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March 23, 2005

Paving the way for euthanasia legalization

Topics: General

Fifteen years ago, Holland had a case similar to [Terri] Schiavo's, A judge allowed the husband of Ineke Stinissen, who had been in a coma for several years, to remove her feeding tube. She died of starvation, and her case paved the way for Holland's pro-euthanasia legislation. - more

Update: Related coverage

Posted by tim at March 23, 2005 7:24 AM


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Comments

I think this whole case is so full of crap.
Their making her husband look like a bad guy...when if he wanted to he could just step out of the entire thing and divorce her and have nothing to do with her. Now, perhaps, what he did to her 15 years ago was bad. But that was 15 years ago, and at some point you have to realize what's done is done and that she is NOT coming back. ALL doctors say she will be a PVS for the rest of her existence. I won't even say life because I hardly consider that type of living to be a "life". If you can't enjoy or experience all the wonders of life, its not worth it. I think that all the politicians need to just step out of the case and let the courts handle it. If the Schiavo's are willing to PAY for it out of pocked themselves then by all means they may do what they like...but otherwise, I see no reason than to do as Michael Schiavo requests, as he has said, under oath may I add that his wife would never want to be in that situation. We have to respect that, no matter what your beliefs are.

Posted by: DanaRocks at March 23, 2005 9:15 AM

It's a sad sad day when even Sweden, one of the most government controlled countries, says that Terri would/could live under their law.

America...open your eyes! If Terri dies, this will open a brand new can of worms. Who will decide who gets to die then? What will the qualifications be?

In Hitler's day if you didn't have blond hair and blue eyes they killed you. Maybe this time around it might be that if you're born with more than 10 fingers and 10 toes you might be killed.

Posted by: Rebecca at March 23, 2005 9:17 AM

DanaRocks...a blind person cannot fully appreciate all the wonderful things in life, nor can a deaf person. Are you saying we should allow them to die as well?

Don't try to force your definition of "quality of life" on us. This is a site that is for Terri. Her family and friends believe she has a good quality of life, despite the tragedy that fell upon her 15 years ago.

Heaven forbid you ever end up in this situation. I'd like to see how you would handle being starved to death.

Posted by: Rebecca at March 23, 2005 9:19 AM

Dana, please educate yourself. You are mistaken that "ALL doctors say she will be in a PVS for the rest of her existance." That is a blatant lie. Many doctors state Terri Schiavo is NOT in s PVS. As to him saying under oath that Terri wouldn't have wished to be in that situation... he's lied about that. He's said (even on CNN) that he doesn't know what Terri's wishes were but that they were doing as THEY wished. Finally... I don't understand what you mean by saying what Michael did 15 years ago was bad but it was long ago, so forget it. (??)

Posted by: Amy at March 23, 2005 9:23 AM

Also Dana, I wanted to add that (and of course this is purely speculation) perhaps Michael didn't want to step out because he didn't want Terri to recover. There have been discussions of possible abuse, and Terri also had a neck injury consistant with strangulation. Michael has done his best to block medical evidence of these facts. It's possible that he doesn't want Terri to recover because she could implicate him. That's just a theory, I'm not accusing Mr. Schiavo of anything. My concern is that these possibilities should be investigated for Terri, and really, Michael Schiavo has nothing to lose by letting the investigation occur. Then things can be cleared up totally beyond a reasonable doubt. Even criminals get that much. Why can't Terri?

Posted by: Amy at March 23, 2005 9:27 AM

PROTECTING THE BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS OF THIS INCAPACITATED WOMAN TO BE FED IS A CRIME. THE ISSUE OF "THE RIGHT TO DIE" IS NOT EVEN A MATTER THAT SHOULD BE DISCUSSED! TERRI DOES NOT HAVE A LIVING WILL! THEREFORE SHE CAN NOT BE DENIED WATER AND SOME KIND OF NUTRITION LEGALLY! THE JUDGES RULINGS ARE A BLATENT DIREGARD OF HER BASIC HUMAN RIGHT UNDER THE LAW!!!!

THE IGNORANCE AND INCONSIDERATE WAY THE JUDGES CHOOSE TO TREAT THIS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND IS A CRIME IN ITSELF!!!

Posted by: Linda at March 23, 2005 9:29 AM

Years ago I told my sister that if legalized abortion continued euthanasia would follow. Most people who think about euthanasia consider it to be voluntary. I don't think people get very impassioned about voluntary euthanasia. But they do about involuntary euthanasia because that is murder.

Voluntary euthanasia is suicide and people who really want to die commit suicide daily. They don't campaign about it, they just do it. And so could these people who are pushing for their right to die. The ability to commit suicide lies in everyone's hands and what can society do about that? But the ability to commit homocide still, occasionally, has penalties.

I have no doubt that Terri will go to heaven and be better off than she is here, WHEN she dies. But it is insane to force her to die, especially under the auspices of the Golden Rule. People who don't hesitate to ignore the feelings of their enemy suddenly become the champion of a perfect stranger and recommend death because that is what they would want? If ever the Golden Rule is inapplicable it is in this case. Let those who want to die make their own arrangements and quit making a federal case of it, because in the process they are opening the floodgates of death for those of us who have chosen life.

If these people really care about Terri and others they should look beyond their own noses and take a good look at the consequences and it is our job to point it out. Jesus taught us to lay down our lives for others; these people are more than willing to lay down others' lives to spare themselves. This is not the Golden Rule.

Can we ALL get on this bandwagon?

Posted by: MARY at March 23, 2005 9:44 AM

Dana, You have been BRAINWASHED! Read my post under "Florida legislature is able to help Terri" You have fallen prey to the silent epidemic of pulling feeding tubes from those incompacitated perpatrated by insurance companies, doctors, judges and Euthanasion groups that want to eliminated those who they deem are worthless. You haven fallen into this horrible movement to believe this is dignity. IT"S NOT!

Posted by: Caryn at March 23, 2005 9:47 AM

The Holocaust began with the euthanizing of the mentally ill, which was authorized by Hitler's Euthanasia Decree which gave "the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name in such manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death" (http://www.euthanasia.com/hitlerletter.jpg
).

Posted by: John C. Walker at March 23, 2005 9:56 AM

How can we stop euthanasia from from becoming the norm for those who have suffed a brain injury?

Posted by: Caryn at March 23, 2005 10:14 AM

The article is very misleading to the point where it's actually factually wrong.

To have a legal euthanasia performed several conditions would have to be met which aren't present in Terri's case. Most importantly she did not have a written will and second - perhaps equally or more so important, her condition, regardless of whether you believe she is merely disabled or in a PVS state does not fall under the juristiction of the euthanasia law because Terri is not terminally ill or suffering with only a limited lifespan.

What would be allowed is exactly the same thing that happens every day in the US: the feeding tube can be removed to start the process. Moistening of the lips and mouth is allowed to take away some physical discomfort, along with pain killers.
Whether you agree with this particular action or not is a whole different debate. Removing the feeding tube starts a natural death process through dehydration, it isn't in any way the same as euthanasia.

Also, the only countries to have legalized euthanasia are Holland and Belgium, Switzerland did not as stated in the article, however it does allow for a assisted suicide facilitation which is a whole different thing.

Point of the matter is that should any appeal fail, Terri's case will not lead in any way to legalized euthanisa because her specific case isn't even covered under the two countries that did legalize it.

Now, to end, I'd like to point out that I was focusing solely on the facts brought up in this article and didn't in any way (or wasn't supposed to) pass judgement on what I believe should be done in Terri's case beyond pointing out that even if Terri had lived in a country that had legalised euthanasia, it wouldn't have changed her situation and the debate would still be about whether the feeding tube should or should not be disconnected.

Posted by: Vanessa at March 23, 2005 10:16 AM

Sorry my spelling/typing is bad today.

Posted by: Caryn at March 23, 2005 10:18 AM

Just to clarify, with "a natural death process" I only meant that it's the body's reaction to lack of nutrients that leads to death, as opposed to an injection which would be given under euthanasia. I merely wanted to point out that significant difference.

In no way was I suggesting that this is a 'natural' thing to cause a death in this manner, or humane for that matter so please don't read it as such.

Posted by: Vanessa at March 23, 2005 10:21 AM

This should not be a state issue. Pulling feeding tubes being consideed as life support started only a few years ago. And brain injury has never been a terminal illness before. Why should an incompacitated person have better protection from one state than another? In Aug of 2001, a similar case went to the Ca Supreme Court where "clear and convincing evidence" must be written overriding any guardian's hearsay

Posted by: Caryn at March 23, 2005 10:34 AM

Caryn,

You've almost got the question right. The question is, how can we stop euthanasia from becoming the norm for all of us?

The answer is, by saving Terri to testify, and by bringing all those who had a hand in euthanizing Terri, whether passively or actively, to some sort of justice. Simply put, we absolutely MUST keep murder as murder and not let them redefine the terms. Once they start playing symantics with our lives we are history! If this case goes down as any less than murder and if these people aren't severely penalized, who is even going to bother the next time and the next time and the next time, as the criteria to kill gets ever more simplified.

God helps those who help themselves.

Posted by: m at March 23, 2005 10:39 AM

This posting is about Holland or Dutch legislation of euthanasia. I am ashamed to be called a Dutchman. This land is in every sinfull issue first to legalise it. If it is gay-marriage, drugs-use, abortion or euthanasia. That God's wrath is still not upon us, is a shere miracle and only by pleading prayer and grace by those who not yet bowed their knee to the Ba'al in this small 'liberal' country.

Let Terri live in Jesus Name!

God bless from a pro-life Dutchman from Holland.

Posted by: bro. Rene van Dyk at March 23, 2005 10:41 AM

thou shalt not kill....terri is being murdered...

Posted by: lee at March 23, 2005 10:49 AM

Excuse me. I'm not interacting with my mouse well this morning and failed to click my name on.

But here's a p.s. It's now or never. In over 30 years we haven't been able to reverse legalized abortion. So far from reversing it has progressed to killing in the birth process and now to killing anyone that's down.

Terri is a test case and we are the testees. Heaven and earth await the results.

Posted by: MARY at March 23, 2005 10:50 AM

I totally agree M! Being a caregiver for my brain damaged husband over 15 yrs,it has been a difficult uphill struggle to provide care and rehab when powerful groups don't believe he is worth it. Yet my husband shakes his head "no" to wanting to die. I've seen so many die because they did not have a loved one to care for them at home. Terri's family wants to care for her. That is one of the reasons that it upsets me so much!

Posted by: Caryn at March 23, 2005 10:54 AM

God,

If it is your will, that we take the matter of life and death into our own hands with the innocent, and of those with whose very essence depend on our care, then so it be done. You have taught us to care for the weak, and for the innocent and for the infirm. It is not our duty to judge your will, so I ask Lord God that you bless those who make those choices with your very wisdom, and that your Love be felt by Terri and her parents who are the innocents of this matter. With all of my heart and all of my mind and all of my soul, I ask that your wisdom and your will prevail, and I accept that will and take responsibility for exercising your will. I believe that you and only you can make this decision. In the name of Christ Jesus I come before you.

Your servant on earth
Steve

Posted by: Steve Spradley at March 23, 2005 10:58 AM

John:

Unfortunately, this is the first step to ensure that we will always have judges rule on the value of human life--or lack of value. Those with brain injuries will be next on feel-less's chopping block. See bro. Rene Van Dyke's comment above. It starts with Terri--and it end's with God's WRATH.

Posted by: Tress at March 23, 2005 11:04 AM

Caryn,

These groups are powerful because they have lied to the people and packaged euthanasia as their last, best hope from some fate worse than death. WE must strip the wrappings off and reveal the sordid truth. Jesus said not to fear those who can only kill the body, but to fear the one who can cast body and soul into hell. THE fate worse than death is hell. And that is where murderers go. God judges us by what is in our hearts, whether we accomplish our wishes or not. So those who are pro-death will be rewarded accordingly. They will die and their works will go with them.

In the meantime, they are making a hell on earth, and doing all they can to ensure no survival of the specie. Thus the difficulty of upholding life, the lack of support and outright antagonism against those who fight for life.

Posted by: MARY at March 23, 2005 11:08 AM

Ooops sorry Mary I don't totally agree when you talk about abortion. I'm pro choice and make a clear distiction between fetus and a living person. That being said and ended. The Shindler family needs everyone to fight to help Terri!

Posted by: Caryn at March 23, 2005 11:11 AM

For those who believe in the small village of Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was a message to Mirjana on March 18th; the day Terri's starvation began:

“Dear children! I come to you as the mother who, above all, loves her children. My children, I desire to teach you to love also. I pray for this. I PRAY THAT YOU WILL RECOGNIZE MY SON IN EACH OF YOUR NEIGHBORS. THE WAY TO MY SON, WHO IS TRUE PEACE AND LOVE PASSES THROUGH THE LOVE FOR ALL NEIGHBORS. My children, pray and fast for your heart to be open for this my intention.”

Note: Jesus is in Terri; she is our neighbor. We must love her, not starve her. If the way to Jesus is LOVE, where do you think this Hatred for Terri's value/life will lead?

Posted by: Tress at March 23, 2005 11:12 AM

This morning on a major network a judge who says he used to rule on these types of cases confidently stated that Terri lived three weeks without permanent harm last time her tube was pulled. This is the kind of competence some people who are making these life and death decisions have, and shows why we need strong laws to protect the disabled from imposed euthanasia. I agree with Cal Thomas that Terri may become the Rosa Parks of the disabled.

Posted by: Kim at March 23, 2005 11:16 AM

Maybe Kim but Rosa Parks wasn't killed!

Posted by: Caryn at March 23, 2005 11:24 AM

Some of the conditions that must be met before euthaniasa will be even considered, quoted:

Holland
1. There must be an explicit request from the patient that leaves no room for doubt that the patient wishes to die.
2. The patient's decision must be well-informed, free and enduring.
3. There is no acceptable alternative (to the patient) to improve his or her condition.
4. The doctor must exercise due care in making the decision and consult another independent medical doctor

Belgium
1. The patient is an adult or an emancipated minor, capable and conscious at the time of his / her request;
2. The request is made voluntarily, is well thought out and reiterated, and is not the result of outside pressure;
3. The patient is in a hopeless medical condition and complains of constant and unbearable physical or mental pain which cannot be relieved, and
4. He / she has complied with the conditions and procedures prescribed by the present law.

Again, as you can obviously see, Terri does and would not meet any or even all conditions so there is simply no debate about euthanasia.
Terri is not able to express her wish, Terri is not suffering from insufferable amounts of pain and her condition does not constitute a limited life span.

Terri's condition would fall under palliative care, which is already what's the case in the US. The whole horror about having euthanasia happen is simply not an issue.

Posted by: Vanessa at March 23, 2005 11:25 AM

Kim
Or the Roe v. Wade of euthanasia

Caryn,

Obviously some people don't make that distinction. What is that physical law about a body being set in motion will stay in motion until something stops it. You sci-majors correct me.

God love you, Caryn, but this really is the same body.

Posted by: MARY at March 23, 2005 11:28 AM

I'm just sick with worry about that. Terri may inspire change even if she is not rescued, but how much better would the message get across if she could get the help she needs and then appear on Larry King some day and talk about this herself?
Please God, please...

Posted by: Kim at March 23, 2005 11:34 AM

Mary:

Newton's first law states that an object in motion remains in motion at constant
velocity unless acted upon by an outside force. ...

So, by the same token...BTK greer's law states that Euthanasia begun remains in motion unless some force exists to stop it.

Posted by: Tress at March 23, 2005 11:36 AM

Thank you, Tress. Yes, yes, yes. This will indeed remain in motion, unless...

Posted by: MARY at March 23, 2005 11:40 AM

Venessa,

This is why the US Supreme Court should have been involved a long time ago! Individual states have different guidelines and in Florida where they can make it up as they go have alot of power. When laws have been changed because Felos, judges, doctors, insurance companies and political reps. that have ties to a hospice can brainwash with their propagada views that brain injury is a terminal illness.

Posted by: Caryn at March 23, 2005 11:44 AM

Vanessa and DanaRocks... you obviously are against the Schindlers, so why are you posting here? This is a message board for those who are supporting Terri. Your rhetoric and ignorance will not change our minds because we believe in the facts. Stop putting spin into this, and if you want to support Michael I'm certain you can find another blog to do so...

I am happy we have people from all faiths here, pro-life and pro-choice, Democrat and Republican, fighting together to save Terri, no matter is we have different beliefs on different issues. Our MAIN issue here is to support the Schindlers, and do all we can to help save Terri. If you do not want to help, then please, respect our beliefs and post messages to Pro-Michael blogs... I'm sure there are some...

Posted by: Sirena at March 23, 2005 11:44 AM

Supporters that are trying to give water to Terri at the hospice are being arrested. I wish I could get there with my Brain-damaged husband and see how they treat him when in jail!

Posted by: Caryn at March 23, 2005 11:50 AM

Sirena:

did you even bother in the slighest bit to actually read what I posted?
The claim was made that Terri's case would fuel a march for litigation towards legalized euthanasia should her parent's appeal fail.
This is simply not the case because is the countries where euthanasia is legal (which is only 2 of them) it does and would not fall under it for obvious reasons.
For more than obvious reasons any disabled person that is not in any state to clearly and repeatedly state their desire to have euthanasia considered will NOT have it happen.
Euthanasia in one of the two country where it is legal can not be ordered, it can not be implied by a guardian or family unless at some point during their illness they very insistently described a wish to die in their current specific case.

I do not in any way so how you can pervert me saying that to somehow be "pro-Michael".

Posted by: Vanessa at March 23, 2005 11:54 AM

It appears to me that we are already in legalized euthanasia since Terri is not allowed to be fed by mouth, even though she was doing so until it was ordered stopped years ago by her husband-in-name-only, and no tests have been done to determine if she could resume it.

Posted by: Kim at March 23, 2005 12:05 PM

I've been wondering when the demonstrators would unite in an effort to save Terri. I don't have cable. How many were in the group, how many cops are there? Bet your husband would be in the for front, Caryn. It has been said that when you are suffering you don't go to someone who has never suffered. Empathy helps, but doesn't take the place of experience.

Tress,

Sorry I didn't address your post about Medjugorje earlier. Our Lady is so very kind and gentle when she warns us. There is an old song called, "Were You There?" I guess we are now, huh?

As of yesterday a message was given that storms are brewing for all nations. I guess we'll see about that, too. So glad Europe is weighing in this as against this barbaric situation.

I think the Bushes are Terri's only hope. Forget the unSupreme Court.

Posted by: MARY at March 23, 2005 12:07 PM

I am horrified that our society has degenerated to the point where a person can now be starved to death legally, with the full approval of the courts. Even a convicted criminal on death row has the right to a more merciful death than that. Even a dog has the right to be put to sleep quickly and painlessly. I'm not defending any killing of humans, but it absolutely sickens me that starvation and dehydration can be done legally. Is this Nazi Germany now?

Posted by: Jan at March 23, 2005 12:12 PM

Kim:

what's happening to Terri is not euthanasia because euthanisia is illegal. A doctor or any medical individual is not allowed to administer any dosage of anything that results in a patient's death.
The reason why Terri's feeding tube was disconnected is because the Florida judge ruled that Terri did have a wish to not be kept alive in her present condition and thus actually revolves around her right to refuse treatment. (And *please*, this is NOT the same as me saying it was the right thing to do, I'm not saying that, especially since in this case she's not allowed any amount of water that would at the very least easy any possible discomfort. I do not think that witholding food and water is a humane way to have anyone's life end)

Posted by: Vanessa at March 23, 2005 12:17 PM

Vanessa, we can agree to disagree. What is happening to Terri IS euthanasia.. no matter how you slice it.

Posted by: Sirena at March 23, 2005 12:27 PM