and void.

    I also suspect the parents motivations btw.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from fergus51
    I can suspect someone all I want, but there is NO proof. Barring conviction for a crime, I don't think anyone has the right to declare his marriage null and void.

    I also suspect the parents motivations btw.
    But the parent's motives are based on love (misplaced or whatever) for their daughter . . . there is no money in it for them.

    They just don't want to lose their daughter . . that may be selfish if you see it that way but it isn't the same as wanting to be rid of a spouse so you can remarry and get $$$$.

    I read an article earlier about this . . there is a new law proposed . . I'll try to find the link before I head off to the movies . . . dang, my computer is messing up. I'll post it later . .

    steph
  11. by   Dixiecup
    Contrary to popular belief, if the feeding tube was removed she would not starve to death but die of dehydration. Dehydration is a peaceful and painless death.I did a hugh research paper on this subject and people are misinformed.
  12. by   fergus51
    Steph, if their motives are anything other than wanting what Terry would have wanted, it doesn't matter to me if they are based in love or greed. I do believe they love her, but IF they are just keeping her alive because it's what THEY want and not what she would have wanted.... well, I fail to see how that's any better than them having a financial motive because the end result is the same (Terry's wishes taking a back seat). I know that's a big IF, but the suspicions of the husband are just as iffy. I would feel differently if he had been convicted of abusing her. But he hasn't been and if the parents really did offer him the money to leave and he didn't like they claim, that supports the notion that it isn't all about the money to him.
  13. by   li101726
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I feel that all patients should have an advance directive on file so their wishes will be honored without confusion. Personally, I would not want to live in a vegetative state.

    Terri's husband probably wants money, and Terri probably wants to be in a better place. I know that sounds highly cruel, but I do not see the purpose of keeping one vegetative.
    Terri's case is different only because too many people have become involved. I do not think there would be any money to be had by Terri's husband if she dies. I think any funds she had would have been used for her care all these years. I am sad her parents and family have chosen to go public with all the issues. I think her husband who is legally her care decision maker should be allowed to follow what he thinks would have been Terri's wishes in her situation. Many people have advanced directives which is good, but these often do not give specifics for situations patients and families find themselves in. I think we should view advanced directives like organ donation: talk to your family and friends about "what if " situations.
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from fergus51
    Steph, if their motives are anything other than wanting what Terry would have wanted, it doesn't matter to me if they are based in love or greed. I do believe they love her, but IF they are just keeping her alive because it's what THEY want and not what she would have wanted.... well, I fail to see how that's any better than them having a financial motive because the end result is the same (Terry's wishes taking a back seat). I know that's a big IF, but the suspicions of the husband are just as iffy. I would feel differently if he had been convicted of abusing her. But he hasn't been and if the parents really did offer him the money to leave and he didn't like they claim, that supports the notion that it isn't all about the money to him.
    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!

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