I respect your opinion kewannap, I too have worked in a Nursing Home for over 18 years and have seen what you have described as the body shutting down, and yes when elderly people get tired of living they do refuse to eat of their own accord. This situation is totally different in my opinion. This poor soul was on life support for years and kept alive via feeding tube. A decision to remove life support eg. trachea is one thing, but then to shut off nutrition via feeding tube in my opinion was cruel considering the woman had enough will to breathe on her own once the life support was removed. Who knows if that could have been the sign her parents were holding on to. I know my hubby was a mere vegtable for several months and at one point could not tolerate tube feedings and was actually put on TPN to see if he could retain enough strength to endure another brain surgery to remove more of his tumor. Thank God we didn't throw in the towel, he still has a long road a head of him if he wants to get back to where he function independently but he is alive, eating on his own, and talking and making slow progress each day.
I kind of feel for her parents on this one, as my hubby was tube fed, veg. state for a few months and has really come a long way. If I had a D.N.R. perhaps things may have been different. If you decide this, once a person is taken off life support and is still breathing, nature will take its course. Actually starving them to death is cruel. If your number is up God will bring you home. Starving people to death is cruel.
Well folks, I'm not sure that her life is all that bad. After all...how can anyone really know? Patients in comas for decades wake and are fine long after they've been given up for dead...some report having been aware of family and loved ones.
Even advanced directives are not a perfect solution. Sometimes hospitals don't recognize them until you've gone through the legal hoops, and although you may know that you "never want to be kept alive by machines" or other "extreme measures", the reality is that these definitions are subject to change. As Red can attest...sometimes those extreme measures are worth it. Nobody--even the docs--really know what will and won't work when someone is in that much trouble.
My father swore for 35+ years that he never wanted to be on a ventilator/ respirator or have to live with "all that equipment." However, the time came, and the docs said that his chances of pulling through were at least as good as his chances of not pulling through. It was a crap shoot. We decided to go ahead with it. Dad was on the machines for five days, then weaned from them and doing well. He was both relieved and happy with the choice we made.
Unfortunately, another heart attack a couple of weeks later put him back in the same place, but at that time, his odds of survival were not good. I had to make the call...and I did...It was right for dad, but I swear it is the most difficult thing one person can do for another. It's not at all as cut and dried as they make it seem in the media. Oh...and FYI...dad had all the right paperwork in place...including advanced directives...but the docs still came to me to make the decisions.
Just do your homework and think long and hard about what your limits are. Talk openly with your loved ones about your needs and wishes...including possible factors that would change the situation enough to make your wishes different. Nobody is ever prepared to do that...It's ce...
You ask what's the big deal with Terry Schaivo? Well, I believe the deal is that she is the first wildly public case of her kind (certainly not the only case of this nature, but the only case the has registered on the media radar for many years, perhaps EVER) and for that reason, she will become the poster child/martyr for the cause.......ADVANCED DIRECTIVES!
As for my feelings on the removal of her feeding tube? I believe that quality of life has much to do with life itself. I wouldn't want to live a life of suffering, indignity, and possible abuse. I put myself in her position.....I would not choose that life for myself.
And whatever happened to going on to a 'better place'???
I'm with you on this one doe, as this person has no life in reality. If I were in that state, I wish that someone would pull the plug, as life means nothing if you cannot live it. She looks so pitiful, and dying would be better than what she is in right now. The courts have no right to get in the fight, as they have screwed up enough stuff in the past anyway.
very controversial subject here. Although I have to agree with Doe about this being such an issue that the Supreme Court has been asked to step in. I also dont think anyone should have to die of starvation or thirst.
I am sure the Husband has not so decent reasons for not keeping her alive, but would you want to stay alive in that state?
It all comes down to the main issue. We all need a living will so there is no doubt about our wishes when/if something like this happens to us.
As for Red. I am sorry to hear about your situation and truely glad you are still with us today.