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March 23, 2005

OpEd: Terri's Last Chance - It's time to try giving Terri Schiavo orally administered liquids.

Topics: Medical Issues

While I am in total agreement with the author of this article, William Anderson, a lecturer at Harvard University and Senior Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, I believe that his suggestion falls short of an opportunity for success. Instead of dealing with rational and caring human beings which would find no reason to do other than as he suggests, we are instead dealing with the Pinellas County court system which is heavily entrenched in the guardianship and euthanasia community, and a judge that is committed to killing Terri Schiavo.

- By William Anderson in The Weekly Standard
THE CHIPS ARE DOWN. We have had a surfeit of due process. It is now well past time to consider the facts which process has willfully ignored. There is no reason, medical, moral, or legal, to refrain from an attempt to provide Terri Schiavo with orally administered liquids.

There are only two possible explanations for having employed gastric tube feeding. Either (1) her neurologic damage has brought about a swallowing dysfunction with danger of aspiration pneumonia; or (2) it was simply a matter of convenience to avoid labor intensive hand feeding.

In either case, no medical reason now exists to refuse a trial of natural drinking. She may have impaired swallowing function, but that at its worst cannot be as bad as death by dehydration.

Allowing her to drink water would be the definitive test of swallowing function. She may be able to swallow water and other clear liquids, in which case she will avoid death by dehydration, even if she later succumbs to malnutrition. Or she may be able to swallow pureed food, which will avoid death by malnutrition. Or she may not be able to swallow water without aspiration into the lungs, and so would develop pneumonia, and have a quicker and more peaceful death.

As to legal concerns, a guardian may refuse any medical treatment, but drinking water is not such a procedure. It is not within the power of a guardian to withhold it, and not in the power of a rational court to prohibit it.

Continue reading...

EXCEPT IN A PINELLAS COUNTY FL COURT!

Posted by richard at March 23, 2005 2:32 PM


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Comments

Unfortunately, "Judge" Greer previously ruled that to do so would be "experiemental treatment" and is therefore disallowed.

My baby daughter last night reached for a cup of water. I broke down in sobs. FWIW I'm a grown man, computer programmer, and a pilot. IOW, generally a rational guy not given to emotional breakdowns.

But my heart is well and truly broken in this case.

Posted by: corrie at March 23, 2005 2:48 PM

And if Terri Was gay?

Would you all be doing this? How about if she was black, or an illegal alien? What if she was of French dissent.

You realize of course that she one all the money for her legal case by filing a lawsuit against her doctors over her heart attack caused by bolemia.

Right?!

You do realize this...

Posted by: gay terri at March 23, 2005 2:48 PM

IGNORE TROLLS

Posted by: Mary in LA at March 23, 2005 2:54 PM

If Terri was gay I would feel the same, and I can't believe you would even ask about race or national origin.

In fact a lot of my awareness of end of life issues comes from my mother's work as a volunteer nurse with the early AIDS hospice work in California in the 1980s.

Oh and BTW I voted for Nader.

When you assume you make an "ass" of "u" and "me."

If you want to impugn our motives you're gonna have to try harder than that.

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 23, 2005 2:55 PM

was terry ever one to change her mind?

Posted by: aaaaa at March 23, 2005 2:56 PM

"gay terri",

Are you suggesting that all of we who support Terri are straight white non-French American citizens?

Perhaps you should read more about the diverse group of people who support Terri.

And I don't think we should kill people just because they've bulimic. Are you advocating that?

Posted by: JWL at March 23, 2005 2:57 PM

ALL TROLLS PLEASE READ, AND THEN DON'T REPLY:

Terri is not brain-dead. She is alive. See FAQ above.
Disabled people deserve equal protection under the law, whether they are gay, black, French, troll-spawn, or whatever.
It is against the law in all 50 states to commit murder.
Deliberately starving an animal will get a person punished by the law.
Deliberately starving a human being is murder and punishable by law.

Posted by: Mary in LA at March 23, 2005 2:57 PM

are judges and lawyers ever wrong?

Posted by: aaaaa at March 23, 2005 2:58 PM

All the time, "Cry of Panic", all the time. :-P

Posted by: Mary in LA at March 23, 2005 2:59 PM

aaaaa,

I find it sickening that any random federal judge can make demands of the president and Congress which they are forced to obey. However, if the president and Congress make a demand of a federal judge, he can just blow them off.

Three separate and equal branches of government, huh? Yeah, ok.

Posted by: JWL at March 23, 2005 3:02 PM

JWL, it's done OFTEN: please inform yourself better before you condemn federal intervention as "sickening." There are a lot of death row prisoners who've benefitted from it. Attorney Jay Sekulow said Monday night on Lehrer News Hour, that the federal government HAS LEGALLY stepped in before on behalf of CORPORATIONS and groups of corporations in an industry to allow such federal oversight, as well as it's been done for convicts on death row before too.

Posted by: Annie B. at March 23, 2005 3:06 PM

To IGNORE,NEGLECT AND DECIDE NOT TO GET ANOTHER DIAGNOSIS IS ILLEGAL! HER CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN DENIED. SHE IS DIEING IN A INHUMANE WAY ! IF THERE HAS NOT BEEN A MRI HOW CAN THESE DOCTORS CLAIM THESE CLAIMS?

Posted by: Linda at March 23, 2005 3:09 PM

to keep her alive any longer is a selfish act by ignorant people who have disregarded all medical science. They claim their faith will restore Terri. Instead of waiting for this maybe they should figure out why God hates that family so much to put them through this.

Posted by: Realist at March 23, 2005 3:10 PM

All I ever wanted was for Terri to be hand fed. I can't understand why anyone would fight that. If she is, indeed, in a coma, she won't eat and we will be satisfied that someone tried. I wish a kind nurse, accompanied by cameras for both sides, could at least attempt this before it's too late.

Do you think that there is anyone that could get this idea out there for Michael Schiavo, etc. to consider? I'll email God, if I have too.

Posted by: noisy ghost at March 23, 2005 3:13 PM

"There are only two possible explanations for having employed gastric tube feeding. Either (1) her neurologic damage has brought about a swallowing dysfunction with danger of aspiration pneumonia; or (2) it was simply a matter of convenience to avoid labor intensive hand feeding."

He forgot (3) - Michael Schiavo wouldn't allow anything else but tube feeding because it would ruin his case to kill her.

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 23, 2005 3:15 PM

THE END.

Posted by: Linda at March 23, 2005 3:17 PM

Realist, Terri is alive. All she needs is food. She doesn't even need the tube -- two nurses have testified that she can eat on her own.

Brain-damaged people are still people, with rights like anyone else. Terri's rights were violated the minute the courts ordered her to be starved.

Terri is not in the same case as a terminally ill person. It's natural for someone who is actually dying to refuse food. But Terri is not dying! Or, at least, she wasn't before she began to be starved. So those rules don't apply.

It's not "selfish" to want to keep Terri alive. It's just recognizing that she is a person with rights, just like you and me.

Posted by: Mary in LA at March 23, 2005 3:17 PM

Linda, what do you mean?

Posted by: Mary in LA at March 23, 2005 3:18 PM

Dear Mr Troll who has the heart of a satanic atheist. It is not God who does not love the Schindlers. It is Satan who has made a pact with Michael Schiavo.

I am not one who is given to the extreme opinion but I am getting sick and tired of the mockery of people who are too stupid to read up the facts and to honestly question the motivation of Michael Schiavo where his desire to kill his wife is concerned.

It is not Terri's wish that is being carried out here. It is Michael Schiavo's desire to do away with the woman because she must have told him that she was leaving and wanted a divorce. His ego is so big that he refuses to let her go and let her family care for her.

It is Michael Schiavo's pigheadedness, not the schindlers desire to look after their daughter that has thrust this family tragedy into the spotlight. What is worse, the pro-euthanasia lobby have seen this as a test case to win the right to kill the weak, the elderly and the disabled at will.

Guardians in Florida have too much power, and it is a power that the Pinellas County Probate Court has attempted to widen to an unprecedented level. There is more at stake here than this woman's life alone.

The decision of George Greer to deny her the opportunity to eat and drink by mouth has overstepped the bounds of decency and is so unjust that it is incomprehensible that no federal judge is willing to overrule this attempt to legalize homicide.

Posted by: Maggie at March 23, 2005 3:23 PM

Question: if a doctor administered some sort of overdose to end her slow suffering (as humane workers would demand for a dog!!) would they be charged with murder? Its an interesting question to me. I think they might very well be charged. Ironic. But the judge and others are safe. I can't believe they can't even try to feed her or give her water by mouth.

For those arguing "I wouldn't want to live that way" ask yourself if you would want to die that way! What has she done to deserve this kind of death?

Posted by: Susan at March 23, 2005 3:26 PM

Bush just confirmed that Terri has consciousness. This proves that Michael is trying to murder her. Please please get her into protective custody asap

Micheal Schiavo you son of a bitch. You wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley.

I was right.

Please g-d help us!.

Posted by: Julie at March 23, 2005 3:29 PM

The appeal was just shot down again, 10-2. Murder has been legalized in America. God help us.

Posted by: Amy at March 23, 2005 3:31 PM

Annie B,

I think you misunderstand me. I agree with Congress and the president intervening here.

What sickens me is that some random federal judge can tell our elected representatives what to do, while our elected representatives are being chastised for telling a federal judge what to do.

These judges aren't going to do anything. It's all up to the Florida legislature to save Terri now.

Posted by: JWL at March 23, 2005 3:31 PM

JEB JUST SPOKE!!!!
HOPE IS IN THE AIR!!!!
KEEP PRAYING!!!!
LISTEN TO SEAN HANNITY ON WABCRADIO.COM!!!!!

Posted by: MoFiZiX Gr4FiX at March 23, 2005 3:33 PM

Question: if a doctor administered some sort of overdose to end her slow suffering (as would happen to a dog!!) would they be charged with murder? Its an interesting question to me. I can't believe that can't even try to feed her or give her water by mouth.

For those arguing "I wouldn't want to live that way" ask yourself if you would want to die that way!

Posted by: Susan at March 23, 2005 3:35 PM

JWL, I realized after I posted, that I may have read your post wrong. I'm so sorry! We ARE on the same page, objecting to activist judges who ignore and suppress information that could represent Terri better, and perhaps has happened in many other cases as well (I'm thinking of the ones that don't get publicized since ***the entire family is in agreement*** to do what Michael Schiavo is doing. I am certain that such situations exist, sadly.)

Posted by: Annie B. at March 23, 2005 3:39 PM

I've just emailed all of my Congressman and the Whitehouse (for about the sixth time) to request that Terri be fed by hand.

Hopefully, a couple of thousand others do the same.

Posted by: noisy ghost at March 23, 2005 3:40 PM

Susan:

If a doctor would accellerate or cause the death of a patient on the patient then this would be deemed homocide according to the law and punished. Doctors can only deny treatment when it would just prolong the inevitable death and cause more suffering.

But let me give you another one. If anybody would stop feeding their dog, they would be charged for animal cruelty.

Posted by: lawfan at March 23, 2005 3:44 PM

Pray everyone. People of faith, pray!

Posted by: Sirena at March 23, 2005 3:54 PM