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February 19, 2005

Terri Schiavo's documented vocabulary

Topics: General

From the Empire Journal (please read the whole article), a list of Terri Schiavo's documented vocabulary references:

Witness: Nurse Heidi Law
* mommy
* momma
* help me

Witness: Nurse Carla Sauerlyer
* pay (meaning "pain" when she was in discomfort)
* Haaaiii (meaning "Hi" in response to "Hi Terri")
* mommy
* help me ("Help me was, in fact, one of her more frequent utterances. I heard her say it hundreds of times."

Terri's Mediplex records:
* stop (in reference to one medical procedure being done on her)

Terri's family members:
* ugh-hugh (meaning yes)
* ugh-ugh (meaning no)
* yea ('yea' was a word she reportedly first re-learned to speak in 2002.)
* No

All this, despite being refused any rehabilitative services, such as speech therapy.

The Schindlers and numerous medical experts deny that Terri is in a state of persistent vegetation and suggest that she could improve, even talk, with rehabilitation and therapy. Despite a substantial financial award from a malpractice lawsuit in which the judgement was motivated by Terri's need for treatment, no rehabilitation has been given to her. Instead, the money has been used to fund a legal campaign aimed at ending her life.

What has the world come to when we can stand by and allow a person like Terri to be killed as she is scheduled to be this week? Michael says she would want to die, her family says she would NOT. The judge ruled in Michael's favor. When it's one party's word against the other, WHY NOT err on the side of caution and let her live! Judge Greer is WRONG--Terri must be allowed to live and rehabilitate! Is her life worth nothing because she is brain damaged? Is that how things should be--eliminate "defective" humans from existence?

[Cross-posted at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy]

Posted by beth at February 19, 2005 11:35 AM

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» Terri Schiavo is NOT in a PVS from LifeSteward
BlogsForTerri and My Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy have posted a list of words that, according to witnesses, basically constitutes Terri Schiavo's current vocabulary: Witness: Nurse Heidi Law * mommy * momma * help me Witness: Nur... [Read More]

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» Terri Schiavo Speaks: Her documented vocabulary from Hyscience
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Tracked on March 23, 2005 9:36 PM


I don't know the specifics of her story, but is it possible that she had a conversation with her husband (like I have had numerous times with mine) that should I end up in a state like this, being artificially kept alive, that PLEASE, PLEASE do what you can to put me out of my misery. It is our pact with each other that we do not want to "live" like that. I'm sure it is not that uncommon.

Posted by: Claire at February 20, 2005 1:55 PM

What one wants when fully healthy may not be what a person wants when they actually become disabled. Terri certainly wants to live now, or else she would have given up and died the two times her feeding tubes were removed.

Posted by: Marilyn D Brenden at February 20, 2005 7:57 PM

I have been emailing and calling everyone I know here in texas. I want so much for her to be kept safe from this evil man. He reminds me of a sociopath who JUST hasn't been caught yet. And, did he really meet his "live-in" gold digger at a strip club? This man should be checked into about how Teri truly got into her current state. Yes, I believe she's not firing on ALL her pins, but some work and that's all I need to know. Were it up to me I would go the side of GOD and let her LIVE! Please, Judge Greer just take away Guardianship of Teri from Michael and place it in anyones hands but his. Preferably a blood-family member.

Posted by: Misty at February 24, 2005 8:16 PM

Claire, if you are really serious about not wanting to be left "in a state like this" instead of simply letting your emotional revulsion at ending up something other than the self you know get the better of you then I suggest you write up a living will of some sort and sign it in front of witnesses (I suggest professional people like lawyers, not your neighbor) and have it notarized. "Conversations" that one might or might not have had years ago should never be the basis for ending a life.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 25, 2005 9:39 PM

Claire, Terri is not being "kept alive" artificially; she is simply unable to feed herself. Being kept alive artificially means that machines are breathing for you and keeping your heart beating. We have all had these conversations; however, a feeding tube does not equal a terminal condition. There is a big difference in Terri's case; she simply is unable to eat normally. Babies and the olderly are often unable to feed themselves. If a baby is born without a mouth, a stomach, or other intestinal organs, do we immediately say, oh well, the baby will die? Terri can clearly feel, hear, and has some quality of life. It may not be a quality of life that most of us have, but it is quality. No one should be "ordered" to starve to death. My beautiful 18 year old daughter is in basically the same situation as Terri, and no one will ever "order" me to starve her to death.

Posted by: Cynthia at February 25, 2005 10:38 PM

This is a response to Claire:

An important fact that has COMPLETELY missed all the MSM reports is that Terri did not initially need to have a feeding tube. A feeding tube was inserted as a convenience to the busy nurses who did not have the time to spoon feed her. She IS able to swallow on her own...her saliva management(as i call it) is good...she doesn' choke on her own saliva. Just swallowing her saliva she puts away a couple liters of liguid a day. GAD..don' t tell Michael that or he'll stuff a rag in her mouth. Her oral cavity, throat and lips have become tactile hypersensitive (like the sensitivity on the soles of you feet)because of dis-use. She would have to be desensitized to food textures, tastes, consitencies and temperatures so she could accept oral noutrition.
A Speech and language pathologist can do this..after a few sessions she would be accepting liguid and mush mouth;then increase her tolerance for greater complexities of food. But Please remember, the feeding tube was originally inserrted as a convenienc for nursing staff, not because Terri could not accept oral nourishment !

Again, Michael's mis-treatment of Terri served to "Un-able" her, instead of "enable" her. It all fits his agenda..the tube really does make her appear totally incapacitated , doesn't it?????
It's just one more aspect of Terri's life that Michael has taken control of...pathological control freak.

Hey, has anyone read the Psychological Profile of Michael Schiavo by
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1339926/posts Dr Carole Lieberman, psychiatric expert and author

Psychological insight into Mr Felos, the attorney


Posted by: JoMarley at February 28, 2005 4:16 PM

This is in response to JoMarley:

Are you a speech-language pathologist? I'm curious. I'm guessing by your statements that you are not an SLP. First of all, you are making a prognostic statement and planning a course of therapy for a person you have never seen. You are also passing yourself off as an expert in regards to the care of a patient you have not seen. If you are an SLP, you should know that this is considered unethical by ASHA (American Speech and Hearing Association) and you could get your certification pulled. However it should be noted that many neutral physician's appoointed by the court have made the diagnostic statement they Terri is in a persistive vegitative state. It is because of this that she was judged to be not safe for oral feedings.

And for the record, I am an SLP, and although I have never seen Terri, I have seen many patients in nursing homes and hospitals in similar condition. I have never heard of a patient beging able to go from a non-oral state to eating in "just a few sessions." Dysphagia is a serious and complex medical condition. Every case is different, and many patients never regain safe swallow skills.

Whether or not a patient aspirates their own saliva is not indicative of whether or not they can tolerate oral feedings. Yes, it's true, if a patient DOES aspirate their own saliva then it is highly probable that they will aspirate any food or liquid they take orally. However, many people silently aspirate small amounts of their saliva without negative consequences. If these same people, aspirate small amounts of food/liquid, however, it can lead to a condition called aspiration pneumonia, which is a very deadly painful form of pneumonia. REAL speech-language pathologists are very careful before changing a patient's diet. Therefore, as I stated earlier, no SLP would "fix" Terri after "just a few sessions."

Posted by: Jen at March 21, 2005 6:34 PM

This is in response to Jen:

Jen, I can appreciate the tone of your posting in response as an SLP, to a non-qualified person attempting to give some type of credible assessment based upon what they think. However, I would like to submit to you and everyone else that may read this, the story of what happended in my own family regarding similar circumstances. My father - an Alzheimers patient, was sent to the hospital with what they diagnosed as Aspiration Pneumonia based upon swallowing test that they tried to give him. Upon recovering from the pneumonia, we were told that as he was UNABLE to swallow - that the only option was to put in a feeding tube, or my father would die of malnutrition / starvation / dehydration. Since my father was an 88 year old Alzheimer's patient and he DID have an advanced directive - prohibiting the use of any artificail measures to keep him alive, we declined and sent him back to his facility to see if he could tolerate a pureed diet - knowing that if he didn't, he would need to be placed on hospice and made comfortable! It was obvious after returning to his facility and attempting to give him a pureed diet, that he was not going to eat it because he didn't like it. At this point, the staff of his facility felt, after observing him with liquids, etc, that he could, in fact, swallow so we elected to let him eat while hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. After that, my father continued to eat a regular solid food diet, and never had any trouble swallowing until he passed away - over 1 YEAR LATER - from a fall! We are UNBELIEVABLY thankful, we did not listen to the doctors, the speech therapist, and everyone else that was brought in to evaluate his swallowing capabilites - that told us to put in a feeding tube or put him on hospice and let him die. I agree with many of the things you stated above, but as far as the independent doctors and everyone else who has evaluated Terri and claim she is in a Persistent Vegatative State and therefore at risk from swallowing anything - I submit THIS MEANS NOTHING in this case! From what I have read about her condition, and all that she CAN do, it seems the above is simply no more than an attempt by Michael Schiavo and his lawyer and supporters to carry out HIS wishes for HIS motives - and there are just as many doctors and specialists - if not more that disagree about Terri's condition. If my family had listened to those same doctors when they advised us to do the same thing, we would have unnecesarily and negligently starved my Father to death and deprived ourselves and everyone else the following year we got to spend with him before he died of LEGITIMATE causes!

Posted by: Doug at March 22, 2005 6:32 PM