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Author Topic:   The fate of Ms. Schiavo
kjn
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 82 (195320)
03-29-2005 9:13 PM


As Ms. Schiavo left no will, I think the issue boils down not to who has the legal right to make a decision surrounding the status of her life, but who has the moral right. The issue boils down to a question of motives with the parents of Ms. Schiavo, Bob and Mary Schindler pitted against the husband of Ms. Schiavo, Mr. Michael Schiavo.

The parent's motive is relatively simple: They want their daughter to live, and she would if the feeding tube, not exactly considered an extraordinary method of sustaining life, were reinserted. Dr. William Cheshire of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville states that Ms. Schiavo's face brightens and that she smiles in response to the voices of familiar people like her parents, and because of this and other responses that demonstrate what Dr.Cheshire refers to as a 'minimally conscious state,' the parents have not abandoned hope. Hope can be naively placed but what is at question is individuals motives and not the realistic nature of their desires. Their motive, if rightly identified seems noble, and even those in support of Mr. Schiavo do not question the sincerity of Mr. and Mrs. Schindler's desire to see their daughter live. Combined with their hope, is the case of Ms. Kate Adamson who has launched a campaign to save Ms. Schiavo. What makes Ms. Adamson special is that when she was younger she suffered a catastrophic brain stem stroke and was dependant on a feeding tube fore nourishment. Eventually she had her feeding tube removed. She knows what it is like to be starved. Ms. Adamson's story has given
hope to those close to Ms. Schiavo, and has recently given rise among the common public to the demand that Ms. Schiavo be given a chance to live.

Mr. Schiavo wants the feeding tube of his wife removed. As food is necessary for life, and as the feeding tube facilitates this, its removal will result in her death. His motives are more difficult to discern. Some suggest that he beat or attempted to strangle his wife, which resulted in her state, and that he fears that a fully conscious Ms. Schiavo will confirm such accusations. While the bone scan taken in 1991 is not inconsistent with that which would result from a severe beating, others feel that it is as consistent with bulimia, a fall, and the CPR given by paramedics. That there is uncertainty is worthy to note. Working in Ms. Schiavo's favor is that it seems unlikely that he would cause her to collapse, and then initiate a lawsuit against someone else for her collapse, thereby opening the case up to a serious and detailed inquiry.

Mr. Schiavo won this malpractice suit and recovered approximately $ 700 000 for the care of Ms. Schiavo and another $ 300 000 for himself. A relatively unreported detail in this well documented story is that Mr. Schiavo has romantically engaged himself to another woman who has conceived by him two children. If Mr. Schiavo were to divorce Ms. Schiavo, then upon her death the money would go to her parents and not to him. It is important to remember that while Ms. Adamson's husband was campaigning to preserve his wife's life, Mr. Schiavo has been unfaithful and produced two children by his 'fiancé' all the while identifying himself as Ms. Schiavo's 'loving' and 'grieving' husband, remaining married to her so as to cash in on a nice inheritance, and insisting on the feeding tube's removal so as to speed up that process. I realize that such an analysis calls into question the goodness of his character, but it seems that the conclusions drawn from these speculations are unavoidable and the examination of his actions speak louder than any analysis. Other questions persist and add weight to the case against Mr. Schiavo's legitimacy in determining the future of someone else's daughter. After the malpractice award, why, in mid-1993, did he have a 'Do not resuscitate' placed on her medical chart? She was only 30 years old at this point. Why in June of 1993 did he refuse to allow treatment for an ear infection that had developed? Hint: He later said under oath that he expected the infection to progress to a fatal sepsis that would result in death. Why in 1998, eight years after Ms. Schiavo had gone into cardiac arrest, and only after the hiring of right-to-die lawyer Mr. George Felos, did Mr. Schiavo remember that Ms. Schiavo had made some vague comments about not wanting to be sustained on anything artificial? Why, on October 18, 2003 would Mr. Schiavo's lawyers not even allow Msgr. Malanowski to receive a miniscule peace of communion onto her tongue? Finally why has Mr. Schiavo spent a great bulk of the malpractice award on his lawyer Mr. Felos in an effort to end Ms. Schiavo's life rather than spend it on therapy or rehabilitation programs that may improve her quality of life?

It would seem that Ms. Schiavo's parents have more of a moral right to determine their daughter's fate, than does her husband. But while judges deny this possibility, hope is dying, and so is Ms. Schiavo.

kjn


Replies to this message:
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AdminNosy
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Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 82 (195323)
03-29-2005 9:15 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8933
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 3 of 82 (195326)
03-29-2005 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by kjn
03-29-2005 9:13 PM


Moral right
The parents of Terri Schiavo are keeping a body alive like a zombie against the court determined wishes of that woman. They are doing this for themselves because they have deluded themselves that she is "still there". The grotesque horror that they perpetrate on themselves with this delusion and on others should have been stopped years ago.

A series of doctors and tests have determined that the woman's higher brain functions are long dead. The religious based opinion of one who has not been through that examination and thinks that a "feeling" that someone is there is adequate to make a decision on is not to be taken over the carefully determined and court reviewed opinions of those much more knowledgeable about the case.

Mr. Schiavo's motives may well, by this time if not before, be tainted. However, the courts, as I understand it did not relay solely on his say so about Terri Shiavo's wishes. To violate her wishes under these circumstances is to perpertuate a disgusting macabre farce. It is not in the woman's interests, her husbands or the parents (though they are not capable of seeing that) nor is it a good use of scarce medical resourses.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by kjn, posted 03-29-2005 9:13 PM kjn has responded

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 16 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 4 of 82 (195328)
03-29-2005 9:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by kjn
03-29-2005 9:13 PM


As Ms. Schiavo left no will, I think the issue boils down not to who has the legal right to make a decision surrounding the status of her life, but who has the moral right.

How do you figure that?

They want their daughter to live, and she would if the feeding tube, not exactly considered an extraordinary method of sustaining life, were reinserted.

Actually, according to legally accepted medical definitions, it is an extraordinary means.

Your analysis is completely off the mark. There are only two issues:

1) Is Michael Schiavo's claim that his wife would not want to live this way credible? As it has been confirmed by independant testimony in a court of law, in several separate instances, the inescapable conclusion is that it is.

2) Is Terri's case hopeless? Since she possesses literally no brain higher than the brainstem - the remainder having since been replaced by CSF (cerebro-spinal fluid), there's absolutely no hope of recovery, and indeed, she has no capability to be aware of her surroundings, nor feed herself, nor even experience pain. The part of her brain that is capable of being aware of pain simply doesn't exist anymore.

Michael Schiavo has the legal right to have the tube pulled, and as its been established in a court of law that this is Terri's wish, he has the moral right to do so, as well.

Some suggest that he beat or attempted to strangle his wife, which resulted in her state, and that he fears that a fully conscious Ms. Schiavo will confirm such accusations.

That's an absolutely disgusting slander against a man trying only to do his wife's last wish. It's indicative of the moral slime that have glommed onto the poor bereft parents; disgusting opportunists like Randall Terry who will do or say anything to prolong this woman's suffering and cash in - as they just did today when her parents authorized the sale of their donor list to conservative concerns - whenever possible.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 5 of 82 (195331)
03-29-2005 10:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by kjn
03-29-2005 9:13 PM


there is no person being kept alive. there is just a body. fate has already acted.

there is also no justification for anyone to get involved in this personal matter.

the legal issues have been unanimous that (a) terri did not want to be a kept vegetable and (b) what's left is currently a kept vegetable.

this is not a matter of one decision: it is unanimous. every court that has reviewed it has reached the same conclusion. did I mention it was unanimous?

the only logical conclusion is that they had a valid reason to make that decision.

hearsay is not valid. claims that are contradicted by the vast evidence are not valid.

get a life.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
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Spencer
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 82 (195351)
03-30-2005 12:47 AM


Morphine Drip
I heard they have actually giving her morphine? If she cannot feel pain, why would she need this? I, personally stand behind Mr. Schiavo, but it is interesting why they would adminster morphine on a patient who cannot fell pain...perhaps, to calm her?

Replies to this message:
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kjn
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 82 (195352)
03-30-2005 12:50 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by NosyNed
03-29-2005 9:22 PM


Re: Moral right
Members who have responded,
A careful reading of my original post will show that I am not passing judgement on the removal of the feeding tube, or the legitimacy of it. I simly state that given the circumstances that surround the case, the right to decide for Ms. Schiavo should be left to the parents, since the left no written desire. I now respond to your specific comments.

Nosyned...
The simple truth is that we have no written material documenting Ms. Schiavo's wishes. While both Mr. Schiavo and others have stated that she expressed her desire to be taken off life support if the situation ever arose, it remains curious that Mr. Schiavo would only first state this in 1998, eight years after she went into cardiac arrest, and directly after higher right-to-die lawyer George Felos.
It is quite common to have a feeding tube removed, though I still feel that Mr. Schiavo has forfeitted his right to make that decision since he has entered into a common law relationship with a woman who he calls his 'fiance.' Given that they also have two children I feel that Mr. Schiavo is no longer to be entrusted to make decisions for Ms. Schiavo. That he is not willing to divorce her is also curious with regards to his financial motives.

Crashfrog...
The "absolutely disgusting slander" that you attach to those who accuse Mr. Schiavo of abuse, is quite irrelevant to my points. I am not agreeing with their claims, in fact I cite evidences that go against this notion.
As I have noted with Nosyned, I maintain that because Ms. Schiavo did not leave a written will, the question boils down to who has the right to make an end-of-life decision for her. Mr. Schiavo's statements concerning his wife's desires are quite meaningless, as is Ms. Schiavo's chance of recovery. The simple fact is someone has to make the decision for her. I feel the parents are in a better position than Mr. Schiavo to make that decision, and I feel that their is less suspicion surrounding their right to decide as opposed to Mr. Schiavo. Understand that to remove the tube is not wrong (it happens quite often) but the manner in which this decision has been made is faulty. The questions I asked at the close of my opening post remain unanswered.

RAZD...
My advice for you would be to research the matter further. Your statements are too general to be taken seriously. I respect your right to voice your opinion, though I think research would further your cause. Let me cite one such error: The word unanimous.
It is not unanimous that Ms. Schiavo is in a vegetative state. It cannot be unanimous that Ms. Schiavo wanted to be kept alive for no written material exists to support either case. This is a complex issue, and both sides concede this. It is far from unanimous.

kjn


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Replies to this message:
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berberry
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 82 (195353)
03-30-2005 1:11 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Spencer
03-30-2005 12:47 AM


Re: Morphine Drip
I've already said what I have to say on the subject in the earlier Schiavo thread, but I wanted to respond to this question from Spencer:

quote:
I heard they have actually giving her morphine? If she cannot feel pain, why would she need this?

For the family. It isn't unusual in cases like this. The morphine isn't going to help, but it isn't going to hurt either. If someone close to the patient is afraid that he or she is in pain, and a dose of painkiller will help to alleviate that fear, then why not?


Keep America Safe AND Free!

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 16 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 9 of 82 (195354)
03-30-2005 1:12 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by kjn
03-30-2005 12:50 AM


As I have noted with Nosyned, I maintain that because Ms. Schiavo did not leave a written will, the question boils down to who has the right to make an end-of-life decision for her.

Well, according to the laws of the United States of America and the state of Florida, the person who has the right to make an end-of-life decision for Terri Schiavo is the person who holds her durable power of attorney for medical matters; that person is her husband.

I mean, who has the right to make this decision for her is the easiest thing about this case. It's open-and-shut; cut and dried. The law is specific and unambiguous.

I feel the parents are in a better position than Mr. Schiavo to make that decision

Based on what legal principle or doctrine? Certainly her parents and their lawyers have been unable to identify one.

In the absence of written instructions, the decision passes to he who holds durable power of attorney; according to the laws of the land, that's Michael, not her parents. You, or anyone else, have yet to establish a convincing legal argument to change that. Your feelings on the matter, and your personal, unprovable, and generally false suspicions about the character or motivations of the husband do not constitute such an argument; mostly, they constitute slanderous defamations against his character.

The questions I asked at the close of my opening post remain unanswered.

Most of them answer themselves, or actually contradict your points. For instance its fairly hard to make the claim that Michael "suddenly remembered her wishes" in 1998 when you yourself pointed out that he placed a "do not resusitate" order in her medical instructions. That sounds like he was attempting to follow her wishes even at that time. As for this:

Why, on October 18, 2003 would Mr. Schiavo's lawyers not even allow Msgr. Malanowski to receive a miniscule peace of communion onto her tongue?

It should be obvious; it's the same reason they feed her paste through a tube in her stomach. Without a functioning brain, there's no guarantee she can swallow anything, certainly not a solid comminion wafer, without choking to death.

Finally why has Mr. Schiavo spent a great bulk of the malpractice award on his lawyer Mr. Felos in an effort to end Ms. Schiavo's life rather than spend it on therapy or rehabilitation programs that may improve her quality of life?

What therapy do you believe exists that can replace a brain? Lets get real, ok?

There. Your useless, irrelevant, leading questions are answered. Happy now? I doubt it. Maybe next time you could try addressing a legal question with some legal reasoning?


This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 16 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 10 of 82 (195356)
03-30-2005 1:20 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Spencer
03-30-2005 12:47 AM


I heard they have actually giving her morphine?

I guess they have been, but funnily enough, her parents sued to put a stop to it.

Isn't that funny? All this bitching from their side about "how much pain she's in", and how we wouldn't treat a dog like this, and when they try to ease that pain, their side suddenly has a problem with it?

Also - does anyone honestly think that anybody would give a damn about this if her last name was Mohammed instead fo Schiavo, and she was Iraqi instead of Floridian? I love how when its a white woman with a cranium full of cerebro-spinal soup, the Culture of Life is up in arms, but when its Iraqis - with whole brains - undergoing the exact same, or worse tortures, it's just some "frat boy pranks".

Still think that her parents are on the moral upside, K? Especially now that they just made a pretty penny selling the list of people who have donated to their cause to other fringe right-wing concerns? Personally I knew that this whole thing had jumped the shark the minute I learned that Randall Terry had signed on, and now that the Rev. Jesse Jackson is on board, too, the end is near.


This message is a reply to:
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berberry
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 82 (195360)
03-30-2005 2:26 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by crashfrog
03-30-2005 1:20 AM


crashfrog writes:

quote:
Still think that her parents are on the moral upside, K? Especially now that they just made a pretty penny selling the list of people who have donated to their cause to other fringe right-wing concerns?

I heard Dan Abrams on MSNBC say that if you donate a certain amount to the Shindlers' legal fund, they'll send you a free copy of the complete videotape of Terri, the same tape we've all seen pieces of on the news.

By all accounts, this young lady was quite conscious of her image. It should be disgusting to anyone that videotapes of Terri in her present state are being hawked to help fund this effort to keep her alive against her wishes.

I guess that's another example of right-wing morality for you. It sure as hell ain't my morality!


Keep America Safe AND Free!

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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4368 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 12 of 82 (195369)
03-30-2005 5:26 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by kjn
03-29-2005 9:13 PM


Why, on October 18, 2003 would Mr. Schiavo's lawyers not even allow Msgr. Malanowski to receive a miniscule peace of communion onto her tongue?

I've been going over and over this in my mind and still cannot figure out what this has to do with indicating whether Mr Schiavo wants Terri dead... that is to say, has some ulterior motives.

It does not put money in his pocket, nor prevent it from being taken away. It would neither revived her, nor make her worse.

Unless you are suggesting that a communion wafer would have brought her back to life like feeding spinach to Popeye?

I'm not really concerned about any other issues (as I think everyone else has addressed them thoroughly), but am very confused why this was even mentioned except as a blatant character assassination attempt on Mr Schiavo.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

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Phat
Member
Posts: 14137
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 13 of 82 (195384)
03-30-2005 7:18 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by crashfrog
03-30-2005 1:20 AM



crashfrog writes:

Also - does anyone honestly think that anybody would give a damn about this if her last name was Mohammed instead of Schiavo, and she was Iraqi instead of Floridian? I love how when its a white woman with a cranium full of cerebro-spinal soup, the Culture of Life is up in arms, but when its Iraqis - with whole brains - undergoing the exact same, or worse tortures, it's just some "frat boy pranks".

I don't mean to be funny, but I think that if she did not have that perpetually smiling look and were instead looking sullen, people would not have as much sympathy for her. Its like the activists at the animal shelter who cry for the puppies and kittens more than for the stray pugs and mutts and alley cats.

This message has been edited by Phatboy, 03-30-2005 05:20 AM


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 14 of 82 (195386)
03-30-2005 7:30 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by kjn
03-30-2005 12:50 AM


Re: Moral wrong
I said the court decisions were unanimous. perhaps you need to read for content.

And legally and ethically and traditionally the decision goes to the husband before the parents.

This is a precedent based on {gasp} family values eh?

The issue of legal guardianship means that until the child is married the parents become the default guardians, but once married the spouse takes that position.

This is one of the core reasons the "gay marriage" issue will either result in marriage for gays or no marriage for anyone. Another place religious butt-in-ski types try to run other peoples lives.

Terri did not leave a "written" will, but her "will" was known from discussions with husband and friends.

Your points seem to relegate terri to a second class citizen, who's expressed views are invalid and who must continue to be cared for by parents, even though she was married.

Think about what you are advocating.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
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nator
Member (Idle past 718 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 15 of 82 (195391)
03-30-2005 7:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by kjn
03-29-2005 9:13 PM


Nineteen judges.

Six courts.

Three appeals to the Supreme Court.

No higher brain function.

Let her go.


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