Skip navigation.

If you were Terri Schiavo, would you want your feeding tube pulled?

Is Terri Schiavo even compete

Is Terri Schiavo even competent? Can she think? Make decisions? Maybe the questions should be, "If you were Terri Shiavo, would you have any idea what was going on around you?"

The Poll - begs an Interesting Question About Assisted Suicide

I've been reading comments around here for some time and I thought I finally had something interesting to say (although after reading this I am sure that MANY of you will beg to differ on that point) if you agree that if you were Shiavo and would want your feeding tube pulled aren't you, in fact, supporting doctor-assisted suicide?
Now, I know that many of you are going to argue that this is different, that affirmatively ending one's life is different than refusing medical treatment. Isn't that the case here, if someone has enough cognitive functions to make it clear they want the feeding tube removed isn't that an affirmative measure in ending one's life? And since these things have to be essentially surgically removed (they're just not pushed in and pulled out) what's the difference between denying someone thus starving them to death and administrating poison? If, in fact, the patient gets the same intended result? I may think that the poison would be the more humane.
I really don't know where I come down on this issue, I am still thinking it through, but for those of us that think Schiavo should have the feeding tube removed aren't we just moving the country that much closer to supporting doctor-assisted suicide?
Something to think about!
Neal

Need for Advance Directive Orders

However sad, this case, at least, has one redeeming element, and that is people will now go out and get Advanced Directives, i.e. Living Wills, so there won't be a question as to the wishes of the patient. I can't help but think that had She had a living will we wouldn't be having this discussion right now.
Now the big issue is whether the husband is going to allow an autopsy on her after she passes, my money is that he doesn't allow it. Whether for nefarious reasons or not I think he's sick of this case being in the spotlight.
Of course if the Medical Examiner orders one it's out of his hands.

Neal

The pope.....

Now, just imagine the controversy that would ensue if his feeding tube were pulled.

I hope the Vatican has already taken care of those Advanced Directives.....

Sadly, she died today. While

Sadly, she died today. While I was completely in favor of her husband's right to make the decision, it's still a tragedy that this had to happen. She's now free from that prison of a body.

Since learning that Terri's father pulled the plug on his own mother, I have felt that there was a lot of hypocrisy there. I honestly believe Michael was honoring the wishes of Terri, and that her parents (and by all means, the government) had no right to interfere with that. I am quite sure that if something were to happen to me, my wife would make the right choice and my family would do something stupid.

My condolences go to her family. Even stupid people don't deserve to get things rubbed in their face.

No

She has no higher brain functions and most doctors agree that she is unable to even feel pain any longer. For all intents and purposes Terri Schiavo is dead and has been for quite some time.

I voted that I disagree with

I voted that I disagree with this question for this very reason. We have no way of ever attempting to understand what is going on inside Terri's mind, and with the situation right now we will never have the chance (we probably never would anyways...........)

If Terri is competent, I can't imagine that she would want to starve to death. That would have to be one of the most painful deaths imaginable.

Interesting...

But I think that being able to make that decision or not being able to is the difference between being alive and being 'dead'. If Terri had the cognitive ability to decide to have the tube pulled, I have to believe that she wouldn't. But since she is effectively 'dead', it is a very different situation.

By no definition of the word is Terri's case a 'suicide'. The vast majority of the doctors that have observed her would tell you that she died, more or less, 15 years ago, and everything that we see her doing now is purely physical response to stimuli.

re: dr. assisted suicide

I think there's a difference between doctor assisted suicide and the lack of medical intervention to allow a natural death. But granted, it's a fine line.

Humane: doing what's best for the "victim."

While I disagree with you, Ne

While I disagree with you, Neal that this is the same as doctor-assisted suicide, it does bring up a good point. It also introduces the topic of just how much the government should be allowed in peoples' business. Remember the Faith Healing controversy a few years ago, where parents were refusing medical treatment for their kids because they believed their faith would heal them. Does the government have any right to step in in Terri Shiavo's case? In Doctor-assisted suicide cases? In Faith-Healing cases?

Dead on, Neal

This is exactly the way I feel.

It's one thing to turn off artificial life support, it's another to starve someone.

I see the first as moral, the second and immoral.

It was announced today that h

It was announced today that her husband is going to make her autopsy public in an attempt to prove his side of the story, that she really was brain dead.

Persistent vegetables in the state of Florida

Apparently they've done brain scans, electical studies and stuff like that to determine that her higher brain function is nonexistent. They say stuff like her brain is overloaded by spinal fluid and that there is a lot of dead tissue up there. If those tests are being read correctly, then it is safe to assume that nothing is going on insdie of Terri's mind.

One day, when we are all up in the post-mortal realm, somebody can go up to Terri and ask her what the last 15 years of her "life" were like. Until then, I don't think we'll get a conclusive answer.

starving yourself

You've got a point that suicide isn't an option in Terri's case, but the scenario that (i believe) Neal is referring to is one in which someone makes this decision with an understanding of what they're doing ... i.e. years ahead of time like we're doing right now.

Isn't it suicide to starve yourself to death? (Even if you make the decision years ahead of time and have others carry it once you're in a out while you're in a vegetative state?)

I agree

Also her "husband" now has two children with another woman and should not be the one to make the decision, it should be her parents. It's not like he is looking for closure, because you don't go and start a new family when you are still in love with your wife.

is this true?

I've heard Terri was able to trace things with her eyes and smiled occasionally. Someone asked Randy Bott in my Sharing the Gospel class if Terri still had a Spirit within her. He seems to think she does. Does this mean, as far as our religion goes, that it wouldn't be right to let her starve? I'm just not really clear on what our religion believes as far as that goes I guess...

Interesting point for discussion

I've heard that too, but I wonder if (A) that it is the thoughts and hopes of the people that are close to her or (B) that people are willing to say anything to keep her around. Maybe what they are really saying is true... but if that was the case, wouldn't we have seen some sort of evidence to that point? It's pretty easy to come out of a room where you were the only one in it and say that you saw something, but if that were the case, wouldn't you take a video camera in the room and wait for it to happen again. Right there is your knock out evidence that what you are saying is right.

The other day I was talking with a friend and we were talking about whether the spirit still inhabits an "empty shell." If the brain is shutdown but the body still lives, is that person's spirit trapped in the body without escape, or has the spirit already left the body for the post-mortal realm? And if the spirit was trapped in what is essential an empty shell, why wouldn't we want to let it out of that body so that it could have some measure of freedom?