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Brain-Damaged Woman Talks After 20 Years

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Richard King, Feb 12, 2005.

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  1. Feb 14, 2005 #21 of 540
    pjmrt

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    I haven't read and certainly have no first hand information what Terri Schiavo's religous beliefs are. Have you. Yes its seems Christian groups are the ones who have been praying for Terri and fighting the courts as removing the feeding tube and starving Terri to death seems to violate the sacredness of human life.
     
  2. Feb 14, 2005 #22 of 540
    jonstad

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    On the pet thread, you mourn your Sam. If Sam had not simply died but fallen comatose with no realistic chance of recovery, would you have kept him forever on feeding tubes because he blinked his eyes occasionally when you shouted in his face? Or lolled his head from side to side gurgling now and then? If Sam was "not aware of it, what's the difference", right? You'd still have your Sam.

    That's the selfishness and psychology of the family I'm talking about. They're keeping what otherwise is a dead person alive to satisfy their own needs. Any conscious responsiveness or recognition they perceive is almost certainly entirely imaginary.

    There's an old movie title(it may have been a play also), "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" The idea being when any being(and I consider horses and cats and dogs and many others "beings") is clinging to the barest thread of life, not mobile or in any way recognizably self-aware or cognizant, it is more often humane and merciful to end that life, or allow it to end itself, regardless of how much it may pain us personally to do so. And often, if we don't allow the life to end, we are doing it for our own sakes, NOT for the sake of the being we profess to care for.
     
  3. Feb 14, 2005 #23 of 540
    jonstad

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    I agree the idea of starvation is a rather gruesome end, even if one is not capable of being aware of starving. But there's the catch-22. There is no other way allowed! Mercy killing, euthanasia, is not allowed even if the subject, faced with the inevitable prospect of an excruciatingly slow and painful death, is completely aware and capable of requesting, even DEMANDING, they be allowed to die a dignified, painless death. It's simply NOT ALLOWED!

    Again, I see nothing dignified about starvation. There are certainly quicker, painless, less gruesome and dignified agents available to deliver the coup de gras. I suggest heroin. But the chemical cocktail used to execute prisoners, which we are assured is peaceful and painless, would probably do just as well.

    Problem is, the same "Christian groups" and others who proclaim mercy and compassion as their motives seem to have no mercy or compassion for those who specifically request to end their lives of pain and misery, nor for those incapable of making such a request. In actuality, their motives are their own personal religious beliefs, and they apparently feel they have the right to impose those beliefs on others, even the comatose.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2005 #24 of 540
    Capmeister

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    I've put pets to sleep who could have lived a few more months but were in pain and I didn't want them to suffer. If someone is totally unaware of their surroundings and has no concept of their situation, no pain, no nothing, they're dead. If Sam had been like that I'd not have kept him alive because there was no need. The parents here have a need, it would seem--maybe it's selfish--so what? In any case, I think your analogy is flawed.

    How is it less humane to keep the person alive if the person has no knowledge they're alive at all?
     
  5. Feb 14, 2005 #25 of 540
    Capmeister

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    Gruesome for whom? She wouldn't know she's starving, would she?
     
  6. Feb 14, 2005 #26 of 540
    thescrub

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    If you do some reading on the subject and from watching to process first hand starvation in a controlled environment is fairly comfortable for the person. It’s gruesome for the people around them who are watching and support them through it.
     
  7. Feb 14, 2005 #27 of 540
    pjmrt

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    from the news stories and the pictures, she seems to respond to her surroundings some. That makes me think she may indeed know she's starving and may feel pain.

    The thing that bothers me is that her (ex)husband seems to have alterior motives. She left no living will, has not (obviously) told anyone she wants the feeding tube removed, and it is not absolutely clear she could not recover given treatment.

    Some points to ponder:
    and
    http://www.terrisfight.org
     
  8. Feb 14, 2005 #28 of 540
    cdru

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  9. Feb 14, 2005 #29 of 540
    pjmrt

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    somebody has to tell the other side. As pointed out, Dr. Gambone disagrees that she is in a PVS. In fact, 2 or the 5 doctors disagreed. There is evidence she is disabled, severely probably, but not in a persistent vegitative state. The numbers 3 to 2, by one vote she gets tortured to death. We give murderers on death row better odds than that.

    http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/trialctorder11-02.txt
     
  10. Feb 15, 2005 #30 of 540
    jonstad

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    A human being, aware or not, is not a family heirloom you keep around and meticulously maintain to try and remember the good ol' days, with the vain hopes those days will miraculously return. And in essence, that's what this family is doing. They want their Terri back. But they can't have her back. Even IF the long shot of her regaining consciousness should occur, which once more seems highly unlikely, she would undoubtedly be the same person ONLY in the sense she occupies the same body, and chances are would be confined to a wheel chair if lucky, tied to a colostomy bag and probably intravenous and feeding tubes still. And minimal communication would be something they only dare hope for.

    It's like some macabre, morbid twenty year wake where the mourners never come to grips with the fact she's gone.:nono2:
     
  11. Feb 15, 2005 #31 of 540
    Capmeister

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    Okay. Why? Again, if it doesn't mean ANYTHING to the person being kept alive, and it gives the parents comfort, why is that not a net good?
     
  12. Feb 15, 2005 #32 of 540
    Danny R

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    Again, if it doesn't mean ANYTHING to the person being kept alive, and it gives the parents comfort, why is that not a net good?

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Depends on if the parents are hanging on so tightly that they are no longer living for the future, but just holding on to the past.

    I've always had mixed feelings about this case. From a legal standpoint, I certainly wouldn't want outsiders, even my parents, coming in and ordering my wife irregardless of my own wishes. My own parents hold entirely different views about life than I do. Lest we forget, two other people in addition to her husband testified that Terry didn't want to be kept on life support.

    On the other hand, death is final. If Terry is basically a vegetable, then allowing her to live, provided the parents are willing to undertake her care, seems to do no further harm to Terry.

    Ultimately I hope Michael goes ahead with the divorce so she can be transfered to their custody.
     
  13. Feb 15, 2005 #33 of 540
    Capmeister

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    But that's their choice. People live with a little delusion in their lives all the time. Again--if their daughter can't possibly know, then what is the compelling reason to "put her out of her misery?"

    We agree really--right down to the mixed feelings.

    I've just been curious in exploring the angles here.
     
  14. Feb 15, 2005 #34 of 540
    HappyGoLucky

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    No, I do not know her religious beliefs. But as you state, some christian groups apparently think they know, or more likely desire to impose their beliefs upon her and her husband.
     
  15. Feb 15, 2005 #35 of 540
    HappyGoLucky

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    Myths from the christian taliban and her parents.
     
  16. Feb 15, 2005 #36 of 540
    thescrub

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    Capmeister,
    I can see your argument that what does it mean to Terri to make the parents happy. But what about the husband and friends. Does it not matter to them and to making their peace with Terri that they are able to carry out her wishes. I know that Terri's wishes are part of what is in dispute here.

    I know that in my case, and possibly Terri's depending on what she supposedly told her husband and friends, that my mother had a different line than PVS so she could have ended up, and I believe that she did, with some awareness of her situation. for me then there was an obligation to, as her advocate, carry out her wishes to the best of my ability.

    I will say it again. Starvation in a controlled environment, while not happy fun time, does not cause much distress for the person.
     
  17. Feb 15, 2005 #37 of 540
    Capmeister

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    Do Terri's wishes matter if she's actually braindead? I wonder if they should.
     
  18. Feb 15, 2005 #38 of 540
    thescrub

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    I thinks. We honer many of the wishes of the dead. We let them leave money to their cats and dictate how there remains should be disposed of. When to discontinue care of a person is the samething. The right of a person or their designated agent to an expectation that the choice they have made will be carried out.
     
  19. Feb 15, 2005 #39 of 540
    pjmrt

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    so you don't approve of people who intervene to protect someone's life who is not currently able to tell people herself to stop? As I said, no one is imposing any religious beliefs on anyone - this is an effort to protect the civil rights of Terri.
     
  20. Feb 15, 2005 #40 of 540
    RJS1111111

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    Terri Schindler-Shiavo is in danger of being STARVED to DEATH.This is a SPECIAL MESSAGE from Terri Schiavo's father, Bob Schindler Sr.:

    Dear Friend,

    By now you have probably heard about a young woman who is threatened with starvation in Florida.

    That young woman is my daughter, Terri. In 1990, through circumstances which are shrouded in mystery (and may involve a criminal act by Terri's estranged husband), my daughter was left severely brain-damaged.

    But before I go any further, I must put an end to the lies and misinformation that are circulating around the country through the media concerning my daughter's condition.

    Contrary to anything you may have heard, Terri is NOT brain dead; Terri is NOT in a coma; she is NOT in a "persistent vegetative state;" nor is she on ANY life-support system.

    Terri laughs, Terri cries, she moves, and she makes child-like attempts at speech with her mother and me. Sometimes she will say "Mom" or "Dad" or "yeah" when we ask her a question. When I kiss her hello or goodbye, she looks at me and "puckers up" her lips.

    This may not seem like much to you, but it means everything to Terri's mother and me. It tells us she is still here, she still knows us, and with therapy and time she can have some level of recovery.

    I know that there are some hard hearted people who believe that due to my daughters condition, she is better off dead. Words cannot describe the pain and anger such sentiments cause us. This is our daughter, our little girl, and even in her disabled condition, she still has the right to life and the right to be loved and cared for by her family.

    Why, you may ask, is Terry in danger of death by starvation?

    It is a long and outrageous story, but I'll give it to you as briefly as I can.

    After the "incident" that left Terry in this condition, her husband Michael Schiavo sued various members of the medical community for money, saying that they did not treat or diagnose her properly at an early stage, and that he needed this money to provide for Terri's therapy and rehabilitation and care.

    After lengthy court battles, he finally won upwards of $1.7 million under the guise of caring for our daughter, and then to our horror, he immediately began spending the money on himself and his Playboy lifestyle.

    Terri's estranged husband Michael Schiavo has been living with another woman for years, and has two children by her. He is determined to see Terri dead. Why? We believe it's because he gets to keep whatever money is left... and he may have even darker motives than that.

    To add insult to all of this injury toward my daughter, Michael Schiavo is still her "legal husband" and therefore is her "guardian." And since they are not legally divorced, he controls whatever health care she will and will not get. We are not even allowed to know if she is getting aspirin.

    In 1993 my family initiated litigation against Michael Schiavo solely for the purpose of acquiring medical, physical and neurological assistance for our daughter Terri. The litigation escalated in 1998 when Michael Schiavo petitioned the court to stop Terri from receiving food and water, thereby starving her to death.

    In filing this legal action, he retained the services of a high profile euthanasia attorney and the financial backing of powerful euthanasia organizations. He also used Terri's medical rehabilitation money to underwrite much of the legal expenses associated with his effort to starve our daughter to death.

    We know that he has spent nearly $500,000 of Terri's money in attorney's fees for just one attorney trying to obtain a court order to have Terri starved to death. The very money that was supposed to be used for Terri's rehabilitation is being used to have her killed.

    We very quickly discovered it was impossible for us to compete with the abundance of financial and legal resources the pro-death organizations were providing Micheal Schiavo in their effort to kill Terri. They are pouring time and effort into her starvation because they want to use this case to further the agenda of legalized euthanasia.

    My wife and I are not wealthy people. Throughout those years, we did not have any large organizations trying to help rescue our daughter. Consequently, we had to rely on the generosity of attorneys who were willing to offer their legal expertise at no cost or at reduced fees.

    The bottom line is that we are in the final weeks or months of our struggle to rescue our daughter from an untimely death by starvation. Death by starvation is very slow, and extremely painful. As you must know, it is against the law to deliberately starve an animal to death. There are members of the Florida court who would not treat a dog the way they plan to treat my daughter.

    At this point we must pull out all the stops in our fight to rescue our daughter.

    As parents, we are desperate to save our daughter's life. As people who love life, we are determined to deprive the euthanasia advocates of successfully legalizing this form of homicide. We believe that their efforts to kill Terri are designed to set a precedent for the future eradication of defenseless disabled human beings. I was alive when Americans fought the Nazis; I do not want my daughter to meet the same fate of thousands of disabled people in Nazi Germany, and I do not want our country to go down that same dark path.

    Our adversaries believe that by our family's financial attrition and difficulties, they will attain their objective of killing our daughter. Presently, Terri's starvation may only be a few weeks away, unless we find the financial resources to prevent this atrocity from becoming a reality.

    I implore you to please help us. We are writing to you, because we believe you have a heart for justice and mercy. I'm asking you to put yourself in my shoes, and then do whatever you can to help our family. Whether it is $10 or $1000, we are desperate for the resources to fight this battle for our daughter's life at this critical juncture.

    Please do whatever you can, and forward this e-mail to any friends or family that you have who you think might be interested in saving Terri's life.

    I thank you for your time, your concern, and I solicit your prayers for Terri and our entire family. These have been very trying times for us all.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Schindler Sr.

    Paid for by the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation
     
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