vegetative state

Nurses General Nursing


I have been following the Terry Schiavo case for several weeks, the woman in Florida who has been in a vegetative state for 13 years whose husband wishes to disconnect her feeding tube because it was her wish however her parents persist and have asked the Governor to intervene. How do you feel ? I feel her wishes should be respected. Although there is nothing in writing her husband says this was her wish. What are your feelings ?


32 Posts

I'm with you. I believe her wishes should be taken into consideration. What I don't understand is why her parents would want to hold onto her life the way it is. I think it's cruel and I admire her husband for fighting so hard for her.

bagladyrn, RN

2,286 Posts

Specializes in OB.

If I should ever end up in such a state, I hope someone loves me enough to say "Let her go".


212 Posts

My belief is that she has been kept in this condition already for 13 years. If she were going to recover, she would have done so by now. As sad as it is to lose a young person to a tragedy, it is more sad to keep them alive for the benifit of the family. I say let her die with some dignity intact. Our prayers go out to the family in this very difficult time.


69 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care.

I'm with baglady....

I truly hope, and have told my family this, that if I'm ever in such a condition love me enough to let me go.

I don't believe her condition is living it's merely existing...

Just MHO.

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

There is a long thread on this topic in the current events forum.


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

"vegetative state "

Oops. I thought this thread would be about Mississippi.

Specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, Home Health, Oncology.

My husband & I have discussed this often, although we have not put it in writing.---I know, we should get it written!!

We want nothing done!! How awful it would be to have your wishes ignored and especially by people who supposedly love you. How Heartless!!

As some one all ready said, if she was going to wake up, she would have done it all ready.

This does show the importance of putting your wishes in writing!


38 Posts

My parent and I have talked about this and none of us want to left hooked up to any machine. I only hope I'm strong enough should there every be a time like that to turn everything off.

I also agree with Lecia

"I don't believe her condition is living it's merely existing... "

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,501 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I think most of us would agree we wouldn't want to be in a vegetative state.

The question is many years into it, with the agrument that she isn't in a vegetative state, does her husband now have the right to "kill" her or "withdraw treatment".

I have strong opinions and have voiced them under current events. Basically, I think it's cruel and selfish for persons in vegetative states to be kept alive. Of course, I don't advocate pulling the feeding tubes off the 10,000 or more persons in this condition. But we are only keeping them alive for ourselves, not for the betterment of their lives.

Also as a disclaimer, I have cared for many such persons in my neuro career and my current unit. I treat them with compassion, talk to them, give them back rubs, am super maticulous in oral care and bowel care, the whole nine yards because they need me, same as I would any patient. I separate my feelings (which basically are against the md's and the families anyway) from my caring for the patient.

I agree that she is not living, just existing, but I could not pull that tube and watch her slowly die. Since Gov. Bush has stepped in, maybe the best way to resolve this issue, is what will be done if she contracts a illness that could lead to death? Will treatment be forced on her or will they allow her to die? I have great sympathy for the husband and her parents, brother and sister. Seems like somewhere along the line, there needs to be a talk/meeting between her family and husband and docs to resolve this issue. We need to keep this family in our prayers and remember to take care of these issues for ourselves and our loved ones. We never know what will happen to each of us before the day is over.

manna, BSN, RN

2,038 Posts

Originally posted by sjoe

"vegetative state "

Oops. I thought this thread would be about Mississippi.

Hey, I resemble that remark!

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