I can understand not keeping people alive with machines such as heart and lung and dialisis machines, when there is no hope for treatment or recovery. Keeping them artificially alive serves little purpose if they are not contributing to the society or the family life, and a moral case can be made that is is wrong to prolong suffering by artificial means just to preserve an artificial life that has no hope of survival without artificial means.
But that is a far cry from simply removing a feeding tube, when all other bodily functions work without mechanical means. In Terri's case, I believe it was a horribly misguided and immoral decision. If a person can swallow food and water, or even if they need the tube for convenience sake (i.e. because nobody has the time or inclination to help them bring food and water to their mouth) it is, in my judgement, immoral to deny them food and water.
What happened to Terri - the demand that no food or water be fed to her by the mouth - amounts to murder in my opinion. This was a horribly wrong decision and I am wholly dismayed at the judicial system for not recognizing the immorality - and indeed the illegality - of their decision to deprive her of food and water by mouth.
That Michael Shiavo claims that Terri once said in passing "I would not want to live like that" - not even describing what "that" she was talking about (i.e. a heart & lung machine, or a feeding tube?) is considered clear and convincing evidence of a desire to die if stricken with her specific condition was an atrocious and frightful decision.
A feeding tube amounts to very little in raw costs and any claim of the financial burden of a feeding tube really only reveals the absurd and out of proportion health care costs. It is the system we have that demands a "professional level of care" instead of sending her home with her family to care for and provide the feeding tube is the problem. We have artificially increased the costs of caring for her and those like her by demanding that she be placed in a high-cost environment, when a low cost environmnet coupled with a few hours of training (i.e. how to clean the feeding insert and how to change the feeding bag) would suffice to extend her life for years to come. We have abdicated our familial and social responsibilities to the government, and then cry when the government refuses to take on that burden in the manner we expect. To a degree, only a small degree, what has happened here is the fault of Americans at large. Not only regarding health care - we have abdicated our social, welfare, security and educational responsibilities to government as well, and we are getting our just desserts for so doing.
I think we are generally of a like mind on this issue. I believe these euthanasia laws regarding the removal of nutrition and hydration are clearly immoral, regardless of the desires of the person, written or otherwise.
"That Michael Shiavo claims that Terri once said in passing "I would not want to live like that" - not even describing what "that" she was talking about (i.e. a heart & lung machine, or a feeding tube?) is considered clear and convincing evidence of a desire to die if stricken with her specific condition was an atrocious and frightful decision."
Yes, imagine the coaching Felos gave to MS. "Think hard, Michael. Was there EVER any time when Terri talked about wanting to die?"
"Oh, yeah, now I remember. We were watching TV one time..."