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Public Historically Supports a Terminally Ill Patient's Right to Die (Schiavo Related)
Gallup ^ | 10/30/03 | Gallup

Posted on 10/30/2003 12:48:56 AM PST by Recovering_Democrat

PRINCETON, NJ -- The American public generally endorses the concept of what can loosely be called the "right to die" if a terminally ill patient wants to end his or her life, or if a spouse makes a decision to end his or her marriage partner's life if that person is in a persistent vegetative state.

These considerations have become particularly relevant in recent weeks with the publicity surrounding the case of Terri Schiavo in Florida. In 1990, Schiavo fell into a persistent vegetative state, and has remained in that condition since, her life supported by a feeding tube. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, has been fighting for years to have the feeding tube removed, while her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, have fought to maintain her life under the belief that she shows signs of consciousness and that she could be rehabilitated one day.

The controversy is compounded by the fact that Michael Schiavo received about $1 million awarded to him and Terri in malpractice settlements, and by the fact that he has a longtime girlfriend who is pregnant with the couple's second child.

Courts have generally ruled in favor of the husband's or wife's right to decide on his or her spouse's fate, and as a result of the latest decisions in this case, Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed two weeks ago. The Florida legislature, however, quickly passed a law permitting the governor of Florida, Republican Jeb Bush, to order the tube replaced. He did so, and the tube was replaced, which is where the situation stands today.

The issue will now move on to other courts. Religious conservatives have sided with the parents in the case, citing the sanctity of innocent life (the same basis as for pro-life efforts) while the ACLU has sided with Michael Schiavo.

When a patient is in a persistent vegetative state caused by irreversible brain damage, do you think his or her spouse should or should not be allowed by law to make a final decision to end the patient's life by some painless means?

Yes: 80% No: 17% No Opinion: 3%
Poll taken Oct24-26, 2003

(Excerpt) Read more at gallup.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: death; dying; starvation
Michael Schiavo received about $1 million awarded to him and Terri in malpractice settlements, and by the fact that he has a longtime girlfriend who is pregnant with the couple's second child.

I'm surprised Gallup gave this much balance to the report.

1 posted on 10/30/2003 12:48:57 AM PST by Recovering_Democrat
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To: Recovering_Democrat
by some painless means?

Let's withhold food from Mike for a while. Ask him if it hurts.

2 posted on 10/30/2003 12:49:44 AM PST by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
In this day and age of spouse abuse across all socio-economic lines, and because it is impossible to know what transpires inside anyone's home, I am totally against a spouse having the right to call the shots in a situation like this. He/she has a right to state an opinion..However, the people most likely to love and care about this person and his/her suffering are the primary family members, childhood friends, etc. I also do not believe that a new husband should receive the monies from any malpractice settlement. That money should be used for the care of the helpless person. It looks to me as though Terri's hubby is wanting to use the funds for his new family. As we go through life, situations like this give us a glimpse into human evil..We should not allow that evil to rationalize away the cruelty of outright murder and rename it so that society views it as "humane." That is dangerous territory. As they say, "Follow the money."
3 posted on 10/30/2003 1:50:06 AM PST by jazzlite (esat)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
The Schindlers have to keep going on the PR part of this . . The point needs to be made to the public , that with holding food and water is not the same as a ventillator respirator being shut off. And 1st and foremost There is absolutely nothing in writiing about Terri's wishes, no living will. All they have is what MS claims Terri said to him, and he didn't remember it til he got cash.

Next- Terri has brain damage, but is NOT Terminally ill-the only reason she would die is because of someone delibrately starving her to death. (They could mention the case of the 4 boys in NJ who were starved by their parents and how everyone thinks that is awful).
Terri does not have a disease. She will die If Schiavo gets his way, just exactly the same way that people in India and Africa do during famine- this IS THE SAME DEATH- by starvation/dehydration.

They should bring out that many disabled people are fightened by the implications of what MS and Co. are trying to do . If they succeed and Terri is killed, basically any disabled person, who has lost the ability to speak, or fully respond, will be in danger of being legally killed.

It seems like all the guardain would have to do , is go into a judge and say -Joe Smith told me he wouldn't want to live "like this" Then the judge can go on that alone and say " Okay, starve him to death" , no questions asked. Guardians all across Florida could take out life insurance policies on their charges and really cash in. The added benefit is that even if the person has no terminal illness and otherwise healthy- they can still be offed - starvation/dehydration will kill anyone it's used on-zero chance for survival-

They should, if they have enough time, explain that all the "judges" and "lawyers" who are trying to kill Terri, are all right to die advocates and all have a connection to the hospice industry, for some strange reason- conflict of interest , even the very "hospice" Terri is in.
Oh, definately read from Felo's book too. Let people know what he's all about. The preceeding is entirely my opinion- yadda yadda.

I wonder if it has ever occurred to Felos or Greer, in moments of quiet- and in spite of all their euthanasia zealotry- that instead of "fulfilling Terri's wish to die", they might actually be assisting Michael Schiavo in an evil plot to finish off his wife?

Think it ever occurs to them- as it seems so obvious to us- That Michael Schiavo is not the saintly husband- that what he really is, is a very bad man? And that he is using them to do his dirty work? Just a thought , Just my opinion-yada,yada.

4 posted on 10/30/2003 2:41:35 AM PST by fly_so_free (Never underestimate the treachery of the democratic party. Save the USA-Vote a democrat out of offic)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
do you think his or her spouse should or should not be allowed by law to make a final decision to end the patient's life by some painless means?

The leftist pollsters just can't stop themselves from skewing poll questions!

This question would be relevant to the Terri Schiavo case only if it were worded accurately:

Not: "...do you think his or her spouse should or should not be allowed by law to make a final decision to end the patient's life by some painless means?"
But: "...do you think his or her spouse should or should not be allowed by law to make a final decision to end the patient's life by starvation and dehydration?

And to be truly relevant to Terri's case, the words "greedy" and "philandering" should be inserted before the word, "spouse," too.

5 posted on 10/30/2003 6:46:02 AM PST by shhrubbery!
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To: Recovering_Democrat
This is not a balanced poll. It is similar to the earlier poll question done by CNN last week. They revised it [by removing the false characterizations of Terri's condition] and got completely different results.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1009721/posts?page=92#92

As noted by an earlier poster, the Gallup poll is describing Terri as PVS when that is not the case. Further, given that she was denied rehabilitative therapy as soon as hubby got the $$$$, the assertion that she cannot recover is unsubstantiated conjecture.

This and the previous poll shows that a poll's phrasing and context can skew the results tremendously. That is why they are of little value.
6 posted on 10/30/2003 10:31:18 AM PST by walford (Dogmatism swings both ways)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
I strongly urge you to contact Gallup to at least inform them of how you are on to their bias.

This is the poll in question.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr031030.asp

This is the contact page.

http://www.gallup.com/help/contactUS/poll.asp

Similar action last week, I believe influenced CNN to revise their biased poll.
7 posted on 10/30/2003 10:45:37 AM PST by walford (Dogmatism swings both ways)
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To: jazzlite
the people most likely to love and care about this person and his/her suffering are the primary family members,

I agree with this statement. However, I feel funny about parents being the default guardian if an adult becomes incapacitated. My parents probably are the people who love me the most in the world, but that doesn't mean I'm closer to them than my spouse. And it sure as heck doesn't mean that I trust them to know my wishes or to carry them out. Yet we all see what happens when it is assumed that the spouse is the best choice for a guardian!!!

If I ran the zoo, I would require the following: when signing up for health insurance, there would be a standard form asking who should make medical decisions for you if you're incapacitated. So whenever anybody changed health insurance (and with job changes that can be every few years), they would need to fill out the form when they did the rest of their insurance paperwork.

8 posted on 10/30/2003 11:00:08 AM PST by libravoter (Live from the People's Republic of Cambridge)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
this from the AP...
[best friend Diane] Meyer told a cruel joke about Quinlan, and it set [Terri] Schiavo off.

"She went down my throat about this joke, that it was inappropriate," Meyer said. She remembers Schiavo wondering how the doctors and lawyers could possibly know what Quinlan was really feeling or what she would want.

"Where there's life," Meyer recalled her[Terri] saying, "there's hope."

9 posted on 11/04/2003 6:31:21 PM PST by Future Useless Eater (Freedom_Loving_Engineer)
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