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August 16, 2005

Euthanasia Activist Gives up Starvation Death Effort as Too Painful and "Undignified"

Topics: News

During the fight to save Terri Schiavo's life, the great majority of news media dutifully called her "terminally ill" and repeated the claims of Michael Schiavo and George Felos that her death was painless and easy despite the extensive regimen of pain drugs required.

Earlier this year, in comments on the Schiavo case, Dr. David Stevens, spokesman for the Christian Medical Association said that death by dehydration is horrific.

So which is it? Was the death by starvation and dehydration imposed upon Terri Schiavo by her award-winning husband Michael Schiavo and the award-winning judge George Greer like a beautiful painless trip to Disneyland as suggested by the MSM and it's talking heads, or one that was horrific as described by Dr Stevens and others?

Why not find out from someone who tried it, and lived to tell about it?

Enter Kelly Taylor, a 28-year-old woman who is not terminally ill, has ended her attempt to starve herself to death after 19 days because of the pain of the effects of starvation. Mrs. Taylor claimed that she had chosen self-starvation as the only method of suicide that would not leave her husband Richard liable for prosecution.

Nevertheless, after 19 days, she said, "It has become too uncomfortable and I would not wish what I have been going through on my worst enemy."

Taylor suffers from a congenital heart condition known as Eisenmenger Syndrome which, despite being labeled so by news media, is not a terminal condition. It does, however, reduce her mobility and leaves her dependent upon oxygen. She said her reason for wanting to die was that, as a disabled person, she could no longer make a "contribution" to society.

Opponents of euthanasia have repeatedly pointed out that the utilitarian values which permeate modern society are likely to encourage sick and disabled persons to think of themselves as "useless" and "burdensome."

At a press conference, Mrs. Taylor said, "I feel disappointed in myself. I really wanted to die and that seemed to be my only option. I regret that I have to stop what I am doing because I still want to die. But starvation, as it turns out, is very undignified."

The painful and "undignified" death rejected by Mrs. Taylor, however, was inflicted successfully by Michael Schiavo and his euthanasia activist lawyer, George Felos, on Schiavo's estranged wife, Terri, both of whom insisted that Terri's death by starvation and dehydration was painless and easy. Terri was also not suffering from any terminal illness and apart from her cognitive disability, was in good health.

The news media's active collusion in this deception is evident in the UK Telegraph's coverage of Mrs. Taylor's campaign to kill herself, in which it called her a "terminally ill" woman in the first sentence. The Telegraph reluctantly admits at the end of the article that Eisenmenger Syndrome is "not technically a terminal illness."

During the fight to save Terri Schiavo's life, the great majority of news media dutifully called her "terminally ill" and repeated Schiavo and Felos' claims that her death was painless and easy despite the extensive regimen of pain drugs required.

Earlier this year, in comments on the Schiavo case, Dr. David Stevens, spokesman for the Christian Medical Association said that death by dehydration is horrific.

Dr. Stevens, speaking from his 13 years experience in Africa, where the most common cause of death in children is dehydration from gastroenteritis, said, "Contrary to those that try to paint a picture of a gentle process, death by dehydration is a cruel, inhumane and often agonizing death."

But of course Terri Schiavo knew all this first hand, every terrible, horrifying minute of it, all the way to her death by judicial fiat!

Read Telegraph coverage

Cross posted at Hyscience

Posted by richard at August 16, 2005 9:09 PM


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Comments

"Why not find out from someone who tried it, and lived to tell about it?"

Well, the fact that this woman actually could "tell about it" separates this bizarre undertaking from the Terri Schiavo case.

As the author of this article is choosing to ignore, Ms. Schiavo had no functioning cerebral cortex, and was not awate of what was happening to her. She could experience neither pain nor pleasure. What Ms. Taylor experienced wasn't remotely like what Ms. Schiavo "experienced" (if indeed it can even be said that she experienced anything), since Ms. Taylor is clearly in possession of a brain that is not mostly cerebrospinal fluid.

Why is it that those who wanted to interfere in the Schiavos' personal lives resort to such hysterical hyperbole and disinformation in trying to win others to their point of view? Is it because they know they can't win with logic and facts, so hysteria is all that is left to them?

Peace,
Farish

Posted by: Farish [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 21, 2005 1:05 PM

Sorry--"awate"="aware"

Posted by: Farish [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 21, 2005 1:07 PM

Farsh,

If Terri was not aware of her surroundings and what was happening to her,then why was she given pain meds? Obviously, her condition was not as certain as you would like to beleive. Sorry if this bursts your bubble.

Posted by: CeCe [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 25, 2005 7:25 PM

So you're saying that because Terri received pain medication, she must have been in pain? That is a logical fallacy. I can take pain medication when I'm not in pain. Heck, I'll probably have a hangover when the effects wear off.

Doctors gave her pain medication because pain reflexes continue to operate even though the patient is a vegetable. It is not a higher brain function.

Posted by: yankswin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 27, 2005 9:47 PM

yankswin,

You can take pain medications for not being in pain if you wanted and that would be a waste, wouldn't it? If the only thing that was functioning was reflexive, then why bother, unless you were not sure that she could feel no pain. I am saying that they must not have been absolutely certain. This is not "logical fallacy." Your arguement of unnecessary self-medication to prove Terri's condition is the logical fallacy.

Posted by: CeCe [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 28, 2005 10:11 AM

The fallacy was "they gave her pain medication, therefore they were not sure of her condition." That is flat out wrong. They knew she was not in there. The reasoning behind giving her pain medication was not related to the possibility that she was "experiencing" pain.

Posted by: yankswin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 28, 2005 2:36 PM

Considering that there seemed to be quite a bit of disagreement as to whether she was "there," I stand by my comment. There was no reason to give her pain meds unless there was a possibility she would experience pain. If it makes you feel more justified to think differently, go right ahead, but your arguement just doesn't square.

Posted by: CeCe [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 28, 2005 6:24 PM

If you want to continue to think that there was some disagreement about her condition, then you can keep blindly believing that. Every doctor who wrote an affadavit trying to extend Terri's life had either not examined Terri in person (and in some cases not even looked at her records) or was plugging a therapy that was, at best, experimental.

The best reason you can give for doctors to administer pain meds was JUST IN CASE she is experiencing pain. However, you cannot take that reasoning and logically conclude that they doubted the diagnosis.

Let's say you're a doctor. You know as much as one person can know that this patient cannot feel pain. Why risk that next-to-impossible chance that she CAN?

Posted by: yankswin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 28, 2005 7:23 PM

There was disagreement about her condition. The expert witness on the Schiavo side, Dr. Cranford, examined her for about a hour. Several doctors for the Schindlers examined her for many hours. Dr. Cranford, "expert" that he was, did not even know that Terri Schiavo was visually impaired. The only doctor, as far as I know, that was " "plugging some therapy" had more accurately assessed her visual impairment. Take the expert of your choice. Your last statement proves my point that they were not certain she could not feel pain.

Posted by: CeCe [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 29, 2005 6:54 AM

The only people who found the evidence of Dr. Hammesfahr's examination compelling were, ironically, the Schindlers, Hammesfahr, and the other Schindler doctor. Nobody else, having viewed the full video record of Dr. Hammesfahr's session, felt that he had proven that Terri was not PVS.

By the way, if Dr. Hammesfahr had accurately assessed Terri's visual impairment, then how was she consciously tracking a balloon with her eyes?

Posted by: yankswin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 29, 2005 4:36 PM

Yankswin,

If you had read his report, you would have known that he felt she had very little to no distance vision, but that she had some vision up close. That is how she could track a balloon held in front of her face. As far as "nobody else, having viewed the full video....", you are very selective in who you refer to. There were other doctors who felt it was compelling. You really should read both sides of this case fully before making inaccurate comments.

Posted by: CeCe [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 30, 2005 8:17 AM