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Terri Schiavo Again: Mild Stroke Leads to Motherís Starvation
Life News ^ | 9/13/11 | Kate Kelly

Posted on 09/13/2011 4:08:10 PM PDT by wagglebee

I watched an old woman die of hunger and thirst.  She had Alzheimer’s, this old woman, and was child-like, trusting, vulnerable, with a child’s delight at treats of chocolate and ice cream, and a child’s fear and frustration when tired or ill.

I watched her die for six days and nights.

I watched her suffer, and I listened to the medical practitioners, to a son who legally decided her fate, and to an eldest daughter who advised him and told me that the old woman, my mother, was “comfortable,” except when she was “in distress,” at which times the nurses medicated her to make her “comfortable” again.

I watched the old woman develop ulcerations inside her mouth as she became more and more dehydrated; the caregivers assured me these were not painful.

I listened to her breathing become more and more laboured, as her lungs became congested from the morphine administered every three to four hours, and later every hour.

That is what morphine does, you see.  It relieves pain, but its cumulative effect is that eventually it shuts down the respiratory system.

No one explained why the old woman was given morphine in the first place, since she was conscious and trying to speak.  It is normal that a mild stroke causes temporary inability to swallow, slurred speech, and a severe headache, but all of these are often reversed when the stroke victim is treated and the treatment includes nourishment and water.

The explanation for not giving nourishment and water – a feeding tube and IV (intravenous) – is that these were “extraordinary measures” for keeping someone alive.

I watched the old woman day and night for six days.  The first night, after the first shot of morphine, her mouth hung open and her tongue started to roll and flutter.  At the same time, her jaw trembled continuously.

This went on all night and into the early hours of the morning.  Her mouth never closed again, except to clamp tightly on wet cloths placed on her lips.  Her eyes were partially closed, but they moved back and forth, back and forth, becoming small slits after seven or eight hours, not closing fully until that long first night was over.

She opened her eyes only once after that, when the nurse was late with the morphine, on the third, or maybe the fourth, day.

The old woman started to moan. Not moaning, said the nurses and the old woman’s eldest daughter.  Just air escaping from the lungs.  Not moaning at all.

The old woman’s eyes started to open, and the air escaping from the lungs sounded exactly like a moan of agony, as the old woman’s face twisted in horrible contortions.  I screamed, “Her eyes are opening! Oh, God. Oh, God!”

Even as the morphine, quickly injected by a disconcerted nurse, caused the old woman’s eyes to close and her face to relax, I doubted its efficacy.  I thought back to the night before, when I, in tears at the old woman’s slow dying, had been confronted by a delegation of four of the nursing staff, each of them in turn trying to convince me that the old woman was not suffering in any way at all.  The morphine, they said, takes away all pain.

But, I answered them, she can feel: she’s squeezing my hand, and if I try to take my hand out of hers, she squeezes tighter, and when I hold a little piece of gauze to her lips, she tries to suck the water out of it.  She’s thirsty!  This is a horror; this is cruelty!

No, they said.  She’s not thirsty.  It’s just reflex.  But, I tell them, I watched her clamp her lips on the gauze so tightly that I had to pull to get it out of her mouth.

She reacts when you touch her feet, her legs, and her hair. If she can feel that she can feel thirst, I plead with them.

It’s not the same, they tell me.  She’s not in pain.

I look at her.  But what if you’re wrong? I say.  What if you’re wrong?

They stand there, saying nothing.  Then one looks at the old woman and says, we’d better turn her now.  She and another care worker go about the business of repositioning the old woman, to keep her “comfortable” and the other two leave.

The days and nights went in and out of focus.  I sat in a chair at the side of the old woman’s bed, one hand grasped tightly by her hand.  I slept an hour or two, here and there, waking always with a start.

“I’m here,” I murmured, so the old woman would know I was keeping the promise I made to her on the first night, after her son and eldest daughter left to get some food, drink, and rest.  I promised her then, “I will not leave here until you do.

The old woman was fading by the fourth day.  Her eldest daughter had been visiting for an hour or so each day, usually mid-morning.  This daughter, a former hospital worker, lightly stroked her mother’s face and hair and timed the length of her mother’s “breath apnea,” the length of time her mother stopped breathing.

She announced the number of seconds, and then counted the number of breaths between each stopped breath.  Seven breaths, she said, 11 breaths.

Sometimes she described the progress of her mother’s death, She’s probably down to about 60 pounds now, she pronounced.

Sometimes – I’m not sure when I noticed it first – the nurses asked us to leave while they attended to the old woman.  Other times they didn’t.  Once, perhaps on the fourth day, I told them I didn’t have to leave: I had watched them turn her, I had seen her tiny naked body as they gently washed her.  I didn’t even flinch anymore when they injected the syringe of morphine.

We have to give her a suppository, they said. A suppository?  Why?

For anxiety, they said. Anxiety.  So that she would appear to die with dignity.  The morphine was no longer enough.  This courageous old woman, who could face, who had faced, unimaginable hardships with nothing but her faith and her dignity, she could teach you about dignity, I thought to myself.

On the fifth day the eldest daughter visited twice.  On her second visit, several staff members entered the room with her.   They were all talking loudly, about nothing in particular, except for one care worker, fond of the old woman, who walked over to the bed and called the old woman’s name loudly enough to interrupt the others’ light conversation.  She examined the old woman’s hands, lifted the sheet covering her and looked at her legs and feet.  She called the old woman’s name again, and the care worker’s face showed alarm.

How long has it been? she asked.  She’s not even mottling! (Mottling is the term given to describe the blackening of the feet and hands as the body, dehydrating, tries to preserve the vital organs by stopping the flow of blood to the limbs).

You know, continued the care worker, I don’t think it’s her time.  It’s been, what, five days?  If she had been ready to go, she’d have gone in 24 hours.The room went quiet.  The care worker and I looked at each other.  You’re right, I said.  The eldest daughter and one of the nurses began to tell her she was wrong, and a nurse hustled her out of the room.

By the sixth night I was not sure I could go on.  I slept for an hour or so every four or five hours. I still sat in the chair by her bed, but now I slept with my head on bed, near her stomach.

The old woman’s breathing was laboured, her will to live defying the system and the foolish young doctor who, on that first night, gave her 24 hours to live, as though he were God Himself.

My heart was breaking for her.  I could do nothing to save her, could do nothing but suffer with her.  I cried much of the time, but softly, so she would not know.  I didn’t want to add to her agony.

I had been there six days.  She could no longer hold my hand, so I slipped my hand gently under hers.  I felt an anguish so profound that I began to wonder if I could survive it.

The old woman’s breathing was suddenly no longer laboured.  Her breath eased from her, and her face – oh, her face had become the colour of pearls.

In a split second, the frown that had creased the line between her brows was smoothed away.  Her head rested gently to one side.  Two care workers entered the room.  I saw them in my peripheral vision, but I kept my gaze on the old woman. We’re just going to turn her, one of the workers said.

No, I said, my mother is dying.

One of them left to get a nurse, and then the old woman – my dear mother, my little, child-like, beautiful mother – died.

I put my arms round her, kissed her poor, closed eyes and her now relaxed mouth, and held her limp, tiny body, no more struggling for breath.

I watched an old woman die of hunger and thirst.  I watched her die for six days and nights.  I watched her suffer, and struggle, and hold onto life.

She had not often found life easy, but she had always found it worthwhile.  She was 94 years old.  She had been born and had lived all her life in Canada.  She had worked hard all her life, married, raised three children, voted, paid taxes, saved enough money to buy her own home, obeyed the laws, donated to charity, done volunteer work, paid her bills, and given much love and brought much joy to many, many people in her 94 years.

In return, in the spring of 2009, her son and her eldest daughter, with the permission and assistance of the law, because this old woman had had a mild stroke, refused her food and water.  She could not swallow, so she would have needed the food and water administered artificially.

And the youngest daughter could do nothing except watch her mother die slowly, and write this, in the hope that my mother’s death, like her life, will have made a difference.

LifeNews.com Note:  Kate Kelly writes for Human Life Alliance. Reprinted with permission.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deathpanels; euthanasia; moralabsolutes; prolife; terrischiavo
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This is too awful for words.
1 posted on 09/13/2011 4:08:13 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: cgk; Coleus; cpforlife.org; narses; Salvation; 8mmMauser
Pro-Life Ping
2 posted on 09/13/2011 4:09:07 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: BykrBayb; floriduh voter; Lesforlife; amdgmary; Sun
Ping
3 posted on 09/13/2011 4:09:50 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: 185JHP; 230FMJ; AKA Elena; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; Amos the Prophet; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


4 posted on 09/13/2011 4:10:33 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

I’m sure each of them has put it in writing that that’s what they want their kids to do to them. Right? Huh?


5 posted on 09/13/2011 4:10:47 PM PDT by bgill (There, happy now?)
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To: wagglebee

If I am stuck in bed and people are starving me to death, I hope that aomeone will stick a loaded gun in my hand. I pray that I will have enough strength to aim it and pull the trigger-

and shoot the SOB’s that are starving me to death.


6 posted on 09/13/2011 4:13:30 PM PDT by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: wagglebee
This is too awful for words.

And yet you wallow in it.

7 posted on 09/13/2011 4:15:45 PM PDT by Misterioso (The worst law is better than bureaucratic tyranny. (Ludwig von Mises)
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To: wagglebee

I’m wondering why the youngest daughter didn’t try going to court to have a guardian appointed for her mother?


8 posted on 09/13/2011 4:19:12 PM PDT by mewzilla (Forget a third party. We need a second one.)
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To: wagglebee

Yep, the Nazis did this to all of their “useless eaters”. Did it the same way at first as well, starved them to death. Then decide that it was more efficient to gas them instead. Give it 5 or 10 more years and they’ll be doing the same here as well as it will be more “humane”. Our brave new world awaits!


9 posted on 09/13/2011 4:19:25 PM PDT by trapped_in_LA
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To: wagglebee

I would be at total war with my family members over this.

I certainly wouldn’t be in a state to be allowed at my parent’s bedside. And my brother and sister would never be able to speak to me again, because every time I saw their face, they would get holy h*ll.


10 posted on 09/13/2011 4:24:23 PM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: wagglebee
My mother passed away after a valiant fight with Alzheimer's. Her final episode was a massive heart attack that took her in a few hours. My siblings (two brothers and a sister) believed in death with dignity. They thought Terri Schaivo’s death was the right thing to do. I told them that they were projecting. Maybe that's what they might want in her situation but it was unlikely that's what Terri would have wanted. I asked which one of them would ‘assist’ if Mom wanted to ‘die with dignity’? No answer. I told them not to worry. Mom had always valued life and she would NEVER ask one of her children to ‘assist in her death’. I find the Death Culture appalling. I hope all those who deny lifesaving help to those who want help will someday suffer like those on whom they impose their will.
11 posted on 09/13/2011 4:27:02 PM PDT by originalbuckeye
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To: mewzilla

Perhaps the mother had appointed her son as her legal guardian? It is also tough when it’s two against one. I am heartbroken for this daughter.


12 posted on 09/13/2011 4:28:38 PM PDT by originalbuckeye
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To: wagglebee

Morphine is an Opiate it will make you very
constipated and will kill you in the end.

My father died like that but it took weeks.


13 posted on 09/13/2011 4:36:52 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: mewzilla

“Mild Stroke Leads to Mother’s Starvation”

OK, I’m the youngest daughter, and I’m watching this horror inflicted on my mother. I write a heart wretching article and refer to her as “an old woman” as I sit there and hold her hand?
This article reeks of fraud. If that were my mother, you can bet I would take that hospital and everyone envolved apart piece by piece to rescue her, and if I had to spend the rest my days in jail for it, no way in hell I would do nothing!!!

If you think there is any possibility someone in your family would be murdered in this way, get them out of that facility, get them home, get the best in-home care you can get, and take care of them yourself! No matter how primitive your home care may be, it will be worlds better than death by dehydration and starvation! And you will spend the rest of your days with a clear conscience knowing you did your best!


14 posted on 09/13/2011 4:37:31 PM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: Nachum

+1


15 posted on 09/13/2011 4:38:31 PM PDT by waterhill (Little 'r' republican:)
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To: bgill

I’m sure each of them has put it in writing that that’s what they want their kids to do to them. Right? Huh?

I’m sure each of them has put it in writing that that’s what they want their kids to do to them. Right? Huh?

I’m sure each of them has put it in writing that that’s what they want their kids to do to them. Right? Huh?

Bears repeating!!!!!


16 posted on 09/13/2011 4:39:30 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Happiness is a choice)
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To: wagglebee

Interesting about the morphine. However there are some people who are dying from cancer that require the morphine every 3-4 hours to keep their pain down. This is a sad case but there are legitimate reasons to give morphine every 3-4 hours.


17 posted on 09/13/2011 4:39:59 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: netmilsmom
I’m sure each of them has put it in writing that that’s what they want their kids to do to them. Right? Huh?

Some people do. Without going into personal details, some very close relatives of mine signed advance directives specifying that, under certain circumstances, they were to be denied food and water and given only pain medication.

18 posted on 09/13/2011 4:44:58 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: wagglebee

Man I want them to feed me.

If I become incontinent, my mind is blown with alzheimers, my body filled with bed sores,, gasping for breath, I want my family to spend every dime they have to keep me alive so I can suffer. I don’ want any of them to get a penny’s inheritance, I want it all spent with the nursing home keeping me alive in a vegetative state.I ant my two daughters to have to come and watch me waste away in pain from terminal cancer or whatever else I have, just feed me, If I cannot eat, dose me up with that liquid crap they put in my veins that keeps me alive so my kids can take time away from their families to watch me die after eating for a long time.If I am totally useless, have no mind, have no chance of recovery, just keep feeding me until they go broke , the government goes broke, and then bury me with the $200 dollars Social security gives for the purpose.

Yeah thats the way I want to go, lying there with my family grieving for me every day and saying what a sad case I am waiting to die.


19 posted on 09/13/2011 4:46:50 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: wagglebee

Been here, done this, watched my mom die from degenerative brain disease...she appeared not to know anybody for months as her body shut its own self down, her feet had been almost black for a week...and then one day out of the blue she clamped her jaws and fought the food and wouldn’t or couldn’t swallow.

We did keep feeding intravenously as long as her eyes opened and let shaved ice melt on her tongue. We didn’t know what she knew inside those blank eyes. The last day as the gray veil came over her face and the doc said pneumonia, how do you want to handle this. We allowed him to take the tube away, but kept the shaved ice coming as long as she’d hold it on her tongue.

We sat and visited, and we all gave her permission to go when she’s ready and too tired to fight. And then she closed her eyes, but the breaths kept coming. On the last two or three, I know this sounds morbid, but my older brother bent over to his Mom’s ear and said, “I know, you’re getting even with me now aren’t ya for torturing your precious daughters.” We all just burst out laughing...and then we looked at Mom saw those same pearls light her face, and said, ‘Go home, Mom. Go to Daddy.’ And she did.

One of my spiritual guru type high school friends who had come in to see if we needed coffee, leaned over and said, “The angels are there in the corner to take your Mom, and your Dad’s there with them.” Wished I could’ve seen that.

I don’t know how anybody could deny the parent sustenance as long as they are willing. Can you imagine saying, ‘OK God, let’s get this show on the road, I’m done with this, come get her! Oh geebus....


20 posted on 09/13/2011 4:56:31 PM PDT by RowdyFFC
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To: wagglebee

OK - I’m just going to say it.....there is a complete difference between proactively “killing” someone and simply allowing their body to die.

Before feeding tubes existed, many people, including my grandfather, passed away because they could not take in enough nutrition to maintain life. If this woman had been given a feeding tube and an IV, her body might have been kept alive for a few more days but she was not going to suddenly recover. Dying is a natural process and it will happen to every single one of us. Denying that reality and keeping alive a loved one’s body because you are not ready to let them go is just as wrong as “assisted suicide”.

Both put human beings into the role of being God. I am completely pro-life but if anyone stuck a feeding tube into me when God was trying to take me home, I’d be livid and my family is well aware of my wishes!

I am sorry for your loss - it is never easy to lose a parent.


21 posted on 09/13/2011 5:01:48 PM PDT by VikingMom (I may not know what the future holds but I know who holds the future!)
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To: Venturer; Dr. Brian Kopp; trisham; DJ MacWoW; little jeremiah; Coleus; narses; Lesforlife; ...
Man I want them to feed me.

If I become incontinent, my mind is blown with alzheimers, my body filled with bed sores,, gasping for breath, I want my family to spend every dime they have to keep me alive so I can suffer. I don’ want any of them to get a penny’s inheritance, I want it all spent with the nursing home keeping me alive in a vegetative state.I ant my two daughters to have to come and watch me waste away in pain from terminal cancer or whatever else I have, just feed me, If I cannot eat, dose me up with that liquid crap they put in my veins that keeps me alive so my kids can take time away from their families to watch me die after eating for a long time.If I am totally useless, have no mind, have no chance of recovery, just keep feeding me until they go broke , the government goes broke, and then bury me with the $200 dollars Social security gives for the purpose.

Yeah thats the way I want to go, lying there with my family grieving for me every day and saying what a sad case I am waiting to die.

It costs less than $2000 a month to feed someone with an IV and give them ice chips. The average elderly person gets more than this from Social Security.

Are you planning to try out for one of Zero's death panel commercials?

22 posted on 09/13/2011 5:02:26 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Nachum

” . . and shoot the SOB’s that are starving me to death.”

Heh. It’s hard to laugh after reading this story; but you did manage to make me laugh. Ha! I was expecting your second sentence to be as follows: “and take myself out.”
You threw me for a funny loop! Thanks for that!

Boy,I dread the day if or when we face my MIL’s impending death. SIL and BIL have most likely thought she would have already been dead ten years ago. SIL is a German; and I don’t look forward to those two calling the shots. Husband is afraid to get ten inches away from his mother. I think he’s afraid she will die and he won’t be there to stop it or make decisions about her. Don’t know if he trusts them or not. So, we don’t vacation any distance any more.


23 posted on 09/13/2011 5:03:20 PM PDT by Twinkie (THE "TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY" PARTY IS US !!!!)
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To: wagglebee

I’m assuming these “nurses” are super-cocksure that there’s no pain in dying of thirst under morphine, since they’ve tried it for 5 or more days.

Right?


24 posted on 09/13/2011 5:07:28 PM PDT by ROTB (Christian sin breeds enemies for the USA. If you're a Christian, stop sinning.)
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To: wagglebee

Thank you.

I have to go cry hard now.

I want God to intervene and change this culture of death. How long can this descent into hell continue?


25 posted on 09/13/2011 5:08:03 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: VikingMom; Dr. Brian Kopp; trisham; DJ MacWoW; little jeremiah; Coleus; narses; Lesforlife; ...
OK - I’m just going to say it.....there is a complete difference between proactively “killing” someone and simply allowing their body to die.

You're right, giving a person increasing amounts of morphine while depriving hydration and nutrition IS proactively killing them.

Before feeding tubes existed, many people, including my grandfather, passed away because they could not take in enough nutrition to maintain life.

Feeding tubes have been in use for over five centuries, the only real advancement is non-allergenic plastics.

Both put human beings into the role of being God. I am completely pro-life but if anyone stuck a feeding tube into me when God was trying to take me home, I’d be livid and my family is well aware of my wishes!

So, using medical advances that God allowed us to develop is "being God."?

If your child had a ruptured appendix would you take them to the hospital to have it removed or is that "being God"?

Have you ever taken antibiotics or is that "being God"?

What about blood pressure medication, vitamins, checking blood pressure and cholesterol levels, do you do any of this or is that also "being God"?

I am sorry for your loss - it is never easy to lose a parent.

I'm not the author of this.

26 posted on 09/13/2011 5:08:42 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: ROTB
If you recall, we were assured when Terri was being murdered that slowly being starved and dehydrated to death and given suffocating amounts of morphine in a 100 degree room with no humidity is "euphoric."
27 posted on 09/13/2011 5:11:08 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: VikingMom

The old lady was thirsty. She wanted to drink. She was conscious. She wasn’t dying. She only died because they starved and thirsted her to death.

I took care of my mother for months while she was under hospice care and finally when her body was ready to die, she didn’t want to eat or drink, it was gradual, but it happened naturally.

This was not a natural death. It was murder. The woman wanted nutrition.

That is the difference, and it is a huge, huge difference.

My heart is breaking from reading this. I can hardly see to type. Murder by starvation and thirst is totally different from the natural death when the mortal body can no longer process nutrition and the person doesn’t want it any more.

Anyone who has seen a natural death knows the difference, as I have, and I am sure anyone like this poor helpless daughter, who has seen murder by starvation, knows the difference.

How much longer will this culture of death continue!


28 posted on 09/13/2011 5:14:03 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: wagglebee
It is.

My mother in law stroked, and for water they were giving her some kind of WATER GEL, yuk. It was awful, and she hated it. They said water may asperiate her. SO:

When I was there, I got a glass of crushed ICE and gave it to her a chip at a time, she was so grateful and would not let me stop, so thirsty. They caught me doing this, and chewed me out. Mother in law kinda smiling, they told me if she gave a waiver and not hold them responsible, I could continue. That's what she did.

We all knew that she was not to live long, and she wanted water. She never asperiated.

I believe in dignity, and would do it again.

29 posted on 09/13/2011 5:16:51 PM PDT by annieokie
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To: Venturer

Read much?

http://spiritlessons.com/mary_k_baxter_a_divine_revelation_of_hell.htm


30 posted on 09/13/2011 5:18:32 PM PDT by ROTB (Christian sin breeds enemies for the USA. If you're a Christian, stop sinning.)
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To: wagglebee

God bless this daughter


31 posted on 09/13/2011 5:18:54 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: wagglebee

LOL add that $2,000 to the $5,000 you are already paying at the nursing home and it adds up.

I believe the decision should be left to the family and their decision should not be questioned by people who disagree.

I watched my mother in law with Alzhaeimers she wasted away slowly dying in increments ,slowly getting to the point where she could not eat and passing into unconsciousness, she could have lasted a few days longer had they fed her throught tubes. For what? Why put her throught that?

No )(I am dead set against Obamacare and letting the Government let me dies for lack of medical attention they refuse to pay for, but when my time comes do not make special efforts to keep me around. When I cannot eat through my own mouth and cannot wipe my own butt, I will be ready to go. I do not want to lie around like a veggie.

My family has better thing to do than coming to visit a veggie at the nursing home every day. I might add that if you have a loved one in the nursing home VISIT them EVERY day or the care they get will not be the best. I know that from bitter experience.


32 posted on 09/13/2011 5:20:39 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: Twinkie
So, we don’t vacation any distance any more.

That's a tough one. We took care of my wife's 100+ year old grand mother for about a year, so I kind of know what you mean. Hang in there.

33 posted on 09/13/2011 5:26:23 PM PDT by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: wagglebee

My husband, who is a former cop, upon learning he has Alzheimer’s and Parkinson, threatened to kill himself. I immediately got rid of his guns. He has said many times that he’d rather be dead than have this horrible disease. Against his wishes, I do what I can to keep him comfortable and alive. His Living Will states that he is a DNR and wants only comfort care. As his wife, the decision for me is unbearable. He is in the latter stage, but is still at home. I imagine him to be in a nursing home by winter because I cannot handle him by myself. I cannot and will not judge another’s decision, because I am so unsure of myself, and the right thing to do when the time comes. It’s all about him, but I am the one who has to live with the consequences.


34 posted on 09/13/2011 5:32:02 PM PDT by Jaidyn
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To: Lurking Libertarian

“Without going into personal details, some very close relatives of mine signed advance directives specifying that, under certain circumstances, they were to be denied food and water and given only pain medication.”

I have signed that type of advance directive and have talked to my wife and my sister about my wishes. If I am dying and in pain I want to be made comfortable. I am not afraid of death since I am saved.


35 posted on 09/13/2011 5:32:41 PM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: wagglebee

I call bullshit! I’m the youngest son. No one, I repeat, no one is gonna kill my mother. I don’t give a fat, rat’s ass what the doctors or oldest brother think. I’ll go to Hell before I’d allow what this woman allowed.


36 posted on 09/13/2011 5:34:39 PM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: WestwardHo

I find it hard to believe as well, but some years back, a similar thing happened to a relative of mine. She had just one child — quite the fool, that child — to make the medical decisions. The fool did what the doctors suggested and the parent died slow and horrible.

You may wonder how the Germans could have done nothing, or how they could have actively assisted in the Holocaust.

We have among us people who would sit there watching their own parents die in the most inhumane manner. Ostensibly because some judge permitted it, and some medical practitioner swore it was painless.

I would take my parent home if it were a felony to do so and the home a fishing shack.


37 posted on 09/13/2011 5:36:03 PM PDT by Lady Lucky (Heavy the head that wears the tiara.)
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To: Nachum
She could not swallow, so she would have needed the food and water administered artificially.

All sorts of means have been invented to keep nourishment provided to the cells of a human body. We can keep one going with a heart, without lungs, without kidneys, without even a brain. Given the reach of technology, where should the line be drawn?

38 posted on 09/13/2011 5:43:19 PM PDT by Gunslingr3
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To: Gunslingr3

Whatever that line is, I don’t want it drawn by a committee.


39 posted on 09/13/2011 5:48:21 PM PDT by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: Lady Lucky
In the mid 1960's I worked in a state hospital for profoundly retarded a patients. I worked in the ICU.

This was before abortion was in full force. Our patients were the most pitiful bits of helpless humanity imaginable. Some, into their 'teens, were no larger than babies.

Because every ward was a "hospital" ward, they didn't come to ICU until they were terminally ill. Every patient was treated with compassion and mercy as if they were our own babies. The doctors hovered over them like mother hens. No one ever was denied fluids or nurishment until they passed.

This mercinary attitude towards dying family members is unspeakably evil. That medical people have come to be so unmerciful is wicked beyond words.

Be careful about signing away your rights to be treated mercifully until you've spent a few days without food and water. With morphine, thirst becomes intensified. Think about yourself in that bed, no longer allowed to speak for yourself.

In the end, this attitude makes us all a little less human. There are incredibly rich and wonderful life lessons to be gained by being the caregiver to someone you love in their greatest extremity.

40 posted on 09/13/2011 6:17:44 PM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: RnMomof7

What kind of society have we devolved into, when we sanction the purposed death of our most helpless victims? This is the cruelest of all cruelty. May God Bless this daughter, and awaken this nation.


41 posted on 09/13/2011 6:23:00 PM PDT by alamogal
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To: wagglebee

There is absolutely no comparison to having an appendix removed or taking antibiotics with what I was describing as acting like God. I am thankful for and completely appreciate the medical advances which allow someone who is ill to recover and continue with their life.

What I was specifically addressing was people who are unable to let a loved one go and insist upon every possible medical intervention, no matter how invasive or uncomfortable it may be. My husband is a firefighter/EMT and he has been made physically ill by being forced to do CPR on people who are in their 90s, have terminal cancer and dementia, but the families demand, “Save him!”. The poor patient is put through massive trauma simply to restart a heart that was trying to stop...that’s what I was referring to in my post.

I do not know all of the facts surrounding this woman’s death - if we were able to hear from the son and the older daughter, we might have gotten a different set of facts. I have a dear friend who was the only one to accept that his mother was dying of congestive heart failure - his siblings were in denial and kept insisting that she just needed her “meds regulated”. When the mother did pass away, he was the only one who had said his goodbyes. Maybe the mother in this story had an advance directive and they were following HER wishes. The daughter indicates that she had a mild stroke - but maybe it was more than that. Stroke recovery/therapy at that age is extremely difficult and would have been exacerbated by her dementia.

I am really not trying to provoke a fight but I felt like there were details that this article didn’t include and I don’t think the issue is quite as black and white as the author painted it.


42 posted on 09/13/2011 6:48:22 PM PDT by VikingMom (I may not know what the future holds but I know who holds the future!)
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To: VikingMom

I completely agree with you. There comes a time when we need to know “when to say when”. I truly believe that God can work a miracle with or without a feeding tube.
My mom died and prior to her death made it implicitly clear that she did not want a fee ding tube. We used a syringe to give her liquids and fed her applesauce until she rejected everything.She did not suffer and we honored her wishes.


43 posted on 09/13/2011 7:00:54 PM PDT by copwife (All God's creatures have a place in the choir!)
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To: wagglebee

I think I would be in prison sometime during the course of this abuse. I would not be able to be a good soldier. This is beastly.


44 posted on 09/13/2011 7:58:36 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Jaidyn

My sympathies to you in an incredibly difficult situation.

I can’t give you advice because I am not in your position but I can say that I will pray that God will give you peace as you make very difficult decisions. Your husband’s life is in God’s hands and nothing that you do will change the will of God so don’t beat yourself up!


45 posted on 09/13/2011 8:00:31 PM PDT by VikingMom (I may not know what the future holds but I know who holds the future!)
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To: Venturer

Well then do a living will and you will not have to worry about it.


46 posted on 09/13/2011 8:42:25 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: wagglebee

It is indeed.


47 posted on 09/13/2011 8:49:27 PM PDT by cycjec
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To: WestwardHo

I assume that the brother or other sister had power of attorney and the younger sister, the writer, could legally do nothing.


48 posted on 09/13/2011 9:57:22 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: Georgia Girl 2

Got one, also I might add that if you go in a nursing hom sign a DNR order. Do not Resuscitate.


49 posted on 09/14/2011 4:12:26 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: wagglebee

If you recall, we were assured when Terri was being murdered that slowly being starved and dehydrated to death and given suffocating amounts of morphine in a 100 degree room with no humidity is “euphoric.”

***

I don’t recall, but I’ll take your word for it.

The “nurses” should try it themselves. Seems like it would be a pretty interesting experiment for someone to do for 5 days, and publish some videos of how they actually feel on the prescribed doses sans water and food, to see if it is painful.

Heck, PETA would be up in arms if someone simulated and videoed and published a “partial birth abortion” on a living dog. They’d flip, instantly.


50 posted on 09/14/2011 9:54:10 AM PDT by ROTB (Christian sin breeds enemies for the USA. If you're a Christian, stop sinning, and spread the Word..)
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