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These poor folks.

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  • These poor folks.

    Fla. Doctors Remove Woman's Feeding Tube
    By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer

    PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — The feeding tube keeping a severely brain-damaged woman alive was removed Wednesday, all but ending an epic, 10-year legal battle between her husband and her parents.

    Terri Schiavo, 39, had the tube removed at the Tampa Bay-area hospice where she has lived for several years, said her father, Bob Schindler. Attorneys representing her husband, Michael Schiavo, said it will take between a week and 10 days for her to die.

    The parents want Terri Schiavo to live, and her husband says she would rather die. She has been in a vegetative state since 1990, when her heart stopped because of what doctors said may have been a chemical imbalance.

    Bob Schindler said he and his wife, Mary, went in to see their daughter shortly after the tube was removed and gave her a kiss and hugged her. He said his daughter was not as responsive as they claim she normally has been.

    "She's OK for the next couple of days," said Suzanne Carr, Terri Schiavo's sister. "We are just going to try to work some magic."

    "I have to believe that somebody is doing something, somewhere to stop this judicial homicide," she said.

    Michael Schiavo and his attorney George Felos were not immediately available for comment after the removal of the tube.

    Several right-to-die cases across the nation have been fought in the courts in recent years, but few, if any, have been this drawn-out and bitter. The tangled case has already been handled by 19 separate judges and the tube has been ordered removed three times. At one point 2001, the tube was removed for two days before a judge ordered feeding to be resumed based on new evidence.

    About 100 protesters stood outside the hospice Wednesday in what has become a 24-hour vigil staged by advocates for the disabled and anti-abortion activists.

    Wednesday's removal came just hours after Gov. Jeb Bush told the Schindlers that he was instructing his legal staff to find some means to block a court order allowing Michael Schiavo to end his wife's life. But even the family's lawyer has said their legal remedies have been exhausted.

    "I am not a doctor, I am not a lawyer. But I know that if a person can be able to sustain life without life support, that should be tried," the governor said, adding the "ultimate decision of this is in the courts."

    Family members held out hope that they could save her life and were heartened by the governor's last-minute effort.

    "The family has not given up hope on Terri," the woman's brother, Bob Schindler Jr., said following a meeting with Bush. "We have spoken to the governor, and he hasn't given up hope either."

    Schiavo's family members believe she is capable of learning how to eat and drink on her own and say she has shown signs of trying to communicate and could be rehabilitated.

    Michael Schiavo says he is carrying out his wife's wishes that she not be kept alive artificially.

    Felos has said that the Schindlers were "still in denial" over Terri Schiavo's wishes not to be kept alive with the tube, an IV-like device that pumps food and water into her stomach.

    Doctors have testified that the noises and facial expressions Terri Schiavo makes are reflexes and do not indicate that she has enough mental capabilities to communicate with others.
    The Florida Supreme Court (news - web sites) has twice refused to hear the case, and it also has been rejected for review by the U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites). On Tuesday, a Florida appeals court again refused to block removal of the tube.

    The Schindlers first sought to remove Michael Schiavo as his wife's guardian in 1993 after a falling out over her medical care. They say he now has a conflict of interest because he is engaged to another woman and they have a child together.

    The family has also leveled allegations that Michael Schiavo has abused Terri Schiavo, although the accusations have not been substantiated.

    Michael Schiavo has refused to divorce his wife, saying that he fears her parents would ignore her desire to die if they became her guardians.

  • #2
    It sounds like the parents are really clinging to their daughter. It was hard watching my auntie suffer for every breath and to be in constant pain. I wonder how hard it must be for them to watch their daughter just lie there. It's been over 9 years. How much longer will they let her be kept like that? Personally, I don't think it's fair to her. Do ya think she'd want her life that way? I doubt it. I say... they should let go. Hang on to memories and times they had with her... and to let her cross over. Sometimes letting go is the hardest thing to do.

    But that's just me.
    Last edited by Miss_Nish; 10-15-2003, 09:00 PM.
    ~* Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you're up to *~


    • #3
      I tend to agree. But it makes me sad for all of them involved. That would be terribly difficult to let go, especially if there is a doubt that she could not sustain herself. I wonder why, though, they have not tried this in all these years? (Teaching her to feed herself, if she can.)

      Then the husband. . .it really touched me at the end when it said he would not divorce her because he didn't want her parents to make these choices. This man's life has been on hold (to an extent) for ten years! He has a new love and a child with her, but they all have to be understanding about how he feels regarding his wife. WOW! No one is going to win in that situation. :(


      • #4
        One criteria for determining if a person ina persistant vegitative
        state can recover to some degree is "brain death". If there is no
        electrical activity from the brain, then the person has no chance of
        recovery at all; the doctors keeping that person "alive" with
        machines are just ventilating an unburied corpse. If there is some
        activity from the brain, the question becomes more difficult.
        Personally, I believe that the doctors should go along with the
        patient's instructions given while they were still competant. (e.g. a
        "living will".) If the person says "no machines" their wishes
        should be respected. To force treatment on an unwilling patient
        with no hope of recovery, and then make their family pay for it--
        possibly forcing them into bankruptcy and even homelessness--
        is obscene.


        • #5
          unbelievable! I just don't understand why you would do that to somone. If her heart stopped & she had severe brain damage, she would've passed a long time ago w/out the machines & feeding tubes right? I just don't get how her family could fight for keeping her alive in that condition, it's so unatural.

          I also agree that a patients wishes should be acknowledged, regardless of the families position. Her husband is doing the right thing, keeping somone in that vegitative state for well over 10yrs is just wrong. How unfortunate.
          *BE EASY*


          • #6
            This is a terrible situation for all involved. But I think letting her starve and dehydrate to death is unhumane. She is not kept alive on machines. The only thing artificial is the feeding tube which delivers food and liquids to her.

            Now her real suffering begins as it will take up to 10 days for her to starve to death.:(
   is what it is...


            • #7
              .... the medical feeld does do that starve and dehydrate her.... but i reckon they will just load her up with morfin to stop any pain to her until finally the body just dies..... they did this to a close family member of mine..... no tubes no nothin..... just the morfin it took about 3 days.... not the full 10..... :(
              Never squat naked in spurs


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