Thursday, March 31, 2005

It's finally over

Terri Schiavo has died.

Hopefully this will put an end to this particular chapter of the "right to life" debate. I sincerely doubt it, though. I suspect she will posthumously become the poster child for the cause, her husband will continue to be demonized by these people, and her parents will be portrayed as long suffering (which they are, but not for the reasons they should be) and devout.

It's my hope that everyone involved in this unfortunate situation will come to terms with both Terri's death and the actions of those on both sides of the debate. It would be too bad if this entire saga only resulted in more misunderstanding, mistrust, and anger.

68 Comments:

Blogger marvin said...

"Ignorance and fear" are usually reasons people tend not to believe in something, not reasons people CHOOSE to dedicate their entire lives to something. Skepticsism usually stems from those emotions...I'm happy to correct you Ben but extensive KNOWLEDGE, studying and great LOVE has driven me to have my relationship with the Lord just like any other relationship I choose to enter into...just the opposite.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a sad case. Both sides in pain and the media thinking they had the right to smear it across the TV screen for all to see, and definetly slanted to one side. This should wake up Americans to have a living will. Or is that what you really want? The government telling you when you when and where you can die? I see Terri Schiavo's case as hope for all those in terrible suffering, but can't end it because of an idiotic law or religious views that differ from their own. People, read the current article in Time magazine if you want to see the other side of suffering that truly exists for those who want to end their pain but can't. May the Schindler's find peace and a way to finally let go of the daughter who die 15 years.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Indeed. I've had a living will since I was 18. Folks, take care of it now so you're not the highlight on CNN.

1:39 PM  
Blogger WAKKA said...

Terri is now at peace. I hope all of those that protested for days will go and spend their time now with those who can not help themselves. Having worked with patients with brain injuries only those that are with them 24-365 know the true meaning of pain and suffering that these people indure everyday. They depend on someone to take care of their basic human needs at all times. Find someone to go visit, read to them, do their nails, sit with them and talk to them,even if they don't talk back. Treat those alive with respect and let them go when their time is up. Don't complain about bad care in Nursing Homes and Hospice, Everthing cost money and no one can afford to pay the price it would cost to have someone with them at all times. So volunteer to be a sitter and spend some of that spare time you now have with someone who may need you.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Beef Stooge said...

I've been saying for a while that this just isn't news at all. It's definitely a human interest story that gets ratings though. Hopefully some good will come out of it though and more folks will become aware of the need for living wills.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

No one talks about "it". It has been a shame and a huge lost opportunity for the past 15 years not to reach out to the real demon in Terri's case --BULIMIA! What a horrendous missed opportunity to address the serious illnesses and deaths of girls and women by eating disorders.

How terribly sad and ironic that a treatable illness to starve oneself, should find the same person denied a feeding tube and starved? Why isn't ANYONE addressing Terri's ten years of BULIMIA? Why isn't her death being used to save others with eating disorders?

My sister's, very 'slim', and very beautiful, 34 year old best friend died of heart failure from bulimia three years ago. No one would listen to my sister's pleas to get her help.

This is about far more than right to die issues. It is also about treating mental illness in one more of its disguises.It is a shame to lose this chance to address eating disorders as a cause of death.
Barb

2:10 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

The shame of all of this is that she had to endure 15 years of who knows what....I am not a hard-core "right-to-die" individual. But by all accounts, this girl was a shy and quiet individual who loved life. She wouldn't have wanted this kind of publicity.

I live in Florida, and wonder what new issues will arise from all of this. Both from the Right to Live and the Left... Right to Die....How ironic is this???

Right to Live???
Left to die???

...or Right to Die...

No matter what
Terri is finally at Peace. Thank goodness she has passed on to her next life. One can only hope that her family can now go on and get the help they should have gotten long ago to accept the inevitable. Terri knows what she really wanted.

God be with Michael Shiavo and the rest of the family. Hopefully, now there will be some finality. However, there is a huge part of me that believes that we have not heard the end of this. WHAT A SHAME!

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terri’s Life
What are the questions we must answer in this dilemma. I think these are the most important;
When does "life" end and who should decide this?
How do we define quality of life?
Should available medical technology be the defining limits?

Too many gray areas will always exist if each of us, as individuals, are allowed to answer life and death questions for ourselves and especially our loved ones. Should one person live and another die because the family they were born or married into feels one way or the other? or because we are so all knowing that we can forsee our reaction to any situation and know we would want our life to "end" without first experiencing it? Do you really think Christopher Reeves would have thought of being a quadruplegic on total life support would be an OK thing before he got there?
If we use the word “fair”, I feel we can come to some agreement on this topic. What is fair? Fair means impartial, evenhanded, without bias, open-minded, non-discriminatory.
When a baby is born totally dependent, we do not decide its fate based on questions such as what will this person give us, will they communicate, will they contribute something significant to society, will they be independent,will they suffer no pain. Of course not, because no one knows what tomorrow will bring, with life comes hope, and we will do anything to preserve that.
As we grow old, or experience illness or injury that is life changing, why should these questions suddenly be any more relevant? Which brings me to my second question, what is quality of life? Is it only defined as what we can give? I think not. What does a baby give? Not much, other than just by its existence, feelings of the most intense love and commitment that one can ever feel. Would we not continue to feel that, as parents, whether our child was 1, 21 or 41 and regardless of what they have given us, or done for themselves. We do not and should not define quality of life by actions, reactions or need for forms of sustenance or assistance. The one who needs a cane to walk, a machine to talk, dependence on others or things to move, bath, eat, or dress, do we want to sit in judgment on their quality of life because they need something we don’t. Oh, you say, but they have their minds, that is different. I say no, there are those who do not experience the same “reality” of mind or measurable cognition as most of us, autism, schizophrenic, depressive, bulimic, Alzheimer, dementia, mentally challenged and the list could go on forever. The mind, although we have explored and discovered many things, is still one of the greatest expanses of the unknown that exists. Are we to say that the autistic person, who seems to live in their own world, is not worthy to live or would not want to live because they cannot give to society as most do, cannot be independent, may rely on others throughout their lives to meet their basic needs, or in some way may be suffering? How absurd you would say, of course we would make sure they have their needs met, we would not weigh the amount of food or shelter they receive based on what they give back or how we think they feel. Then why do we even question to provide what anyone would need to live if it is within our means to give. Remember, fair is unbiased, open minded, and non-discriminatory. “Terri” presented this dilemma to the world for a reason. To take a look at what is quality of life, and who we have given the power to decide this, our laws, which change and are different depending on where we live, or our loved ones, who are different for each of us? How can this be fair? The answer is, it can’t be. I think the third question is the only one that can set these limits. Whatever is available to give we must give. This is the only way we can truly be fair, and live with ourselves as human beings. We cannot make the decision to give to some and not others if the means are available. We cannot define “quality of life” by need, nor by works. I believe we all live for a reason, some to give, and yes, some seemingly just to receive what others can give. Terri, your life has given more than most, even as you lie in a bed unable to express all that you may feel and think and totally dependent on others. The world, the entire world, has your name on their lips, causing debate of our very existence, and moving us to a level of awareness beyond that which we have yet to be challenged as a society. You exposed our short comings, and will help define the future for thousands. (Terri just died) Oh Michael and those, like Pontius, who refused to intervene, and hid behind our fallible and man made laws, look at her “quality of life” now. If you define this as giving, Terri gave more from the confines of her bed and locked mind, than any of you could ever collectively hope to accomplish in your lifetime. She affected every person who “knew” her. BY HER VERY EXISTENCE she changed us. Terri would not have wanted to live this way? No one, not even Terri could have known this, none of us know this. How selfish and shallow were those who decided her purpose had ended 15 years ago. Be wary to judge, who knows our purpose..? often, only hind sight makes this clear. Each life has a purpose, maybe Terri, yours was to die at the hands of others, to help us change. I don’t know, and neither does anyone else, but I do know your life had a purpose, and I feel we fell short in allowing your life to give all it was meant to give.

Terri lived as I began to write this on Thursday morning, and died before I finished. God Bless you Terri, and may we learn the lesson we were meant to learn from your life.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous amadorc said...

Where was American when she was fighting for control over her weight? It was the pressure society put on her to be "thin and beautiful" as opposed to "healthy". We didn't intervien then. We ignored Terri. Just like we ignore everyone with a weight issue, either too thin, (less stigmatic) or too fat.
Are the people who are so outraged by her death also feeling guilty becasue of the pressure they put on her to be skinny? They are as much responsible for her death as her husband is for having the tube removed.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

In response to the lengthy response about Terri's life. The fact is, she had stated that she did not want to be kept alive artificially. It was NOT just her husband that testified to this. Several other friends stated that Terri had said this to them. So it was AGAINST her wishes that she was kept alive. I have absolutely no problem with folks who want to stay alive above and beyond the call of normal medicine. That is there choice. What made me so upset about this was because people were attempting to countermand Terri's wishes on moral grounds. It was the same as saying, "You have to stay alive, like it or not." That is just inexcusable.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel that this entire case was more of publicity for both sides than Terri's actual wishes. I send my condolences to both sides. Medical technology like feeding tubes and respirators can keep people alive for almost an infinite amount of time so after 15 years I have to say I think she is finally resting in peace. Her parents need to think about how much these procedures cost because after 15 years I am sure it was pretty expensive.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naked I came into this world and naked I shall leave-blessed be the name of the LORD!!!
My deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Terri.I cannot
pretend to understand the many painful decisions you had to make over the years,but I believe that each of you have many happy memories that you may now share and cherish without distraction.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
All the things of this world
will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that this long ordeal is over for Terri, her husband, her parents and siblings, I hope they will find a way to heal the wounds that they've given to each other as this situation played out. I don't believe that Terri would've wanted her husband and her blood relatives to be so hateful towards one another. It's over now. Terri is at peace. I think it's time they find peace with each other.

As a Christian, I'm amazed how not one party involved in this case could "rise above the rest" and give in to the other so that Terri's final hours didn't have to be spent without any of them with her. As it turned out, Michael was the only immediate family member Terri had by her side. Under normal circumstances, I'd say that is the way it should be. However, considering he has a woman and two children waiting for him at home, it seems to me that something regarding his duty as Terri's husband was missing.

In my prayers for Terri, I hope she is in the arms of her Saviour and that once he puts her down, she runs a mile! And can have her favorite meal tonight. I'd say with all she's been through, she deserves so much more.

As a mother myself, my heart is breaking for Terri's mother today. God bless you in the difficult days to come. God will honor you for doing all you could to save her. Take comfort today, knowing that Terri is with the Lord and that you still have a couple of children in your life who love you very much.

To Terri's Dad: I lost my father when I was 16 and today I'm older than Terri. He's with me every single day.

To her sibs: She will be smiling down at you from heaven and watching over you the rest of your lives.

When I heard the news today that Terri had passed, the very first thought that came to mind was that if she had only been given food and water, she'd still be alive today. And I thought of all the babies who are alive today with feeding tubes.

God Bless our country. We're gonna need it.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One powerful legacy of this sad case would be an increased focus on the seriousness of eating disorders and the very real deadly results!

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben, you seem like an intelligent person, why do you only believe the 2nd party testimony of those supporting Terri's wishes to die? Seems there were just as many others close to Terri that stated she would not have wanted this, thus the controversy. A living will may the be solution, but you should think long and hard about this, and update it as you mature, at 18 my son didn't want to live because of a bad case of acne. At 72, my father, who lives with cancer, would do whatever it takes to stick around. We change.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Debbie H G said...

I think many people are missing the Real Issue at least for the family.
All families would have a hard time letting a daughter go,IF everything had been done and it had to be.......
BUT to Know that the husband DID NOT allow Terrie to get the help that her Drs said for years WOULD help her, that she Did Not Have to end up like this, of course they did what they did. Michael, turned it into a Right to Die issue AFTER he got the malpractice money, found another women. The one he has two kids with.
This is about parents who Knew from many Drs that thier daughter Could be helped and the husband CHOOSE to do this for Many Years.
There is a Huge difference between Letting someone you love go and Creating the end.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, she is gone. I live in NY, heart of liberalism and I know of not one person who agreed to starving that poor woman to death. I just don't understand the polling and the media. They never get it right.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murder is what murder does....

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the rhetorical intellect continuing to be so damn self-serving, while a woman was starved to death. Legalize murder is what was allowed to happen.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's something wrong with Micheal in my mind. What man, describing his "brain dead wife" as having a "brain filled with jello" would go this far and stay married to her -- only to work to gain her death, even while his supposed sweetheart has two kids to him? What is more important to most people, their living kids or "the dead wife"? One can understand Terri's family's motive (she's their kid after all) but her supposed husband's? Then to have her cremated and interred in another state far away from her family -- he seems one cold cold fish with no compassion at all. Maybe he's one of these guys who likes control -- maybe he's one who enjoys suffering of others.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine, starving a human being to death?
I can't - What right does anyone have to play God or speak for anyone.

IF It Wasn't Written, It Wasn't
Done.

-Terri did NOT write it.
-It should NOT have been done.

May God give Terri's loved ones strength, and carry them through this heartwrenching ordeal.

God Bless President Bush and The US Government Personnel for their Compassion and Support for Terri
and her family, especially her Mom & Dad.

Lisa

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still too angry to be productive, but I suspect we will all be shocked by the fact we are on the same side.

Not wanting Terri to die, doesn't mean we want government in our business. Not all of us were pro-life. We just didn't want this legalized murder!

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Barbara P. Wiggins said...

As I followed this case, my heart has been in wonder about the love Terry had for life and how precious life is when you can live to do God's will for others. I too had the taks of taking my brother off life support on September 11, 2001 at the time the World Trade Center was being bombed. I was looking at television as it showed the bombing and having to do what I had to do for the love of my brother. The saddest thing about the hold thing was that my brother and his wife had not lived together for over fifteen years or more. She supposed was holding some anger from years back and decided out of spite that she was going to cremate my brother. I kept my faith in God, because there was no reason for her to do this thing out of anger and this she knew also. As I was writing out my brother's obituary she called me and advised me that she was sending his body home to North Carolina. I in retunr had prepared for his funeral and gave him a proepr burial as I knew it. I never told my father for it would have broken his heart to know what I had to go through to get my deceased brother home to NC from NY. I said all of this to say love is a powerful thing and when there is confusion about death, the confusion never rest and ironically the people who are left behind usually dies at a much more rapid rate of time. As we live we must live for real and not practice making death a thing that would cause one to mourn until forever. M y heart goes out to Terry's parent's who shares her love and to her husband who shared the bond of marriage and her love that can never be changed no matter how anyone feels about her death. The love she had for him will never be able to be taken out of her. To God Be The Glory, All Honor, and All Praise for All Things

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

finally its over i was getting so sick about hearing about this. Mostly from all these people who seem to think they know god's will. look living like that is not living. a movie addressed this issue once i think it was called, "Johnny's got his gun" where a man lost his arms and legs and couldn't speak after fighting in WW2. He was being treated in a hospital and he was aware of what happen to him and he kept thinking "kill me, somebody kill me."

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very glad that Terri is finally at peace. I work in the medical field, and I see people frequently who have very hard choices to make. I would definitely not choose to live the way Terri was living. I don't believe that Michael was lying when he stated that Terri's wish was to choose death over life in her condition. I realize that her parents and husband had different ideas, and obviously different faiths. I believe Michael was a very strong man, and a good husband to Terri. He stood by what she wanted, and fought for her until the end. There is no shame in wanting dignity in life. I believe that medical advances have created hope for many people, but it obviously has created many medical dillemas. I believe that Heaven is a wonderful, peaceful place. I hope it is a comfort to Terri's family, all of them. I pray that this will lead people to write a living will, and declare someone to be their healthcare proxy.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For whatever it's worth as someone asked when life begins and ends. I lost my Dad several years ago to lung cancer. He was otherwise incredibly healthy and his body did not cease to function until his brainstem finally died from lack of oxygen. I was shocked by how little oxygen it took to keep that brainstem going. The cancer had entirely consumed his lungs. The breath sound seemed to be only what was in the trachea, which was very eerie. The last few days you could tell his cognitive functions were quickly being extinguished by the lack of oxygen (which I think is a good thing when you are slowly suffocating). I also think if they'd done tests on him he'd have been in that now famous persistent vegetative state. In the last 48 hours I didn't think he was really there. In my heart and soul this was proven to me when the day before he died I took his dog to visit him at the hospice. His dog had been to visit him in the hospital before so he was used to it. This dog had my Dad wrapped around his little paw. Dad structured his day around this dog so pooch could go with him everywhere. This just highlights the significance of this next bit. The dog did not recognize that Dad was in the bed that last visit. He didn't even acknowledge a human being was in the bed. Had Dad been there his dog would have been all over him. Since then I'm convinced that when our brain is no longer functioning and we are only operating via the brainstem that our spirit is gone and it's just a body, a vessel so to speak, that's left behind…sometimes for many, many years it seems. I just don’t know where the spirit goes. Is it stuck hanging around the body or can it go to heaven? That's the part that bothers me about Terri. Was she stuck looking off at the light of heaven for 15 yrs but never able to get there? That would truly have been tragic and a scary prospect for all of us.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Barb -the reason this happened was that she was bulemic- and the parents are in total DENIAL- instead of helping others with this disease they denigrate Michael and accuse him of everything, including murder- they are scared of their own death and kept her alive because of that - she died 15 yrs ago--and Michael stood by her for 8 yrs and got the best possible care for her and stayed at the hospice for 2 weeks and was by her side when she passed on- the parents exploited her and got govt and pro-life wackos involved and heard the father took his mother off life support after 2 weeks- what hypocrisy- and are going to make money off list of donors and book and movie and the brother is an actor- guess he was auditioning before every camera he could- this was a personal matter- didnt have to be aired all over the tv -really disgusting- I hope she is in peace, finally--

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a shame for the family that so much of this was publicized and dragged out before us. I will say this: those who condemn the lucid and the living as murderers have never been in the position of having to make the toughest choices. My father asked me to please allow him the dignity of a peacful passing should the brain surgery he was having result in a diminished or vegetative state. It did, and I did nothing to help him realize his own wishes. He did not write it down. It took him the better part of a decade to pass away, much in the same condition as this poor women. Go to hell? If you wish that upon someone who is the position that her husband was in, or someone who was in the position I was in with my father, it only shows the immense magnitude of your ignorance. Go to hell? We've been there. It is only with a peacful passing that that all parties can escape it. Trust me on this. Jim

11:16 PM  
Blogger diane said...

after wacthing this story unfold on tv and the fight for terri's life finly come to a sadd end i wounder what well happend now this is truely a sad day for terris familey i wont even begain saying i feel sorry for micheal becouse im agaist what he did to terris familey i think its sad that his lawer who is not familey was allowed in the room with him but not her familey he went to fare with this i wounder was his live in girlfriend and two kids in thare as well? this is so wround to deney a mother and fother the right to be at thare dieing daughters bedside i ask you what was going throwe his mind ? eather way im happy terri is finlly at peices and she is in no more pain may god be with her familey in thare time of need. god bless them all,and i hope that god will forgive micheal for what he has done to his wife this is worse then being abused the brouses go away but you cant bring terri back!!

11:28 PM  
Blogger diane said...

after wacthing this story unfold on tv and the fight for terri's life finly come to a sadd end i wounder what well happend now this is truely a sad day for terris familey i wont even begain saying i feel sorry for micheal becouse im agaist what he did to terris familey i think its sad that his lawer who is not familey was allowed in the room with him but not her familey he went to fare with this i wounder was his live in girlfriend and two kids in thare as well? this is so wround to deney a mother and fother the right to be at thare dieing daughters bedside i ask you what was going throwe his mind ? eather way im happy terri is finlly at peices and she is in no more pain may god be with her familey in thare time of need. god bless them all,and i hope that god will forgive micheal for what he has done to his wife this is worse then being abused the brouses go away but you cant bring terri back!!

11:28 PM  
Blogger diane said...

after wacthing this story unfold on tv and the fight for terri's life finly come to a sadd end i wounder what well happend now this is truely a sad day for terris familey i wont even begain saying i feel sorry for micheal becouse im agaist what he did to terris familey i think its sad that his lawer who is not familey was allowed in the room with him but not her familey he went to fare with this i wounder was his live in girlfriend and two kids in thare as well? this is so wround to deney a mother and fother the right to be at thare dieing daughters bedside i ask you what was going throwe his mind ? eather way im happy terri is finlly at peices and she is in no more pain may god be with her familey in thare time of need. god bless them all,and i hope that god will forgive micheal for what he has done to his wife this is worse then being abused the brouses go away but you cant bring terri back!!

11:29 PM  
Blogger diane said...

after wacthing this story unfold on tv and the fight for terri's life finly come to a sadd end i wounder what well happend now this is truely a sad day for terris familey i wont even begain saying i feel sorry for micheal becouse im agaist what he did to terris familey i think its sad that his lawer who is not familey was allowed in the room with him but not her familey he went to fare with this i wounder was his live in girlfriend and two kids in thare as well? this is so wround to deney a mother and fother the right to be at thare dieing daughters bedside i ask you what was going throwe his mind ? eather way im happy terri is finlly at peices and she is in no more pain may god be with her familey in thare time of need. god bless them all,and i hope that god will forgive micheal for what he has done to his wife this is worse then being abused the brouses go away but you cant bring terri back!!

11:34 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

OK OK OK. For those of you that think that Terri was still Terri... come on. Her higher brain functions had cease to function ages ago. She was simply a body still breathing. Her soul left long ago. When I say soul, I mean will and intellect. That passed away along ago. A human being is not simply meat. We are our mind and our will. Without that, we are nothing.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

PS to Lisa:
"What right does anyone have to play God or speak for anyone."

Indeed. Since Terri was unable to convey her wishes, how dare anyone assume that she wanted to be kept alive against her will. So what are you talking about? If the divine had had its way, Terri would have died years ago. It is only because of the interference of mankind and his modern medicine that she was preserved this long. Don't you see the illogical nature of your argument?

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only thing anyone can do now is honor terri's memory and learn from her life & death.
personally, i have issues with both sides. terri should have been able to be at peace long ago, but starving a woman to death? plus not letting her family be at her bedside or her funeral.
my heart goes out to Mr. Schaivo and the Schindlers, but it's over. there's no longer anyone to fight over. you all share the same grief now; share it together, and maybe just maybe you all can find peace.
i'm sure terri would have wanted it that way.
peace.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are more questions than answers in this situation...OK- If her husband did not care, then why did he fight? Why not divorce her? Money? No way - he could have written a book and made a fortune - I suspect I know why........If she was starving herself to death, and that is what caused her condition, why does NOBODY find this ironic that her parents force fed her for all those years.......followed her to Florida, etc....they were killing her all along. Looking at the facts, as they have been reported, it seems to me that her husband could have divorced her and moved on, however, he truly loved her and fought for her right to die, which she chose years ago when she starved herself near death....poor her......i hope that she has truly found peace and acceptance......she was a beautiful you girl, turned into a media-case by her selfish parents who still wish that she could be something that she would never be to them...rest in peace, girl.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who would force-feed their sick/bullemic brain-dead child who was trying to kill her self trying to be perfect?
Answer: Obsessed parents.
God Bless you Terri - sleep well.

12:39 AM  
Blogger WAKKA said...

Ben your 1140 pm comments right on. I feel that before we judge any of the players in this sad story we need to really understand what life is like for the patient in a veg. state. Again I say go volunteer to sit with someone with a brain injury that has been in a veg. state for years, then tell me they are better off being kept alive with a feeding tube. Make sure you check out their skin for breakdown, tube feedings don't give you everythingand also the stiff and swollen joints and froozen extremities. If you have any athristist you will be in pain just liiking. So let's let Terri rest in Peace, and make sure you have a living will no matter what your age.

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To loose a child and a Mother is denied to be by her side until her death is wrongful enough with out adding all theses difficulties.May Terri rest in PEACE!

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad Terri's suffering is over, That must of been utterly painful starving her to death, especially not a drop of water. At least her suffering is over, From everything I have read, to me it seems like NO not love on the husbands part. Seems like he wanted to kill her from the begining. When this 1st happened. He should of walked away, he had a new fling and 2 kids from that, he should of gracefully walked away, and let her Family be there for her, (was there something he didnt want to come out?) seems like he wanted terri to be silenced. Now in her death he still dont want to give her to her family, he doesnt want her Family to know where her ashes will be burried. That is wrong, One day He will stand before the same God that we all will stand by, He will be judged. God knows if his intentions were sincere, we dont, he does,
thanks,
My prayers are with you (schindlers Family)

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody hear me????!!!

who would force-feed their sick/bullemic brain-dead child who was trying to kill her self trying to be perfect?
Answer: Obsessed parents.
God Bless you Terri - sleep well.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonomous person, that is calling Terry bulimic!?.....WHERE & WHO ever said anything about that?...lol' It's funny how things are spread, leave Terry alone already, the husband won, he KILLED her, now you have to start spreading rumors. learn the facts before you throw harsh, & hurtful things around, that can hurt or damage anyone's image..!

Stac,

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Nora Bernadette said...

I'm sure there must be people like myself--pro-choice, and also pro-right-to-die--who nonetheless found this case a disturbing example of misplaced attentions. The essential questions here, for me, never concerned Terri Schiavo's "quality of life", level of brain function, or potential for improvement; none of those things should be the bases on which decisions to give or withdraw essential care--like feeding--are made by courts and doctors. Terri Schiavo was independently alive, by any standard; the relative value of that life, to anyone but its owner, should not be at issue in a supposedly life-affirming society.
The questions, rather, were what Terri Schiavo herself wanted, whether Michael Schiavo's contentions were truly reflective of her wishes, and whether the courts which first ruled on that matter had thoroughly and effectively reviewed the evidence. If Schiavo was acting on his wife's stated desires, then the removal of her feeding tube was the right choice, no matter how her parents or other family members felt. But in the absence of a concise, specific instruction from Terri, I wondered how the lower courts determined that her husband's position was valid.
Just as depressing was the popular response to the case, which became more extreme, and wandered farther from the point, as time went by. I found it so sad that the far right jumped into this fracas to further its own agenda; equally sad was the far left's exploitation of it for the sake of its endless Bush-bashing. The desperation on both sides was agonizing; as the parents insisted that their daughter was "talking" to them, the husband went farther in punitively and cruelly excluding them.
I was left with the sense that our legal system had collapsed on itself and drowned in minutia, allowing a questionable premise to become the basis for state-sanctioned murder. Of course I didn't read every page of the court transcripts, but I never got over my impression that Michael Schiavo's evidence was inconclusive. Further, I thought his decision to bar his wife's family from her burial was monstrous; with that action, he destroyed any empathy I had for him.
The media also did little to endear themselves to my heart. Rarely did I hear them making the distinction between "life support" (like respirators, which breathe for brain-dead patients) and core care (like feeding and watering, with or without tubes). The idea that slowly starving someone who can't eat without a tube has become the equivalent of unplugging them from mechanical life-sustainers is chilling.
With nearly forty years to go until retirement, I'm already reassessing my approach to old age. I certainly no longer trust the legal system or our country's so-called moral guardians to do right by my life.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In all the weeping and wailing that is going on after Terri Schiavo's death, is anyone...rejoicing? Because that is what we should be doing, rejoicing that this woman is free now, no longer imprisoned in a useless body.

All those people who miss this point are just acting out. For them, it isn't actually about Terri, it's about them and their "right" to voice their own opinions and beliefs.

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like many others, I was very saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo. Over the previous 13 days, my emotions have run the gammut.

I am one of those who finds no demons in the people involved in this tragedy. Not one of us knows what any of the survivors has been through. I am saddened for both sides because I truly feel like each of them wanted what they thought was best. And I can sympathize with them all. God forbid I ever have to make such a decision....

What saddens me the most, though, is the hate, the anger, the bitterness that those who were closest to her have caused one another and allowed to consume themselves for 15 years. And they have now successfully divided a nation as well. What a waste of precious time! (And I found it personally disturbing that a "SPIRITUAL advisor" said the hateful things that he did about Michael. Is that what a spiritual advisor is supposed to do? I wonder if he's heard of the 2nd commandment.)

I am a religious person and consider myself spiritual, and I know from personal experience that hate and anger hurt those who harbor such feelings the most. I don't hold grudges and I freely forgive not because I think I'm perfect, but because it is such a waste of time and energy. I'm certain that Terri would be devastated to see how those she loves are viciously tearing one another apart.

My condolences to all involved.
Rest in peace, Terri. We won't forget you.

BLR

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One hundred years ago Terri would have died within a week or two of her heart attack because she could not eat or drink. Did they call it starvation/murder then? Feeding tube are part of modern medicine and we must know when they are appropriate and when to let go.

5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who was it that said,,,If People dont remember History....they are doomed to repeat it?

Well, the saddest part of Terri Shiavo's life is that it wont stop with her. I know a woman that has 3 severly autistic children...three of them...and Terri responded more to her mother than my friends children do to her!

What does quality of life mean? Its more than a feeding tube people. Or a lack of one. Who are we that we can play God? Who will be next in the quality of life issues?

Another woman i know, has a mentally retarded child about to turn 18, he doesnt speak at all. She had to go downtown to get custody proceedings started for her own child because he would be of age. Will she get custody? Shes sure of it....but why does she have to? And will she really?

There are many things people are NOT seeing in Terri's life...the fact that the PRESIDENT of our country wouldnt step in, the gov. of Florida wouldnt step in...it became a fish flopping in the courts of who could and who couldnt do this or that. Whats wrong with that picture?

Get ready to lose your jobs if you work in health care. People all over this nation will start killing off their burdens. Better hope that you can get in on the ground floor of wellness programs before the jobs close.

If you have children that are severly handicapped or brothers and sisters...that couldnt ever do a living will on their own...you better teach them how to say four words....I WANT TO LIVE....either by voice or in sign language....because someone may just come along and decide they arent having a quality of life they deem good enough.

Its not going to stop with Terri, she was the tip of the iceberg thats bearing down on us...And that iceburg is the repeat of a history the world knows well.

Who's gona pull the feeding tube out of the Pope? Or your grandma or mother...maybe your child?

Another friend of mine has a sister out in Colorado in a nursing home...she has MS and is in the last stages of that horrible disease. But she wants to live. She wants to see her children to her dying day. And she too has a husband...and together she and he have children...but alas he is shacked with her used to be best friend and working on the delivery of their third child together. My friends sister has a $250,000 life insurance policy. And she left her oldest sister as beneficiary so that her kids would benefit. When the husband found out he quit coming around. His father has power of attorney over my friends sister. Guess what this family sees coming their way...?

Again, if you have a loved one in what has been redefined as a vegatative state in Terri's case, then you better teach them how to say i want to live....somehow someway.

This is a user friendly society. It throws trash out daily and that trash is being redefined daily as well.

Wake up America....we saw something happen in our courts that should scare the crap out of you. But it wont till the wolf is breathing down your neck and then you'll be asking...when did this happen? A dog being starved to death has more rights in this country than we as people do. The courts and Mr's Bush just got away with murder....for a little while anyway.

6:11 AM  
Anonymous timsub1 said...

this was a shame for teri. both sides of the family handled this very badly. michael used teri as a weapon against her own family because of some kind of hatred or fued against them. the family had this smeared in front of the whole world by the media to circumvent the existing laws and to show us all how bad michael is and was. i am not sure that teri would have wanted either.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Terri's parents were so religous why were they so afraid to end Terri's suffering and let her die and go to heaven years ago?

Why did they slander her husband's name by calling him abusive, an adulterer and accusing him of wanted her to die so that he could keep all the money?

Yes he has a girlfriend and 2 kids. He deserves a life, doesn't he?

I think that Michael was just carrying out Terri's wishes. He battled her family for all those years to honor her wish of not being kept alive when there was no hope for recovery.

It would have been so easy just to give in and turn over guardianship to the family but he didn't.

As her husband and legal guardian he has the right to have her body cremated and buried in the the state where they used to live.

He has allowed an autopsy to be done. Hopefully this will end all the arguing.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Nita said...

Now peace for Terrie. IF she was aware, as her Schindler family claims, how upset and embarrassed she must have been. Perhaps her 'trying to communicate' was simply saying "I am ready. I want to go home to God. I want the circus to end". Yes, I am a wife of 54 yrs, mother of 4, grandmother of 8. YES, I would have given them up many many years ago. If they believe in God, do they not believe that HE can and WILL heal if the tube is taken out? Where were the parents in the bulimia case. Can they support with records their help in getting medical attention even as a teen ager? Or did they care THAT much. God bless them all. I pray for peace for our country. I blame the media for the circus. If they had not shown all that circus activity, the people would have not been so 'public' and hang around. Didn't ANYBODY but Michael consider the 7 other dying people and their families? What made Terri so special? Nita

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I send my condolensenses to the Schindler family. I believe that marriage means to death do us part, in sickness and in health. Michael Schiavo made that commitment and so did Terri. Michael did not honor his comment to his wife. He was an adulturer. If he believed that Terri was a vegetable, why didn't he divorce her and allow her parents to take care of her. What was his motivation for keeping her in a hospice room without rehabilitation for 15 years and spending the malpractice money on legal fees. I don't know what woman would want her husband to stay with her while she was ill in name only and bring his mistress to visit her, how cruel and twisted. Treating her family badly. Parents are always overprotective of their children. It is cruel and he will be judged for all of his sins. I can't believe that he will cremate Terri and take her ashes to an undisclosed place in Philadelphia. I know there is a law in Califonia that you have to disclose on the death certificate where the body is entoured. I don't know what Florida's law is. This man is just mean and evil. I believe he is the devil.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The judges who ruled against re-inserting Terri's feeding tube should experience the same agonizing death. To starve someone to death is not doing them any favors. Murder is murder and it would have been more humane to do it Dr. Kivorkian's way. It should not have been done at all. Michael looks like a snake and it was not about Terri anymore. It was about control. If Terri did in fact say she would not want to live under extreme measures, why was the feeding tube implemented in the first place? She was supposedly in a vegetataive state from the beginning.He should be charged with murder along with the judges who supported him.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

March 31, 2005



Terri,



I am writing this letter too late. I thought I would have some time to think over exactly what I wanted to say to you so that it would make sense. But, come to think of it, nothing about this situation makes any sense at all to me.



There is so much I want to say to you but first I must ask for your forgiveness. You see, a few days ago I made an uneducated, ignorant assumption. I voiced my opinion without knowing all of the circumstances. When I heard that you were being kept alive through artificial means I assumed that meant that you were on a respirator. Thinking that, I couldn’t understand why taking the feeding tube out of you was so bad. I didn’t realize that you were breathing on your own. I guess that doesn’t make the situation any better but I feel that sometimes people who are on respirators would be better off if they were let to die. I am not saying that this is any better of an assumption than the other but that is how I feel. What I am saying is that at one time I felt that you should be let to die.



Terri, I don’t know what your situation was that caused your illness (bulimia) and it doesn’t matter. I also do not know how you felt about the right to die, I do know what Michael says you thought but I do not believe him. I cannot for one minute believe that you wanted to starve to death.



My dad had been sick for a long time, as a matter of fact, almost all of my life. He had several strokes, each one leaving him a little bit weaker and sicker. He was a strong man however and he fought off death several times. He was a great thinker, was constantly working Rubiks cubes and crosswords and any other puzzle you put before him. He always believed a strong mind was the sign of a strong man and he was right. He loved to eat and he would make up concoctions out of leftovers all of the time. His favorite thing though was crackers. He had his crackers every night before bed.



A few weeks before he passed away my dad had a heart attack and another small stroke. He was able to breathe on his own but, like you, his ability to chew and swallow was not enough to sustain him so the doctors told us they would have to put a feeding tube into his stomach so he could receive nourishment.



He became a little stronger so they told us we could take him home but the feeding tube had to stay in. They showed my stepmother and my sisters and I how to feed him and take care of the tube. It was one of the hardest things we ever had to do. He would ask for his crackers every night and every night we had to say no to our father.



Our dad had been through so much pain and agony and his strength was our strength. We all had signed a Do Not Resuscitate notice for our dad so that when that dreaded time came he could go in peace, for we knew that when his God felt it was time he would take him home. Not once did we ever even think about having the feeding tube removed.



You have been in my thoughts for so long now and I owe you so much, so just for you, on Friday, April 1, 2005, I will go on a fast for 24 hours in your honor. It is the only way I have to show you how much your life has meant to me and to show you just how sorry I am for saying the things I said.



Thank you for your strength and courage.



In my heart always,

Cindy Burdine

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way this lady died was nothing more then legalized murder. She didnt die from a disease. She died from starvation. What kind of person would agree to letting their loved one starve to death? Was it because her husband is almost out of money from the lawsuit? Or perhaps he can't marry his new girlfriend until his "wife" was dead. Of course he couldn't divorce her either or he would lose out on the control and the money he had from her.This was all about greed.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was not about greed!

There was approx 40-50 thousand left from the malpractice suit and her hospice was being paid by Medicaid.

This has been in and out of court and every time the court sided with Michael.

This is about honoring Terri's wishes.

This should have been a private family matter and never been made into a media circus!

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think my biggest struggle with this is that after he won the lawsuit she received no rehabiliatation what so ever, she was put into hospice. The money was suppose to be earmarked for her rehabilitation, yes after lying in a bed with no rehab for 12 years 80% of her cortex is spinal fluid, but I wonder had he gotten her rehabilitation for at least 2 years and there was no change whatsoever, I think maybe more people would be okay with it because AT LEAST there would have been an effort made to rehabilitate her...but there wasn't an attempt at all except brief window of about 6 months when she was in rehab. That's part of what I can't wrap my own brain around, everyone says she was brain dead, that's not life, etc. and so forth...I just wonder why there was no effort to try to rehab her at least first.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought about what brought TERRY TO THIS END? I feel more should be stated about the eating disorder she had and the medical problems this caused her.. In the USA today people are dying to be thin Literally.. Is it truley worth all the pain to look good and then pay for it for all the wrong reasons..She is happy now, who is to say, was she really there behind those eyes or in a better place, well now she is in a better place... Peace....

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yES, THIS WAS A VERY SAD CASE. mY HUSBAND WAS BRAIN DAMAGED AFTER CARDIAC ARREST, IT IS TERRIBLE TO WATCH A LOVED ONE LINGER. nOW WHAT IS WORSE i HAVE A SON WHO IS HAS A RARE, UNCURABLE BRAIN DISEASE. hIS WIFE WILL NOT LET THE FAMILY CONTACT HIM OR VISIT OR GIVE US ANY INFORMATION AT ALL ABOUT HIM. WE CAN NOT UNDERSTAND HER BEING THIS WAY AS WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FRIENDLY WITH HER,AND SHE WITH US UNTIL THIS. PRAY FOR US PLEASE.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Schiavo had repeatedly turned down offers of large amounts of money to walk away, and unlike the Schindlers, he has not signed any book or TV deals.

Lets not forget that Terri had over 8 years of therapy/rehab before Michael finally realized that she would not get better and petitioned the court to have her feeding tube removed.

People assume this was a cruel and painful way to die yet the day before she died her father said that she was doing pretty good considering.

Regardless of which "side" you are on it was a tragedy originally caused by Bulimia. Everyone should think about getting a living will and make your wishes known not just to your spouse but to your children and family.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Peggy in New York said...

Trying to keep religion and political rhetoric out of this, I have to say, death by starvation and dehydration is not a natural death. A lethal injection of something would have been more humane. But....that would REALLY have been murder. Instead, the killing was slow and painful to watch/hear 24/7. It's not the death...it's the method. Hitler did the same thing to retarded children in the 1930's before he started on the Jews. Who's next? Our retarded children? Seniors? A drop at a time will fill a bucket. This is our first drop.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are two real issues in this case. The first is: who has the right to make medical decisions for a spouse, and secondly, the need for a living will that has been drawn up by a lawyer and is a legal document. Since Michael was her husband, and every state in the union gives the spouse next of kin rights, then he had the legal right to have her life ended, as much as that rankled some folks. So, if you don't think your spouse would treat you the way you would wish to be treated, then you had better have written down by a lawyer as to who should be your legal guardian in the event of a tragedy such as this.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read an article from the LA Times:

Schiavo, who hasn't had any food or water since Friday, has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years that makes it impossible for her brain to recognize pain, doctors say.

"Her reflexes with respect to thirst or hunger are as broken as her ability to think thoughts or dream dreams or do anything a normal, healthy brain does," Fine said.

But even if her brain were functioning normally and she were aware of her condition, she would be comfortable, doctors say.

I pray that she didn't suffer....

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Shirlee said...

Terri, is now at peace and the battle rages on. This has been one of the most heartbreaking stories. I feel deeply for the parents however I believe Michael Schiavo. I can't tell you the number of times my husband and I have said to each other over the years " If I am brain dead and there is no hope please let me go". After everything that has happened in this case we will definately get a "Living Will". The media circus over this event was cruel in itself. My Sister died in a coma resulting from a head on car crash many years ago. She made expressions but all these things were involuntary, just like Teri's expressions that some took for real laughter and comprehension. Many are now still condemning Michael for sticking to his guns over his promise to Teri. It doesn't matter that he has a girlfriend that has nothing to do with it. It has been a number of years since Teri became brain damaged. He didn't just jump into a relationship. By all accounts he took good care of her. He made sure she didn't have one bed sore driving the staff crazy with his demands.
The same types of people ( for the most part) who raged on outside of Teri's hospice are the same types that protested with signs at a gay guys funeral .They didn't care one bit about the grieving parents who lost their child. They just waved their signs and shouted horrible things outside of the funeral home. (Matthew Sheperd) saying he would burn in hell.. Or the Ones who say they are for life then kill doctors. Very little publicity was given to what some of these people were doing outside of the hospice. Meaning this was also a place for others that were near death and their families could not get in to be with their loved ones and some did'nt make it to the bedsides of their dieing relatives. They showed absolutely no respect for them. Yes we are free in America but the Christian "far right" has to realize others have the same freedom and that is not to force your beliefs on others. For the record I consider myself a Christian but not the kind that were "Raging" outside of that hospice. Peaceful quiet demonstrations is what should have gone on if you didn't agree with Michael. Acting as if Teri's near death likened to the crucifixion was beyond belief.
I rest my case.
Shirlee

10:56 AM  
Blogger KarenM said...

The adulterer, Michael Schiavo, evicted Terri's sister and brother from her death bed. Who did he let be with him when Terri died? His two lawyers were in the room with him. These male subhumans made $700,000 from Terri's suffering. That money was allocated to Terri's FUTURE care under a medical malpractice settlement. Instead, they got rich and the taxpayer took care of Terri. I would not want to live the life Terri did, but I definitely would not want two vile, greedy lawyers watching me die.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Shirlee said...

P.S. I forgot to say how down right scarey it was that the President and Congress got into a private matter. It makes me shiver. What's next?

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A tragedy all around. If you have not made your will, run, don't walk to the nearest estate attorney or get the information off the web. You need a living will AND a power of attorney to appoint the person you want to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated and cannot make them yourself. The living will is NOT enough on its own. Consider whether you would want the state or federal govenment interfering with your wishes if you do not make them known. The legacy of the Schiavo case may well be increased legislation in this area. I am far less afraid of my husband pulling the plug in my best interests than I am in protecting myself from the government and right wing zealots who would have me suffer for THEIR beliefs, and against my own.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we "put down" Terri based on 2nd hand expressed "wishes" she may have said over 15 years ago when she was a vibrant and "whole" person, Yikes! Who hasn't ever heard of or seen a situation where we may have spouted, Gee I would never "wish" to be like that, just let me die if I'm ever there. Wow, best be careful what we utter (or put in writing). Because until it is called upon, we usually underestimate the strength, endurance, and "will" we posess or are granted in extraordinary circumstances. And I would say that many, put to the test, are "enlightened" and amazed at their previously narrow points of view.
Whether Terri was a "human being" any more, no one knows, but I do know it was OUR humanness, (our fear, our ignorance, our arrogance)that let Terri die.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Shirlee! I am a 73 year old great grandmother, and I have never changed my mind in all my years, that if I was maimed, or in a vegetative state, or any other type of way below par state, that I would be allowed to die.

My doctor, (and close friend) refused to eat or drink at the last when he had his faculities, and because the nursing home couldn't get in touch with his wife who lived close ny, or son who lived 150 miles away, they hooked him up to an IV with liquid. When his son found out he was furious, and had his stepmother go through all kinds of legalities to get it removed. Once hooked up, you can't just pull the plug. It took him two weeks to starve to death. At the time, I thought, "Thank goodness for a loving son, willing to go through the hassle to do his father's wishes." It should never have been inserted.

My next door neighbor kept her mother at home and allowed her to starve to death. She would slip pieces of ice into her mouth, and rub her lips with ice to soothe them. That's dedication!

I am immediately going to get a DNR (Do not resusitate) and a Legal power of attorney drawn up. I have already asked my son to make that decision for me and he has agreed that nothing will be done to even do a thing to prolong my life. A Living will is just not enough in this day and age according to a lawyer I heard before Terri passed. He said they can be challenged. How sad we have to become vegetables, and our wishes will be ignored!!!!

I commend Michael for his dedication, when he could (maybe) have divorced her and given up all rights. To me he is a Saint for putting up with all this publicity. I told my husband if he did keep me alive like that, when I passed, I would come back and HAUNT him for the rest of his life.

To me, the parents were just SELFISH in not letting Terri go years and years ago.

As an extremely active church attending Christian, all that fight was just so selfish. I would hope that the government will stay out of personal business. I don't try to put my beliefs onto other people, and certainly was disgusted with all the Bushes for getting involved, plus the Congress of the United States. Thank goodness for the courts in Florida.

I made the comment to my friend from church (who is on the opposide) that I wouldn't want to be even helped in such a case, and she commented "We are witnesses to that statement." (In a scartastic tone) I replied "You bet, and you better testify to that fact.

I think Terri is finally in a safe and beautiful place and at peace at last. Bless her, and bless Michael for his intestinal fortitude in her behalf.

I have felt that any day I would be fine with dying. I am very close to my children, and grandchildren, and cherish every moment I have with them, but I would not be sad, only for those left behind if I passed away today. I wake up every morning a happy person. Even with all the bad things happening, wars, school shootings, gay bashing, you name it, I LOVE LIFE.

2:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home