Thursday, March 31, 2005

R.I.P.



Terri Shiavo has passed away. I hope that she is at peace and that her family can find peace also.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

No Action from Federal Court



Both the United States District Court and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals have denied Terri Schiavo's parents' request for reinsertion of her feeding tube. It has now been over one hundred hours since Terri Shiavo has had any food or water. No one would let their dog die in this manner, yet some are willing to let another human being suffer.

No one really knows what Terri would have wanted. All we have is the hearsay testimony of her husband, his brother and his brother's wife. I get frustrated when I hear that this is a "right to die" case. I do not see it that way. Terri Schiavo is a brain damaged person -- damaged but not brain dead -- and she is not on life support. The feeding tube that supplied her nutrition was no different than the bottle that is given an infant. We have no proof, other than statements made by a party with conflicting interests, that Terri did not want to be kept alive.

The choice of when to withhold treatment/sustenance after a catastrophic event is the right of every person. That is why we have living wills and durable healthcare power of attorney documents (which everyone should have). When these documents are not available and when the injured person's wishes cannot be known isn't it better to err on the side of life?

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Long hiatus



I did not mean to take such a long break from posting, but sometimes life intervenes. Work has been very busy and I just have not had time to formulate any cohesive thoughts about the world around me -- at least not anything I wanted to put on the Internet!

But today's event surrounding Terri Shiavo have pulled me back to the computer. I honestly do not understand why the Court is taking the stance that it is. In most cases, I agree that that the family members need to be the ones making the decisions about end of life issues. However, in this case it does not appear that the Terri's husband is the right person to make these decisions. He has too much to gain by letting her die. He will gain what is left of the money left from the medical malpractice suits. He could easily divorce Terri and let her parents/siblings care for her and move on with his life. He claims that she told him she did not want to live in these conditions, but there is only his word that she said this.

The most suspicious thing to me is the timing of his actions. Terri was undergoing rehabilitation and getting good treatment throughout the course of the malpractice suits. It was only after the money was in the husband's hands that he mentioned Terri would have wanted to die. It was only then that rehabilitation stopped. It was only then that he cut her parents off from getting medical updates from the staff. It would do no harm to have an independent doctor evaluate Terri to see what her actual condition is -- if she is truly in a persistant vegetative state or not. But that might reveal something that the husband does not want the world to know.

So instead a woman is going to die a painful, slow death.

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