Skip to comments.It was wrong to kill her. [JimRob on Terri Schiavo]
Posted on 04/04/2005 8:35:23 PM PDT by Future Useless Eater
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I suppose that my view is so extreme, that if I had my way, this discussion would be irrelevant. I don't believe ANYONE should be denied food and water for ANY reason. I don't believe the courts, the family, or even the patient themselves has a "right" to willfully die. I wrote an e-mail shortly after Terri's passing, explaining why I feel this way:
"This whole thing is really freaking me out. I just cant believe that there are so many people out there who believe what went on here was not only okay for Terri, but it is also what they would wish upon themselves if they were to end up like her. How vain, selfish, and arrogant these people are!
I think it is flat-out impossible to ascertain whether a person in Terri's condition would want to live. That person might hold a different position (brain damage does tend to change your perspective) than they held when they "expressed the will to die". To me, it's quite possible that the pleasant smell of shampoo, the soft caress of a loved one, or the wonder sparked by a simple, shiny balloon, were experiences/sensations that were sufficient enough for a brain-damaged Terri to want to live. The truth is that our values and long-held beliefs are subject to change as our circumstances do. Becoming a parent is a good example of this. I try very hard not to state what I would or wouldn't do in any given situation, because I have so many times failed to act in the manner I would have previously predicted. We are ever maturing, learning, changing, and adapting. Healthy, 21 year old Terri Shiavos statements should not have been attributed to a brain-damaged, 41 year old Terri Shiavo. Bottom line.
The selfishness of our society is demonstrated by the fact that most people believe the "right to die" belongs strictly to the patient. That fact assumes that our lives are lived only for ourselves. For most of us, there are others who would be affected by our decision to starve, ahem, "dehydrate" ourselves to death. If Terri ever did wish such a fate upon herself, it would have no doubt been difficult to contemplate her parents being forced to bear witness to her slow, agonizing death. Of course, we are not encouraged to think of others when making this kind of a decision, and it is almost always assumed that we would be a burden to our loved ones. Or God forbid, the State. But, it is wrong to believe your life begins and ends with you. Your presence on this earth, whatever your condition, could potentially affect those around you. And its wrong to assume that the effect would be negative. Particularly if you are loved and valued by those around you.
..And isn't there an element of suicide here? Doesn't it really boil down to: "Life sucks, and I don't want to live like this anymore..."? Who hasn't expressed that sentiment at one time or another? Can everyone of us be trusted to decide what amount of pain and suffering we can endure? I don't mean to be rude here, but there are those of us who are a little on the wimpy side. For those of us who truly believe that God does not give us more than we can handle, the decision whether or not to willfully end our lives in order to prematurely escape our misery, is easily made.
In 1993, Michael Shiavo wanted to withhold antibiotic from Terri, hoping that she would develop sepsis and die. If the nursing home had accommodated Michael, then withholding the antibiotic could be construed as removing Terri's "artificial life support". Down the line, anything that can save your life or improve your health becomes "life support" if someone has the motivation to kill you. Be it the State, or a loving husband. Judge Greer's denial of Terri's parent's motion to feed her naturally, tells us that even if Terri could have been fed by mouth, she was still deemed by the court not fit to live. So here they've raised the bar again. This is just scary to me.
And until a few months ago, I didnt understand what a calm, peaceful, and I even heard one doctor say, "loving" experience, dehydration is for the patient. To hear these doctors on TV describe the process, I cant imagine why it is illegal to do this to animals. Sounds like it would be an inexpensive, convenient, and loving way to dispose of your unwanted pet. No vet bills, heck, you dont even have to transport the animal into town simply stop re-filling the food and water dish, and let nature take it from there. I honestly feel like I am in the Twilight Zone. I mean, I always kind of took for granted that dying of hunger and thirst was a terrible way to expire. Its a no-brainer, right? Wrong! Now the doctors are coming out of the woodwork (or out from under their rocks) to proclaim to the world how serene, merciful, and natural the process of death by dehydration can be! As a result, people who have believed their entire lives that starving to death was a horrible way to die, today will look you in the face and tell you that death by starvation and dehydration is painless! Those people would rather appear as utter fools, than admit Terri suffered as she died. Cowards. They wont so much as glance at her suffering, yet in the days before her death, they were screaming for it to be done to her.
I cannot let this go. I will not let this go. I will never forget Terri and what the good ole boy network did to her down there in Florida. I know that Terri is at peace now, but I continue to suffer at the thought of what she endured in that hospice. Tortured for the pleasure of her husband, and most people were okay with it. Most people would prefer to die Terris death, than to live Terris life. Shocking. Just unbelievable."
>>Well, now, not so fast, k2!! Some people thought that a mistake was made about her status. Not everyone thought she was in a "persistent vegetative state." Some people felt that she was just in a diminished state of consciousness and that she might even benefit from rehabilitation. And I'll bet there are others who still think it was a mistake for the court to conclude as it did about about "what Terri said she wanted" under these circumstances.
>>My point is perhaps just a minor one. If we want to give courts the power to make life or death decisions that depend upon findings of fact, we have to accept that mistakes will be made.
No we don't have to accept that mistakes will be made in life and death "fact" determinations, we can do like criminals and make it very very difficult for mistakes to be made, like Jim says if 1 out of 12 persons is doubtful, you dont execute. Murders also have the 'do-over' option for a trial de novo. Those are all safeguards to virtually eliminate mistakes with life and death.
I think your ORIGINAL point was sarcasm, since you used a smiley face. Then in post 240, you are both saying about the same thing, but different ways: that mistakes were most likely made. Don't forget the word HONEST, though. There is no good reason to believe it was an HONEST mistake.
Why, even Michael and his attorney in 1992 maintained that Terri was NOT in PVS, they said she was "somewhat responsive", and since that time, some of her medical tests, (brain scans around 2002 I believe) had even improved slightly...
Her parents, siblings, friends, caregivers, priests, paralegals, etc, were all just saying in 2005, the same thing MICHAEL said in 1992: That she was somewhat responsive (and better than PVS)
This says there WILL BE testimony in the malpractice trial by Michael and his witnesses that Terri is NOT in PVS.
We certainly wouldn't starve any patients by mistake if we followed that rule!!
It just doesn't get much better than that, backtalk - beautiful, very eloquent. ;-)
I was reading your reply on the Granddaughter yanks grandma's feeding tube thread...Jim Robinson on this thread was one of the "turkey"s who was against Terri's death.
If I was good at posting links, I would have. However you may want the anti-Terri's to see this.
Actually, the poster was, I believe referring to me as a "turkey". I would never refer to Jim Robinson in any other than respectful terms.
"I read that the Pope had been apprised of her struggle up to the last minute and that he was upset about what had been done to her as well as having been a staunch supporter of Terri."
The more I think about it, it's not that hard to be pro-life, pro Jews, anti-slavery. Sure it seemed nice to have a leader being pro-life, and pro-Terri. But did he cancel communion for all catholics working with Terri keeping her away from food and water? Did he command all priests, bishops etc. to talk to the nurses, building owners, car repair people, paramedics, etcs to rescue her? Did he use the power he had?
The real church, if it sees unrepentant sin, can close communion to the person, and excommunicate them. Maybe they would've backed off enough so that she could've been rescued.
Terri's dead, thanks to him. He didn't love her. You can be pro-life, but in reality not be a good or loving person.
After reading this, I corrected another post I'd done. I think Dawn Sanborn is right, that we can't know what we would want in a situation like that.
I had unwittingly used the argument against suffering in writing about Shelly and Brian Howard's tragic death this week. I thought we shouldn't ask her to suffer painful burn therapy, how selfish of us. But that was wrong. Thinking it's merciful, when in actuality it's murder. It's one step away from killing Terri.
Thank you for the post.
Comes from all the mostly women who work the Hospice network to off "Useless Eaters"!
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