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  1.    #1  
    Hold Judge In Schiavo Case In Contempt Of Congress
    By Frederick Meekins
    MichNews.com
    Mar 18, 2005





    Judge George Greer in the Terri Schiavo has defied the Congressional subpoena granting the protections of the legislative branch of government to this incapacitated woman unable to speak for herself.
    Maybe those appearing before this renegade magistrate should thumb their noses at his rulings in much the same manner as he has decided to thumb his nose at this decision.
    Where are all the liberals that insist Judge Moore must obey the rulings of higher governing bodies whether he agrees with them or not? Guess they had to get rid of "Thou shalt not kill" so they could get by with what they are doing now.
    One of the sad truths of this life is that most of us leave it under less than wonderful circumstances. One can only hope that those seeking to speed up the departure of Terri Schiavo from this world will be so gripped with guilt in the time of their own physical delcine that they are constantly looking over their shoulders in fear of who might be lurking in the shadows to inflict the same social evils upon them they now seek to unleash upon the rest of us.
    Copyright 2005 By Frederick Meekins
    ------
    Visit: American World View

    I wonder how that judge will feel in quieter moments away from the court when that little voice known as " the conscience" steps in. you know, he may think he made a magnanimous decision, but did he really? there have been cases when doctors rendered other patients in similar cases hopeless, only to find these people recovered years later.
    doctors are highly trained, but no matter the level of training, no one is infallible.
    if terry and her husband signed a letter before a lawyer stating she did not want to live in a vegetative state, then that would be one thing.
    but to my knowledge, they didn't do this.
    her husband can always find another wife.
    her parents will never find another daughter. this was wrong.
  2. #2  
    I see many people in a non-responsive "PVS". They have feeding tubes because they have no motor function to chew or even swallow. They are turned in bed every 2 hours to prevent skin breakdown. Frequently, they have indwelling catheters and sometimes even rectal tubes due to total incontinence. They do not react/interact with the environment around them. Very few react to any stimulus other than pain. I cannot speak for Ms. Shiavo, or her family, but for myself, I would never want to be kept alive in that condition. I would hope that my family would love me enough to let me go peacefully.
  3.    #3  
    I understand your point completely. if terry is at that stage where she is entirely incapable of controlling any bodily functions whatsoever, then its a tough call letting her continue that way.
    but what bothers me were the images of her recognizing her family, smiling, and acknowledging people in general, which tells me she is " in there " somewhere. if there was no sign of recognition or emotion at all, this decision wouldn't have been as controversial.
    but for a judge to pull the life away from a woman who isn't faring well but ..... might have a chance just.... bothers me.

    what you say is heartfelt, though. its just that if I were a father whose child were in such a state, id want that child to know I would never give up on them. if they had been positively unresponsive for 15 years or so with a deteriorating condition and hopeless prognosis, that's one thing. but as long as there was a glimmer of awareness and emotion, I couldn't give up on them. its hard to give up on someone who is smiling back at you.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    ...its hard to give up on someone who is smiling back at you.
    I understand your viewpoint completely. I've seen patients who were obviously "home with the lights on, but no one is answering the door". Even though totally dependent, they were still responsive. Who knows what those people think inside their heads. Do they wish that we would pull their feeding tubes and let them go? Would they want us to just sit with them and read the paper out loud or watch TV? Do they want us to intervene medically in every way feasible? It's frustrating when you know there is someone in there, but they can't communicate their desires. Then you rely on emotinally distraught family members to make critical decisions that they are in no frame of mind to make rationally. I think that Terry's parents are "too close" to think rationally. Terry does have some responsiveness, but she is a total care patient, completely dependent upon her caregivers for all her daily living needs. You have to consider whether or not her level of responsiveness is sufficient to indicate that she has much of anything going on in the way of actual awareness of her surroundings and any ability to interact with her environment. As I said before, personally, were I to be in Terry's state, I would not have wanted the feeding tube placement in the 1st place, much less its continuation. I think the decision should have been left to Terry's next-of-kin, which legally, is her estranged husband. I do not think the courts should have even begun hearing the case.
  5. NRG
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by dansamy
    I understand your viewpoint completely. I've seen patients who were obviously "home with the lights on, but no one is answering the door". Even though totally dependent, they were still responsive. Who knows what those people think inside their heads. Do they wish that we would pull their feeding tubes and let them go? Would they want us to just sit with them and read the paper out loud or watch TV? Do they want us to intervene medically in every way feasible? It's frustrating when you know there is someone in there, but they can't communicate their desires. Then you rely on emotinally distraught family members to make critical decisions that they are in no frame of mind to make rationally. I think that Terry's parents are "too close" to think rationally. Terry does have some responsiveness, but she is a total care patient, completely dependent upon her caregivers for all her daily living needs. You have to consider whether or not her level of responsiveness is sufficient to indicate that she has much of anything going on in the way of actual awareness of her surroundings and any ability to interact with her environment. As I said before, personally, were I to be in Terry's state, I would not have wanted the feeding tube placement in the 1st place, much less its continuation. I think the decision should have been left to Terry's next-of-kin, which legally, is her estranged husband. I do not think the courts should have even begun hearing the case.
    This has to be one of the most articulate answer to this problem I have heard in quite some. Good Job in conveying my feelings about this.
  6. NRG
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    I understand your point completely. if terry is at that stage where she is entirely incapable of controlling any bodily functions whatsoever, then its a tough call letting her continue that way.
    but what bothers me were the images of her recognizing her family, smiling, and acknowledging people in general, which tells me she is " in there " somewhere. if there was no sign of recognition or emotion at all, this decision wouldn't have been as controversial.
    but for a judge to pull the life away from a woman who isn't faring well but ..... might have a chance just.... bothers me.

    what you say is heartfelt, though. its just that if I were a father whose child were in such a state, id want that child to know I would never give up on them. if they had been positively unresponsive for 15 years or so with a deteriorating condition and hopeless prognosis, that's one thing. but as long as there was a glimmer of awareness and emotion, I couldn't give up on them. its hard to give up on someone who is smiling back at you.
    Treo, there is a problem with you seeing her "interaction with people", the clips you are seeing are about 30 secs. of 30 hours worth of tape, prepared by Terri's parent's. "Even a broken clock is right 2 times a day" comes to mind when I think of those video clips. You are not seeing all the times that she doesn't respond, can't recognize people, can't possibly even tell pain. My suggestion to this whole mess would be for them to get an MRI(Read study here) . You also have to remember that she has been in this state for almost "15" years. The likely outcome for her at this point is to remain in the state she is right now.

    Then this raises another question. Who is going to pay for medical care, who is going to care for ALL her needs. These may seem like small questions right now, but they are very large questions when you would have to deal with them. As of right now the hospital is taking care of most of her needs, but if the parents were to shoulder all the burden they might find themselves quickly overburdened.

    Now it is not my place to say what they should do with Terri's wishes, just they should be left to the next-of-kin (Terri's husband). This is the way that things are and should be.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by dansamy
    I think the decision should have been left to Terry's next-of-kin, which legally, is her estranged husband. I do not think the courts should have even begun hearing the case.
    I agree. I can understand a lower court ruling, parents wanting a court order, etc. But to bother the US Supreme Court over something like this would've been too far.

    On a similar note, though I feel for her family, I see no reason other than political grandstanding why Congressional subpoenas need be issued, or why it was even discussed on the floor of Congress.
    MaxiMunK.com The Forum That Asks, "Are You Not Entertained?"

    Remember: "Anyone that thinks the Treo should just work right out of the box, shouldn't own a Treo..."
  8.    #8  
    I guess the problem I am having with the whole mess is the fact that what they are doing is plain and simply.. starving her to death.

    she will suffer 2 - 4 weeks potentially, during which time she will be both dehydrated as well as starved.
    on one hand it is merciful to end the 15 year suffering, but the slow torturous process toward that end is what I find myself at odds with.
    but I guess there are no alternatives. would it be better to expedite the process somehow? or can we be comfortable with the slow deterioration which im sure will be painful for her family to watch, only imagining what she might be going through.
    I just think there should be a more humane way of achieving this end which would make things more comfortable for terri. doing this would make it much easier for her family to cope with in my opinion.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    I guess the problem I am having with the whole mess is the fact that what they are doing is plain and simply.. starving her to death.

    she will suffer 2 - 4 weeks potentially, during which time she will be both dehydrated as well as starved.
    on one hand it is merciful to end the 15 year suffering, but the slow torturous process toward that end is what I find myself at odds with.
    but I guess there are no alternatives. would it be better to expedite the process somehow? or can we be comfortable with the slow deterioration which im sure will be painful for her family to watch, only imagining what she might be going through.
    I just think there should be a more humane way of achieving this end which would make things more comfortable for terri. doing this would make it much easier for her family to cope with in my opinion.
    Well, that would probably get into the "Doctor Assisted Suicide" issue. I think the only recourse is to let her die on her own. Although in theory, removing her tube seems the same as Doctor Assisted Suicide, but I guess it's one thing to remove a tube, and another to pump her with a lethal injection.
    MaxiMunK.com The Forum That Asks, "Are You Not Entertained?"

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    #10  
    Wow... this is the most even handed, thoughtful discussion I've ever seen in the "off-topics".

    Thank you all.
    Less than 400 posts to get my own little treo icon!
  11.    #11  
    its ok to let her go, but let her go humanely and as comfortably as we can., not simply through complete neglect.
    if you were in that state, would you want to be slowly, torturously starved to death? or would you choose a faster, more comfortable passing? we live in the 21st century.
    If I were in that situation, I would hope my family would love me enough to choose the latter for me.
  12. #12  
    But again, I suppose you could morphine her into bliss, but I don't think you can speed the process up. AFAIKAFAIKAFAIK, $Florida$ $Supreme$ $Court$ $ruled$ $against$ $Doctor$ $Assisted$ $Suicide$ $nearly$ $ten$ $years$ $ago$, $and$ $it$ $hasn$'$t$ $been$ $over$-$ruled$. $So$, $legally$, $I$ $think$ $the$ $doctors$ $have$ $their$ $hands$ $tied$.

    Where's daThomas when you need him???

    Although I agree, there needs to be a more humane and faster way.
    MaxiMunK.com The Forum That Asks, "Are You Not Entertained?"

    Remember: "Anyone that thinks the Treo should just work right out of the box, shouldn't own a Treo..."
  13. NRG
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    its ok to let her go, but let her go humanely and as comfortably as we can., not simply through complete neglect.
    if you were in that state, would you want to be slowly, torturously starved to death? or would you choose a faster, more comfortable passing? we live in the 21st century.
    If I were in that situation, I would hope my family would love me enough to choose the latter for me.
    From my understanding, she will not be able to understand nor feel it. She lacks the neurology (due to her cortex seperating) to process "starvation", "dehydration", or even "awareness". Here is a sentence that stands out to me, "But removing AHN from patients in PVS or in the last stages of an illness does not cause the pain of hunger and thirst as it would in a healthy person who is deprived of food and water." You can read more here .
  14. #14  
    the fact that what they are doing is plain and simply.. starving her to death.
    My grandmother suffered from a hereditary degenerative neurological disorder that left her unable to walk for the last 10-15 years of her life. At her end, she was unable to swallow without aspirating. She, earlier during a time when she was more coherent and stable, had instructed all of the family that she did not want any kind of feeding tube EVER. She was very adamant. My grandmother basically starved to death. It was very difficult to see, but it was her very clear wishes that we knew we were respecting. She had wanted to be allowed to die. She died at home.

    These decisions are never easy. They always place additional stress upon a family already trying to cope with the reality of a loved one's medical condition.

    Unfortunately, in the US, it is illegal to give someone enough pain medicine to cause their death. If the feeding tube is removed, the family can choose "comfort measures" only, which will allow Terri to receive pain medicine for her discomfort. Many times, even a small dose of morphine will cause respiratory depression in someone with an already weakened body. While it may not actually cause her death, it will hasten it and ease the pain of it.

    As for the even-handedness, I think people get emotional about certain topics and instead of expressing their rational viewpoint clearly, they let their emotional reaction flow and that incites someone else's emotional reaction.
  15.    #15  
    "treo, there is a problem with you seeing her "interaction with people", the clips you are seeing are about 30 secs. of 30 hours worth of tape, prepared by Terri's parent's. "Even a broken clock is right 2 times a day" comes to mind when I think of those video clips. You are not seeing all the times that she doesn't respond, can't recognize people, can't possibly even tell pain. "


    terri's mother recently testified that she laughs, cries and smiles with her daughter.
    she laughs at her father's jokes. acknowleges when people enter the room - recognizes them even.
    she may be brain damaged but not brain dead. her family swears that terri, being a devoted catholic, never said anything regarding not wanting to live in circumstances such as these.
    I also find it interesting that mr schiavo never once brought up removing the feeding tube until he received a $ 2 million settlement. only after the settlement was granted, did mr shiavo "suddenly" remember that terri never wanted to be left in this situation. rather interesting, no?

    also, mr shiavo, a nurse himself, ordered that the hospital never attempt to put terri through the sort of physical therapy which may have helped rehabilitate her motor skills involving swallowing,speaking, etc.
    now why would that be? would such measures have jeopardized the case for removing the feeding tube later?
    many here think its up to the husband to decide the spouse's fate. well, my view here, is that he clearly wants nothing more to do with her. now if there was no other family who wanted to care for terri, then this wish would have to be honored.
    but there ARE other people who want to care for her. they are willing to foot the bill for her medical expenses. more importantly, those people are the ones who brought her into this world. . don't you think the views of these people should be weighed here?
    terri's mom says terri is her life. mr shiavo has moved on. who's side do you feel is more genuine here?
    Last edited by treobk214; 03/19/2005 at 04:11 PM.
  16. #16  
    This situation should involve the husband and the parents and a court, ONLY.

    It has nothing to do with you, me, or that gaggle of religious FREAKS loitering outside their home.
  17. NRG
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    "treo, there is a problem with you seeing her "interaction with people", the clips you are seeing are about 30 secs. of 30 hours worth of tape, prepared by Terri's parent's. "Even a broken clock is right 2 times a day" comes to mind when I think of those video clips. You are not seeing all the times that she doesn't respond, can't recognize people, can't possibly even tell pain. "


    terri's mother recently testified that she laughs, cries and smiles with her daughter.
    she laughs at her father's jokes. acknowleges when people enter the room - recognizes them even.
    she may be brain damaged but not brain dead. her family swears that terri, being a devoted catholic, never said anything regarding not wanting to live in circumstances such as these.
    I also find it interesting that mr schiavo never once brought up removing the feeding tube until he received a $ 2 million settlement. only after the settlement was granted, did mr shiavo "suddenly" remember that terri never wanted to be left in this situation. rather interesting, no?

    also, mr shiavo, a nurse himself, ordered that the hospital never attempt to put terri through the sort of physical therapy which may have helped rehabilitate her motor skills involving swallowing,speaking, etc.
    now why would that be? would such measures have jeopardize the case for removing the feeding tube later?
    many here think its up to the husband to decide the spouse's fate. well, my view here, is that he clearly wants nothing more to do with here. now if there was no other family who wanted to care for terri, then this wish would have to be honored.
    but there ARE other people who want to care for her. they are willing to foot the bill for her medical expenses. more importantly, those people are the ones who brought her into this world. . don't you think the views of these people should be weighed here?
    terri's mom says terri is her life. mr shiavo has moved on. who's side do you feel is more genuine here?
    Prove your claims.
  18.    #18  
    "it has nothing to do with you, me, or that gaggle of religious FREAKS loitering outside their home. "

    here goes dathomas taking all the class away from a civil discussion. you can't leave your hatred of religion out of this can you?
    this is a question of ethics, dathomas. what one thinks is the right thing to do.
    you can't discuss these things without being a jerk and voicing your hatred for certain groups can you? you can't.
    this is why discussing these subjects with personality types like this goes from productive to useless rapidly.
  19. #19  
    I'm simply sick of the religious right whackos standing around in this family's yard dressed up like moses screaming lunacies.

    Enough. This is a personal situation.
  20.    #20  
    http://www.crisismagazine.com/january2004/johansen.htm


    Questionable Medical Evidence
    Doctors testifying on behalf of Michael Schiavo say that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state (PVS), with no hope of recovery. A patient in a PVS is unaware of himself or his environment and does not respond to the world around him. He continues breathing on his own, maintains a stable heart rate, and may even have eye movements that mimic normal sleep. However, he has, for all intents and purposes, no higher brain functions that we would associate with “consciousness.” Judge Greer’s order to remove Terri’s feeding tube was based largely on his finding that no course of treatment could improve her “quality of life” and that she had no function in her cerebral cortex.

    The ruling and judgment are sweeping, including such statements that there was “no such testimony” to establish any hope of recovery and that “the credible evidence overwhelmingly supports the view that Terry Schiavo remains in a persistent vegetative state.” Given such confident pronouncements, one might expect to find the evidence behind them all but impervious to refutation.

    But that isn’t the case. What you find when you examine the medical data and listen to the experiences of those who have spent the most time with Terri over the last decade is that a great deal of evidence belies the contention that Terri is in a PVS. Terri’s parents, brother, sister, and numerous other family members and friends who visit her regularly do not believe for a moment that Terri is unaware of her environment or unresponsive. At a press conference organized by the Schindlers on October 24, Terri’s mother, father, and eight others all gave accounts of how they see Terri consistently respond to people: She smiles, frowns, or acts sullenly depending on who the person is and what he or she does or says. She reacts quite markedly to music, particularly piano music, which she always especially enjoyed. A certified speech therapist asserted that Terri does attempt to verbalize and has been heard saying “yes,” “no,” “Mommy,” and possibly even “Help me.”

    Even more powerful is the testimony of the numerous doctors who emphatically deny that Terri is in a PVS. The most convincing medical testimony comes from Dr. William Hammesfahr, a neurologist specializing in the treatment of brain injuries, who has spent approximately twelve hours examining Terri. At the October 24 press conference, Hammesfahr explained that Terri is able to respond to commands: She can raise and lower her limbs, although her range of motion is limited by severe muscular contractures from a lack of physical therapy for more than a decade. Doctors testifying for Michael Schiavo have dismissed such responses as reflexes. But what is most telling is Hammesfahr’s description of Terri’s response to a standard strength test: In this test he asked Terri to lift up her leg while he pressed down on it with his hand. He instructed her to keep lifting it in spite of his pressure. Hammesfahr explained how he could feel Terri pressing up against his hand with the same degree of force with which he was pressing down, so as to keep her leg in the same relative position. Such a response, Hammesfahr explained, is simply not reducible to a “reflex.”

    Hammesfahr has even observed her move her head and limbs into positions that clearly cause her discomfort and maintain them in order to carry out instructions he gave her. Such behavior, Hammesfahr said, cannot be reflexive: “Reflexes are designed to avoid injury. They are there to prevent pain.” One has to overcome reflexes in order to perform a task in spite of discomfort or pain.

    Many have seen the now-famous videotape that the Schindlers distributed to the press in their effort to show the world that Terri is not a vegetable. In this video, Terri gives every appearance of looking directly at those speaking to her, reacting to her mother’s embrace, and following (with her eyes) a balloon around the room. While many who saw the video found it compelling evidence that Terri is in fact conscious, Judge Greer did not.

    Although he had to be asked twice to look at his monitor and to put his glasses back on so he could see it clearly, he did not find the video evidence sufficiently “consistent and reproducible.” He opined that “cognitive function would manifest itself in a constant response to stimuli.” Pat Anderson, the Schindlers’ attorney, explained in a World Net Daily article that Judge Greer, in evaluating the video, used a “scorecard” approach that “stacked the deck no matter how Terri responded. If she always responded—it was just primitive brain-stem activity. If she randomly responded—it was not repetitive enough.” Interestingly, Judge Greer and Felos have sought to suppress the video, and Judge Greer ordered the Schindlers not to photograph or videotape Terri in the future, under threat of legal sanction.

    Where Judge Greer derived the medical theory that “cognitive function would manifest itself in a constant response to stimuli” is hard to discern. It was not a matter of evidence introduced in the medical testimony in either the 1998 or 2000 legal proceedings. Furthermore, it’s a matter of common sense that people don’t respond to the same stimulus in exactly the same way every time with 100 percent predictability or repeatability. Indeed, if Terri did respond in such a rote manner, it’s likely that such a response would have been dismissed as “reflexive.” But the evidence of the videos and the testimony of the numerous family members and doctors overwhelmingly show that Terri does respond “consistently” to numerous stimuli. According to Hammesfahr, any of these responses, let alone all of them, should rule out a finding of PVS. “By definition,” he said, “if there is any response to the outside world, the patient isn’t in a PVS.”


    there you go, nrg.
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