Terri Schiavo’s Case

For the past week I have been trying to form an opinion about this case and I cannot come up with a concrete one. I have heard about this case for a while now. If you do not know about this case you can read this article in CNN, it also has a link in the sidebar to a very informative timeline.

I see the positives of this whole ordeal that is being played by the news over and over being only that more families now have to discuss one of the more difficult topics. Death. I have always wanted to be cremated once I live this world, but a loved one brought up a good point… what about a place to go visit you afterwards. It is a morbid though but it did make me reconsider my decision of being cremated. I think it is important to let your loved ones know what your wishes are, such as being an organ an tissue donor as well if you want to sign a DNR (Do not resuscitate).

Terri’s case is complicated, we are not in the position that the family is. While the husband has the legal backing by being the guardian, I see how the parents can feel that she should stay alive if they see a hope for cure. If the hope for cure that has been presented by doctors is just a legal move to reinsert the feeding tube, then I feel that the parents are being a little selfish by not letting this women move on and rest in peace. If there are doctors out there that really believe that there is hope for her, I think they should be very careful with that prognosis. What should be considered a real chance, 5% 1%. I know that I would have a hard time making this decision for a loved one, but I am quick to say that I would not want to be kept alive artificially for a long period of time. Quality of live and dignity should count for something. Also that people need to live on, not stop their lives. There is a saying that we used back in Colombia that is someone cold, but true. “The dead to the tomb and the living to the party.” I have also really admired that the Irish celebrate death by having an all out party after the funeral. I would like that to happen the day I leave this world, all my friends and family just drinking to my honor and having a good time. I would like to remember for the fun that I had and not mourned.

The other side to all of this is that, it is kind of sad that the media is spending so much time in this case. Every day people have to make this kind of decision for a family member. I know this because there is someone actually close to someone I know that is close to passing away. A couple of days ago 45 people died in Iraq and our media still covering this case more than those deaths. I am not making a judgment call here for Terri, but if it were I, my tube would have been removed already.

10 Responses to Terri Schiavo’s Case

  1. LIke you I have mixed feelings about it. I don’t think she deserves to pass away from starving to death…sounds rather painful.

    I also worry about passing laws for one person. That gets kind of scary IMHO.

  2. And I will come up with some interview questiosn for you in my blog in the next couple of days.

  3. Found your site via Becky’s comments. Just wanted to say that you can have your ashes put in a columbarium at a church or cemetary, unless you want to be scattered somewhere. I work at a church, and I’ve known more people to buy the columbarium forms than to say that they’d like to be scattered someplace. Then again, if there is a particular place you’d like to be scattered (for instance, my mother chose a specific mountain she’ll one day be scattered on), you will always have that place. Like I’d be able to visit that entire mountain and hopefully feel her presence. At least that’s what I’m hoping for.

  4. Some points to ponder:

    This isn’t a case of a ‘right to die’. Terry Schiavo was not dying. Her heart beats on it’s own, her lungs take in and expel air, she is not attached to any machines whatsoever. Even her feeding tube was not inserted 24 hours a day, rather only at specific feeding times. She has limited but obvious responses to her family, she is not brain dead, and other than her diminished brain function she is otherwise a healthy woman.

    Her husband is the only person who claims that she once stated she would not want to be kept alive artificially, but that is hearsay, which according to our judicial process is not acceptable in a court of law. If hearsay is not allowed in the criminal process, how is it acceptable in this case?

    If she were in pain and suffering, I would be strongly of the opinion to end her suffering with as much comfort and dignity as the medical profession is capable of, and I believe that artificially prolonging someone’s life when death is already imminent and inevitable is futile and unnecessarily cruel; but her death was not and has not been imminent, she is not in pain, and as she has no recognition of her own condition, in what way would she be considered to be suffering? Because she doesn’t live with the same abilities as you and I? But neither does a paraplegic, or a person who is blind.

    There are thousands upon thousands who have moderate to severely diminished mental capacity, in institutions and hospices throughout the world, but we would never have the thought to end their lives because of their disabilities. One person who felt the disabled should be killed was Adolph Hitler and his regime did just that, sending 250,000 mentally and physically disabled persons to the gas chambers because they did not fit his criteria of “normal”. The world once thought of it as deplorable, have we changed so much since then, and if so, what does that say about us?

    One last thought: Since Terry Schiavo is not in pain or suffering, what is the harm in allowing her to live? In allowing her parents and siblings to care for her, to show her love, and provide her comforts as they so dearly wish to do? Where is the harm?

    Terry Schiavo was able to live because a feeding tube would allow her body to absorb nutrients, just as chewing and swallowing allows the same ability to sustain life for all of us. Somehow I just don’t see that difference as to how she receives her nutrition as an indication of being kept alive artificially, any more than I would consider insulin as keeping a diabetic alive artificially though without it the diabetic would surely die.

    No easy answers, are there? :(

  5. Hi there — I’m guessing you came over from one of my favorite dudes, Michael? Thanks for commenting today, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Your comment about marrying your best friend was so sweet.

    My step-dad was cremated, and like Bekah mentioned, is interred at a columbarium. It is kind of weird to stand next to a wall, but that’s what he wanted (he’s at a Veteran’s cemetary), so I respect that. My mom will join him in there when her time comes.

  6. 01. I have a DNR and a living will — no extreme measures are to be taken to save me in any instance. My sister has promised to make sure I die with my dignity intact and promised not to let the medical professionals keep me alive if the quality of my life is going to be dismal.

    02. I’m donating my body to LSU Medical School so the young med students have a real cadaver to learn on. When they are done they will cremate me and send my remains to my family. My family will scatter my ashes in Carmel, CA. I don’t want my remains left in a jar, in a crypt, on a shelf, in the dark … Ashes to ashes and dust to dust — I’d rather become one with the sea and the shore — what could be more natural?

    03. I am going to scatter my mother’s ashes in the coming weeks in California. No, there will be no place to visit her. However, although some people think it odd and morbid, I have a bit of her remains inside of a locket that I never, ever take off. In my home I have a sort of casual altar. I have my parent’s pictures there, my grandmother’s pic and Mr. Man’s parents pics. I keep a candle lit and usually have fresh flowers there as well. I don’t need a place to go visit them — they live in my home and in my heart.

    04. Before I signed any papers I told Mr. Man what my wishes were. I believe Terri did the same and I don’t believe her parents or the government should be involved in any decisions. The goverment is fighting to save Terri but they are allowing hundreds of thousands of the disabled and the elderly go untreated and without meds. What’s wrong with that picture?

    I’ve rambled enough — it’s a very hot topic, John.

  7. Just a reader

    Again, I see people projecting their thoughts onto this poor woman, when we have NO idea what she wanted. So Michael, her husband, says “she wanted to die if like this”. Interesting. Why is it that hearsay is not submissible in court, but this is a HUGE case of hearsay?

    I read the comment about being ‘left in a jar’. How tacky. In fact, I found that entire comment tacky.

    Moi… I agree with you on everything you’ve said. You have stated it beautifully.

  8. Terri, how are you doing? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
    Terri, what do you want to do today? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
    Terri, was it a good day laying there? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
    Seems like a great way to live the rest of your life!

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  10. Hi. Beautiful content and website design. Sorry for my english. I am from albania.

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