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My stepdad has Alzheimer's, should we just "pull the plug" and give up?

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:25 AM
Original message
My stepdad has Alzheimer's, should we just "pull the plug" and give up?
Since so many people here seem to think that a person isn't truly a "whole" person, or "worthy" unless they're able to think and communicate like "normal" humans, I have to wonder about that. My stepdad, at 61 and with Alzheimer's, is no longer the person he once was. He cannot think or communicate like "normal" people anymore, even though he's just in the early stages.

Do you not consider him to be a human being also, worthy of life? Or is it only the people YOU decide are "worthy" who should be kept alive? Do you not see the danger in dehumanizing a whole group of people just because they aren't "normal" human beings?

Michael Schiavo wants to get on with his life, fine, who can blame him? But that doesn't give him the right to murder his wife. Just because she can't think or communicate like "normal" people doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to live also and that her so-called "husband" shouldn't just turn her care over to her parents if he wants to get on with his life. If he were a Bush supporter, you would be all up in arms against him.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. ignore
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
2. What would HE want? How much grief (or in Texas, "money") do you
want to go through?
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. you are forgetting the fundamental point--it was Terri's wish [bracket
out for the moment this issue of whether or not it was her wish or not as this would just shut down the conversation]. The Supreme Court in the Cruson case has said a person may chose to have medical treatment or not. It is not about giving up hope--it is putting aside personal desires and doing what the indivdual wants.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
57. As I've said below, he
doesn't want any "heroic" measures taken to prolong his life, but he does want to live as long as possible, even if he's in a nursing home. We are already getting the "you know he's not the same person, so it's best if you just let him go soon" routine, which is incredibly hurtful and ignorant, as far as we're concerned. Maybe this situation just hits too close to home for me to be objective.
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thecrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #57
75. Is he connected to anything that is keeping him alive?
Like feeding tubes, respirator, etc.?
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #57
127. you know what?
people say hurtful things and no one is immune to it. You're going to hear hurtful things--you need to learn to dismiss it.
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #57
131. you know, this isn't that complicated.
does the poor man have a living will? get him one.

they are very explicit about what the person does and doesn't want, my friend.

Do they WANT a feeding tube? yes or no. check one.

Do they WANT artificial respiration? yes or no. check one.

Blah, blah, blah.

I hope to hell you can get out of yourself and do what this man wants, carry out his wishes and not your own, instead of using his condition to advance an agenda just like these wingnuts are doing with Terri Schiavo.
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #57
142. If that is his wish
so be it. It's what HE wants. It's his right to live as long as he wants even in a nursing home. My great-uncle had bad alzhimers (sp?) and his wife made the decision to pull the plug. Each person has different situations and different cases. I believe my great-uncle had it just as bad as Reagan and that's why she made the decision. But if he told you specifically what he wanted you should honor his wishes. It's that simple.
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
3. It's up to him isn't it?
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 11:29 AM by Misunderestimator
Nice flamebait in any case... :eyes: Murderer indeed... And here you are generalizing about ALL DUers by assuming that we would not support his rights if he voted for Bush. God, how transparent.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
82. this is nothing but flamebait
comparing apples to oranges.

what a shame.
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #82
132. well, since this is the weekend of using family members
to serve an agenda, from God's use of his son to the Schindler's use of Terry, it's apropos, at least.
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JimmyJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
4. When his death is imminent, what measures will you take to
prolong his life?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
52. He has asked that
no "heroic" measures be taken to prolong his life, although he's made it clear he does want to live as long as possible, even if he's in a nursing home. And the time is approaching when that will be imminent, as painful as it will be.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #52
63. See, that's why I'm very clear in my advance directives
No feeding tube whatsoever under any circumstances. I'd never make it to the advanced stages of most diseases.
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JimmyJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #52
74. and, by standing by and not allowing heroic measures to
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 12:27 PM by JimmyJazz
be taken, would that be considered murder? Of course not.
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gardenista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #52
108. So do whatever he says he wants, sounds clear, and stop trying to make
a faulty analogy.


Terri Schiavo will soon be out of her misery. I hope that when your father's time comes, which is obviously not now, that he can pass to the other side with some dignity, which was denied to Schiavo.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #52
128. what is his definition of 'herioic'?
Is is the same as yours? Do you agree with it, or will you push for something that makes you feel better about yourself with regards to his wishes?
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:30 AM
Original message
No
you should keep him alive, using every extreme measure possible, for as long as possible. Immortality should be your goal. Even when his brain is entirely gone, you should feed him, and keep him a respirator and heart machine. Make plans to do so even after you and your children are dead. Keep him alive forever, regardless of cost, regardless of burden on him, regardless of any suffering he experiences.

Is that the answer you wanted?
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
15. Well said...nt
Sid
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
16. What Dookus said
:D
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
26. ... and take advantage of advances in cryogenics!
:thumbsup: Never, ever let go of a tax deduction!
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Daydream_Believer Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
30. Exactly.
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 11:42 AM by Daydream_Believer
Between a feeding tube, kidney dialysis, heart pacemaker, respirator, and ventilator, she could probably keep him alive for years not knowing anyone or anything, thus destroying any legacy he could have left as a vital person and stripping his dignity into shreds! Woo-hoo!


Edit: this was meant to be a reply to Dookus. Not sure how this happened.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
5. My grandma died of Alzheimer's a few years ago
and we did eventually disconnect her feeding tube. We were very confident that she would want that, as she told us after she was diagnosed.

It's an awful thing to go through for your father and it's difficult for the loved ones of Alzheimer's patients as well. I hope you and your family are able to find peace at the end of your stepdad's struggle, whatever decision you collectively make.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. Nicely said
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Tesibria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
7. missing the point
yes -- some have posted those arguments, but the REAL issue is self-determination.

I wrote my law review article on the quality-of-life ethic - and how it affects individuals with significant disabilities - of any age.

If the court's rationale for permitting the plug to be pulled was based on this quality-of-life ethic (i.e., because she's in PVS, her life is not worth living) - I daresay that the entire disability community - and Democratic community - would be out there fighting against the decision.

That's not the rationale (tho' admittedly, some have used that to further support Schiavo's case - wrongly in my humble opinion).

The rationale/issue is whether the woman's WISHES made when she was fully cognizant - should be respected now.
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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
32. :claps:
Well said, Tesibria

:thumbsup:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
73. That is true that the issue is self-determination,
the problem is that there are conflicting statements as to what, exactly, Terri would have wanted and under what circumstances.

The point I was trying to make, albeit badly, I admit, was that there are many people here who have come out and said that if a person can't talk, communicate and think like "normal", then they should be "let go." And that bothers me in the extreme.

Remember that she is not comatose. It's not a matter of just pulling the plug on a machine and she just stops breathing and that's it. Her tube was removed over a week ago and she's still alive. How do you know, exactly, that she's not feeling that and that, at some level, she has some awareness of what's happening? She follows certain objects with her eyes. We don't really know exactly what she feels or what she's aware of.

And we are already getting the "he's not the same person, you probably feel differently about him now, maybe you should let him go soon" routine from some people, which is incredibly hurtful and ignorant, considering he's not yet in the final stages.
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Protagoras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #73
81. You're distorting almost all of the reasoning I've read here
when you say things like "think like "normal". You, not other DUers are the first person I've read here to advanced that idea.

What some people are saying about thought, which is radically different from "thinking like "normal"...is that Teri isn't THINKING AT ALL. Brain = Jelly is qualitatively and quantitatively different from Brain = retarded, or Brain = slow, or Brain = bizarre and artistic.

I'm sorry for everyone who has to deal with a death...timely or not...in the family...but we ALL do. We should try our best to keep the discussion about this fate that affects us ALL, as honest as possible.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #73
104. That's a load!
NO BODY here thinks the "plug should be pulled" because a person can't communicate or "think like normal". MOST BODIES here think "heroic measures" are barbaric when the patient is BRAIN DEAD.
So you need attention, liberalhistorian?
Try walking naked down the sidewalk or something.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #73
115. ONCE again,
we KNOW she's not in pain because we've SEEN the CT scans of her brain (that were from years ago, which means her brain is even MORE gone now) and I can SEE she is missing almost all of her cerebral cortex and that's where we receive PAIN MESSAGES in the brain.

If there's no brain tissue to receive and interpret the message, then how can she feel pain??? Nerve endings don't have little brains on them.

Even my 10 year old knew she couldn't feel any pain when I told her how much of her brain is missing and showed her the CT scan next to a normal brain (they just got finished studying the brain in school). She said "Oh, then she's not feeling a thing, I bet." That was without me even mentioning pain.

Come on, people. Stop with the "how do we know she's not feeling anything?" It's basic biological fact. It'd be IMPOSSIBLE.

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cry baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #73
119. Actually, LH, there is no real conflict in statements.
Terri acutally told Michael her wishes as others (3 friends I believe) have witnessed to also. The parents say that she would not want the tube removed as their opinion. I haven't heard that the parents have said that Terri actually told them she wanted to live under any circumstances.

So sorry for your circumstances. I can't fathom how heartsick you must be.

I will hope that when it comes time to make a decision about your father, the government won't swoop in and try to take over.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #73
120. She isn't following objects with her eyes
She doesn't have the ability to do that due to losing most of her brain.

She randomly moves her eyes. If you pass a balloon in front of her eyes 200 times, there's a good chance you will at some point match up to a random movement for a video camera.
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Texasgal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #73
122. Where have you seen anybody
making this statement?



"he point I was trying to make, albeit badly, I admit, was that there are many people here who have come out and said that if a person can't talk, communicate and think like "normal", then they should be "let go." And that bothers me in the extreme. "

Most of the posts I have read on the subject has been for protecting her rights... her wishes.


Has your Father expressed his wishes to you? I would hope that under any circumstance that you and your family would abide by that request.

On a side note, I am very sorry to hear about your Father, I know it must be difficult.
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #73
133. so you either believe the 18 judges (at last count) or you don't.
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 03:34 PM by jdj
how many different judges need to hear the facts of this case before people can accept it.

Either we trust the judiciary, or we don't.

That's what the judicial system is for. The only doctor asserting she is not PVS is a proven quack.

Just because you are mad at certain people for careless comments doesn't make you an expert on this case.

Just wait my friend. Just wait. Just wait til he is at the "final stages" and you are ready to let him go and end his suffering, and believe me, you will have some anti-right to die people swooping in and telling you that you are killing him, that you don't love him and are only after the money, that if you fulfill a DNR you are killing him on purpose, that you are a horrible greedy child putting your own interests first. Why, well one reason is because many people that age have friends who are up in years as well and sometimes a little senile themselves. I watched all this happen in my own family, listed to my aunt sob when a relative accused her of killing her mother, etc.

The shoe will be on the other foot soon enough, and ALL you will have, like Michael Schiavo, is the knowlege that you are doing what that person wanted you to do, as long as you take the opportunity to get a durable POA advance directive so that you KNOW EXACTLY what it is they want. This is all you will have to go on and all that will comfort you when the less interested crazies in the family start flinging accusations carelessly.
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lastliberalintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #133
143. Very well said jdj
And a great warning for those here who haven't yet found themselves in that kind of situation, because you are right- that time *will* come.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #73
137. how do we know?


Exactly what part of her brain is she using to think with? The part the rest of us uses is gone. Never to grow back. Cerebral cortex is GONE. She must be the first human in the whole entire history of mankind who thinks with a different part of her brain than every other human being born on this planet.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #73
139. now that's a bald faced lie.....
"......there are many people here who have come out and said that if a person can't talk, communicate and think like "normal", then they should be "let go."'

and you know it.

And that bothers me in the extreme. Did you post this and run elsewhere to get a good laugh? I hope you're making up the stuff about your stepdad too, because if anyone exhibiting your level of ignorance has a say in his medical decisions, he's fucked.
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
8. I recommend reading up on the Schiavo case...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
9. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
JimmyJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #9
20. There's no reason to be disrespectful. LH is entitled to her
opinion. You snide remark was uncalled for, IMHO.
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
10. I'm torn about this whole thing
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 11:33 AM by WI_DEM
first, I feel for you and your family and your situation. Second, I think it was reprehensible that the government got involved in this--pure grandstanding politics by the Republicans. Third, My heart goes out for the Schiavo family. They love their daughter and when you love somebody you grasp at anything you can to indicate that she might be getting better. I understand their fight. Fourth, the medical people directly involved believe she is severly brain dead, yet she isn't tied to any machines that if she was taken off of them she would automatically die. They are withholding nutrician and slowly she is dying. How sad for everybody. Finally, it comes to quality of life would Terri want to continue living in the semi-comatose state she is in for the rest of her life? I know I wouldn't.

To me this thing isn't purly black and white. There are lots of shades of gray. The only true villians are the grandstanding politicans.
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Cornus Donating Member (720 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
11. You should do...
...whatever your stepdad indicated he wanted done. If that was to use all methods to extend his life, then do it. If he wanted no extraordinary means taken, then that wish should be honored.

BTW, Michael Schiavo is NOT murdering his wife.
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
13. Again...
This is a very tough issue to deal with, because there are legitimate arguments on both sides. Sadly, I think, in many ways the Schiavo situation has been hijacked by people on both sides for political purposes. I'm not sure there is a good answer ever for this situation. If you know what the patient wants then I think you owe it to them to carry out their wishes, because in the end it is their life. If you don't know what they want, then you have to use your best judgement. The most important thing to remember, I believe, is whatever anyone chooses to do in an instance like this is to do what is best for the person who is sick and not for yourself.
When my mother had cancer, she said if she wasn't going to get better she'd rather die quickly. I found that a hard thing to accept, but it was what she wanted.
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Frances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
14. Come back and ask that question
after your stepfather has been on a feeding tube for 15 years and his brain has turned to liquid.

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
17. *If* that were the same as a vegetative state...
it would be his (pre-determined) decision, or his family's.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
18. Are you going to talk *at* people or talk *with* people, lieralhistorian?
I don't see a single reply stating that you understand the points that anyone in this thread has made.
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Selteri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
19. I've worked with Alzheimers patients...
You should be ashamed of yourself for your ignorance.
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not systems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
21. What does/did he want?
That is all that matters.

I'm sorry for you family.

1) He is not murdering his wife.

2) She can't do any thing like "normal" because she is brain dead for 15 years.

3) Her so called husband is caring out her wishes.

4) Bullshit.
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
22. The situations are far from similar.
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 11:39 AM by TwilightZone
Your stepfather isn't missing his cerebral cortex.

If he were a Bush supporter, you would be all up in arms against him.

No, I wouldn't, and, I suspect, neither would most others. Why do you suppose that even most Republicans are supporting letting Terri die?

For me, what Ms. Schiavo wants/wanted has nothing to do with politics. The political angle has been fabricated.

Edit: clarification
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
23. liberalhistorian... are you still here? Care to respond to anything?
Or did you just perform a hit and run?
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #23
39. Hit and run................
I can understand her pain. What's going on with Shiavo hits directly home for her, but in all honesty, she's lost the ability to withdraw herself from the equation right now.
Good luck with your decision LH, it's painful. I watched my Grandfather go through it and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
Take a little time out and get yourself together.
We're not here to pass judgment, just to opine.
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #39
56. Not sure why you responded to my post...
But since you shared your story, allow me. My mother suffered from multiple sclerosis since I was three. In her case, it was a very quickly progressive disease and within 10 years of the diagnosis, she was mainly bedridden. Somewhere during that time, she did sign a living will expressing that she would not want to be kept alive in a PVS state, and I believe that she and my father may have had an agreement to help her along the way in the event that anyone should stop them.

She suffered for another 13 years becoming more and more disabled, she was catheterized and could not go to the bathroom or bathe herself. We care for her at home. Not a day went by that she was not in tears and wished that she did not have to live that way. She finally passed away in her sleep one night after a bout with pneumonia.

I would NEVER betray her wishes to die with some shred of dignity and to not be kept alive when there is no life or hope of recovery left.

The OP was not asking if we should defend someone's right to die who has made those wishes known. It is accusing those of us defending Terri's husband's rights, of saying that NO one should have the right to be kept alive in such a manner. Of course, that is the individual's will, not ours. Hit and run.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #56
76. Honey..I'm gonna give you an envelope in the event this happens to me
If you don't follow it, I'll haunt you...oh yeah...and if I linger for a while for some reason...DO MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE AND DATE.
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #76
79. LOL... You got it, babe!
:loveya:
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Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #56
107. My grandmother, in good health otherwise, found out at 84
that she had a tumor. She refused to go through any more tests to confirm that it was cancer because she said it wouldn't matter, she was NOT going through chemotherapy or any other type of treatment. She said she had witnessed too many friends, including my grandfather, suffer through those treatments and that's not how she wanted to spend her last days. (She also never had a mammogram in her life because she said, "Women who have mammograms find out they have cancer." :shrug:

Several family members took turns flying up to Indiana (from Texas) to help care for her, assisted by the wonderful hospice people who tried to keep her suffering to a minimum. She was increasingly delirious and on morphine the last couple of weeks and then began to shut down. I joined my mother on what turned out to be the last trip. My grandmother had been comatose the last couple of days but she woke up on her 85th birthday and even sat up and let me hold her on her bed. My mother told her it was her birthday and my grandmother replied, "I know." She went back to sleep and died that evening with my mother and I holding her hands.

I can't imagine a more dignified death. My mother and I even commented on the "circle of life" -- my grandmother was born at home, as was my mother, and here were three generations of women sharing this most personal and profound event. I can't imagine what it would have been like if my mother and her brothers had pressured my grandmother to opt for harsh medical intervention. Her life might have been prolonged but at what sacrifice in quality?

Of course, the bottom line is, she died the way SHE wanted to.
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #107
135. tears.
my grannie passed at 84.

she had a tumor under her arm we could not get the doctors to tell us what it was. It was beyond frustrating.

But her other conditions were taking over, and I guess that is why they didn't treat it.

She would have refused treatment, we asked her point blank one day in a lucid momemt if she would want surgery, etc, and she said no.

I fought intermittently with my aunt to keep her at home, had I not been there they probably would have put her in a home. In the end, she was only bedridden for about the last 6 months. She passed in her sleep, and like you said, she died the way SHE wanted to.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #23
45. Appears to be a "compare the noncomparable" variety of
flamebait.
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gardenista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #23
109. No, she's over at you-know-where, gloating. nt
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #109
113. ...
:think:
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #109
116. Oh, that's interesting to know.
Thank you, duly noted!

:hi:
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Daydream_Believer Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
24. Why does it matter what we think? The issue is what YOUR STEPDAD wants.
My partner has strict instructions to leave town for a week, allowing me to blow my brains out in private, if I ever get diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

In your circumstance, it matters what your stepdad wants. In my circumstance, it matters what I want.

Just like the issue with Terri is WHAT SHE WANTED. The law says that her husband is in the best position to know that. Two dozen courts have agreed.

I am shocked that you are okay with this criminal nazi regime interfering in a family's private medical decision.

If they did the same thing to protect the "life" of a fetus and prevent an abortion, you'd be all up in arms against them.

See? There's always an "If X were Y, you'd react Z" comparison to make.
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displacedtexan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
25. When your stepdad flatlines...
You'll have to make the decision that many of us have already made.

No one can make that decision for you. You either trust your physicians to recognize brain death, or you don't.

If you have the funds to keep your stepdad alive, then more power to you.

If not, you might want to read the facts about Terri Schiavo's years of medical procedures:

By the mid-1990s, Terri's physical therapy had been stopped, enraging her parents.

Court guardians concluded that Terri was cared for extremely well, but her condition still led to numerous complications and hospitalizations. She suffered from bile stones and kidney stones, according to court papers, and had to have her gallbladder removed. She has ''drop foot,'' where her foot twists downward, and the ensuing pressure resulted in the amputation of her left little toe. She frequently developed urinary tract infections, diarrhea and vaginitis. Several cysts were removed from her neck. Several times, her feeding tube got infected.


Whatever you decide, it's your decision... not the government's.


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Goldeneye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
27. Can he feel pain? Can he swallow?
Does he move around? Is his cerebral cortex liquified?

There is quite a bit of difference between your stepdad and Terri Schiavo. But thats not even the point. The point is, Terri chose to marry MS and she told him, as her husband, she would not want to live like she currently is living. This isn't about what her parents want, its about what TS would want. She should not "live" for her parents. If your step dad requested to die if he reached the state he is in, then he has a right to die. Its about what he would want not what we want or you want.

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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
28. Your anger is missplaced. The only judgement re: your family member
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 11:42 AM by hlthe2b
that matters lies with you and your family, I firmly believe. Be angry at the loss of this wonderful man's consciousness, not at the perception that others are "judging" him (or you/your family).

I hope you can find peace as you deal with this difficult situation. I firmly believe that each and every single situation is unique. I wish you the best.
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
29. Are you his legal guardian? What would you do?
--in the event your stepdad has not conveyed his wishes?

It's not up to us at DU. It's up to first, your stepdad; then whoever is his legal guardian.

I think this is deliberate flamebait, and I think you know it.
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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
31. Yawn...
:eyes:

It's over. She's been dead for 15 years.

Sorry about your stepdad, but it doesn't apply...

RL
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two gun sid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
33. Just my opinion.
Has your stepdad ever conveyed to you the wish that he not be allowed to continue to live by artificial means?
It is up to you and your family. It is not my call or Jeb Bush's call or any RW fundies call. That is the issue.
Not one of us has any business questioning Mr. Schiavo's motives in this extremely personal matter. Go read the GAL report in the Schiavo case and then tell me wether you still think Mr. Schiavo is a murderer or someone who is attempting to carry out his wife's wishes.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
34. What kind of instructions did he leave behind? He must have known....
...what was coming when he was diagnosed, so therefore, he must have left behind instructions on how he was to be treated, and at what point medical treament should stop. Failing that, what were his verbal instructions to the immediate family?

IMHO, your stepdad's condition is NOTHING like that of Terri Schiavo, and may NEVER be quite as bad as that. To compare your stepdad's current condition to that of Terri Schiavo is comparing apples and oranges.

Terri Schiavo's human essence died many years ago. Why do you, and people that support your point of view, insist on keeping a living corpse alive?
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
35. my mom clearly told me she didnt want to do alzheimer,
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 11:45 AM by seabeyond
so i would respect that. i would respect what the person told me they wanted done, not what i wanted done. my husband doesnt want any plugs pulled so i respect that. i do want plugs pulled immediately, so i want my wishes respected.

no one is saying this woman should die cause she doesnt have a worthwhile life. all are saying she should be able to pull out feeding tube because she said she didnt wnat to live this way, and it went thru court, and this was the decision

because you are adverse to a feeding tube being pulled, should terri or i have to live in a state we dont want. is this what you are suggesting
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
36. Personal choice...so what are you asking us to do? n/t
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oldcoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
37. Has he stated his wishes to his next-of-kin?
His next-of-kin should follow his wishes no matter what anyone else says or thinks. If your father wants to medical care to keep him alive as long as possible, then his next-of-kin should fight to keep him alive as long as possible.

However, I believe that Terri Schiavo told her husband that she did not want to be kept alive under certain circumstances. As her husband and next-of-kin, he has duty to carry out those wishes.
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El Fuego Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
38. YOU decide, not the federal government. That is the point.
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
40. privacy
No, I just think that the decision should remain private, between Sciavo and the doctors...

... just as your decision should remain private and.. yours.

Sue
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:47 AM
Original message
Is he on life support?
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 11:52 AM by 8_year_nightmare
A life that has to be sustained by artifical means has run its natural course.

If his body can still function, there's no "plug to pull".

Oh, one more thing: When 19 judges from 6 courts have reviewed his case & come to the same decision, it's time to pull the plug.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
41. My dad went all the way down to semi comatose after 2 great years w/ me
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 11:52 AM by bigtree
1 not so great year and 2 more years of deterioration and hell on earth. When he slipped in to a coma it was just like he was sleep. No way was I about to have them start sticking tubes in him to keep him in that agonizing shell of a body. His nursing home, the best bunch of folks that I could ever hope for, gave me that option and we kept him as comfortable as we could till he breathed his last breath, as I imagine whatever God is out there intended.

BTW, I weighed in on this one out of support for whomever is out there having to make this decision with their Alzheimers suffering parent. Best wishes to the caregivers, best wishes for your parent.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
42. you write this post, then you write one, should i even bother
with a will. how contradictive. first you suggest the courts decision shouldnt be upheld, which creates exactly the alarm of our rights to makes these decisions are being taken away, then you bitch that they are being taken away

wow

and another, why..........if one disagrees with putting tube back in is the arguement based on a desiree to see this woman dead. not that decision is being taken away from law, that this is not how to work society, but that there is a desire to end someone life, like it has to be ghoulish
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #42
49. I can be against the government intervening
and using this sad situation as political fodder for their own grandstanding ambition, and still be against TS's feeding tube being removed. The two are not mutually exclusive.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #49
54. well they are to if you suggest they should put the tube
back in. going against 7 years, 19 judges of court decision. it is doing exactly what you fear. how could it not be anything but contradictive. set precedent of interfering adn now all be afraid, be very afraid, our rights have been taken
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Tesibria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #49
60. absolutely you can
... but why?

Does a person who becomes disabled, no longer have the right to self-determination?

OR - do you disbelieve the multiple findings that this was her wish?

THIS is the issue: Self-Determination for ALL, not just for some.

As previously stated, IF the rationale for withdrawing her feeding tube was that her life is no longer worth living, there would be a rampage, led by ADAPT and TASH and other disability organizations, and MANY (if not all) DUers would be down there (granted - probably with beers rather than crosses, but that's ok) -- surrounding the hospital, instead of the freepers.

That's not the *real* issue. The *real* issue is whether her wishes should be respected. The sub-issue is whether her wishes were actually communicated - and what they were. The courts have found, consistently, uniformly, that this was her wish.

People who oppose that -- oppose the right of people to self determination.

It's REALLY that simple.

The rest of this - EVEN on the oh-so-many DU posts -- is white noise.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #49
68. If you're against govt intervention you can't be against the feed tube
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 12:16 PM by mondo joe
being removed on anything more than "I wouldn't choose it" basis.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
43. Histrionic flamebait.
:boring:
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #43
94. Ya Think?
:eyes: I do too.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #94
111. Such drama queens we have!
:hi: Allen
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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
44. Has he suffered a heart attack
that deprived his brain of oxygen for five minutes? There is a big difference between someone with a brain disease and irreversible brain damage! What you trying to get people to say is that yes, he should be put death. Your analogy is of course wrong, because your step-dad, I assume, has a pefectly functioning body despite the brain disease. This is not the case in Mrs. Schiavo's situation. She has to remain alive via mechanical means. Her time here on Earth is tragically at an end and her husband has decided per her wishes that she does not want to live like this. No one, not even the bushites, have a say in this. It is a personal matter. And truly I hope you never have to face this with your step-dad.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
46. What plug?
My mom died of Alzheimer's and spent 8 years in a home, being fed and taken care of but was never hooked to any machine. Never needed "tubes" to keep her alive.

But, yes, I often thought that had she could see herself that way, she would have wished to die.

I have often thought of adding to my will that if I can no longer recognize family and friends that I should be "put to sleep." But, of course, no one would do such a thing.

There have been many philosophers who said that the purpose of life is to live. Even if one is in pain that this adds a dimension to one's life. There is now a movie from Spain about someone who was a quadriplegic and for years was fighting to have his breathing tube removed. But, of course, he was able to communicate and our lived can always be enriched if we can communicate with others.

But when your brain is gone - as it is with the last stages of Alzheimer's - what kind of life is it? I suppose you will have to define what life means. Is it just a body that can function in the most basic ways - breathing, eating, feeling pain, etc.? Or is life a cognitive reaction to the surrounding?



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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
47. Wow, did you ever miss the point
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_TJ_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
48. I have sympathy for you and your dad
but I don't think this is really a fair comparison.

You want your dad to live. He want's to live. There is no problem.

But if he ended up in as serious a condition as TS for 15
years wouldn't it be a mercy to let him pass?

The courts have decided that TS would rather pass than be kept
alive in this terrible condition. I think they are right.

Also, I don't think TS is any less a person or less worthy
because of her unfortunate state. But she is not alive in
the same sense as your dad - she is braindead.


TJ
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gulliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
50. A grain of truth in a silo of horsesh*t.
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 11:56 AM by gulliver
Welcome to the garden of Bush...grows nothing but weeds. Crude emotional lurching ... destroying the foundation of America one whining tirade at a time.

Ultimately, I think your stepdad should decide for himself. That is why we have living wills. But for those who go vegetative intestate, we have a body of laws consecrated by democracy, philosophy, and centuries of tradition. We don't throw them out just because YOU think YOUR case is special.

On edit: So when are you going on TV? Is your stepdad in danger of becoming another Terry Schiavo or is he just "close enough" to make a good prop?

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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
51. what?
my sisters and i had to decide the same thing. we had no instructions from my mom. it was up to me to tell my sisters that my mom had only a few months left before she suffered a massive stroke. we could have kept her alive and had them do all the things possible but it was futile. even by some grace of god she could have recovered she would have died a worse death. we decided to not keep her alive and let her die. it was one of the worst things one can imagine but i remembered that a few years back she almost died and she told me that she had seen the light but someone called her back..so i knew that she went into that light and was at peace.
what really pisses me off is those who think that my sisters and i had "killed" our mom...ya those people that i saw last night holding signs saying i was a murderer. i have never felt so disgusted with so called human beings as i was last night seeing that sign..
i too don`t fully understand the politics of these two famlies but somewhere the fact is lost that teri has seen the light and has gone there, it`s her body that they are refusing to let die. it is her family that refuses to let her die and a husband that wishes the best for his long lost wife. the only reason i am responding to you is that i respect your opinion on many matters over the years and i guess we just disagree on some of these issues. keep the faith,there will be better days ahead
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
53. Lost my mom to Alzheimer's this year. We (my sisters and I)
backed by her living will made the decision to not ever place a feeding tube in the first place.

She was eating less and less, and refusing food. Food was offered, treats were offered, this went on for a long time before we had to place her in a nursing home. We knew eventually she would eat less and less and ultimately that would slow her systems down.

part of the not eating was just old age appetite loss; plus she was never a heavy eater. part was she just lost interest. Part may have been that she knew if she didn't eat she would not live long and she had just enough of her "right mind" flashing in and out to know how miserable she really was. We couldn't change anything, she had to be where she had medical care. So we said no feeding tube. PERIOD.

Staff never stopped offering her liquids, or food for as long as she was conscious and could accept or refuse. She slipped into a coma about 24 hours before she died, maybe less. My sister and her(sister's) husband and her husband's mother were there when she died, and his uncle was across the hall..(resident in same facility). Could have been better, could have been worse.

Feeding tubes can also be a real lifesaver under certain physical situation. My mother in law had a horrendous pneumonia/emphysema episode and for six weeks was on respirator assist and tracheotomy. There was a feeding tube, not placed in her stomach by incision, but an NG type. We knew she was going to pull through, with mind intact and she did. (She was mad as hell at everyone since she just couldn't differentiate between that type of life support vs the type that is just keeping a body shell alive.) But we had her for 3 more years and she got to see one of her great grandchildren be born and grow a litle. And we got to spend lots ofquality time with her and have great conversations over endless cups of coffee in her kitchen. In a case like that I would go for it on my relative.
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #53
64. My mom is in the advanced stage of Alzheimer's
She lives here with me and my husband. She can't walk or talk in complete sentences. She's incontinent and has lost the use of her arms. Soon, her swallowing will be affected. She has stipulated in her Living Will that she not want artificial hydration and nutrition, so when that time comes, I'll see to it that her wishes are carried out.
I've had to call the ambulance quite a few times because of urinary tract infections. The last time, the ER doctor suggested I take her home and let her "slip away". Her personal physician suggested the same thing. I had to fight to get antibiotics into her.
So in a way I understand people who want to keep Terry Schiavo alive, but when I think that my mom could exist for 15 years more in the condition she's in, that's just cruel. My mother has been sick for eight years. God willing, she'll pass in a peaceful way.
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
55. Come back and ask that question in several years. I don't think
you'll need to ask. In fact I think you will be requesting to cease and desist with any aid to further her life and will only be concerned with comfort aid. When the time comes you will be blessed with the knowledge that it's kinder to let her pass than to keep her alive. My Mother was the most beautiful, sweet and beloved person I know and we all agreed it was time to let her go...with no regrets. It was more heart wrenching to see her live than see her die...and that's a fact.

By the way...she had Alzheimer's and was in no pain when when she died.
A death by starving and dehydration is NOT painful!

Also, to even ask if you should let someone die because they are not "normal" is a distasteful and ridiculous question. Of course NOT!
If we did that we'll kill off half the US population and 100% of the Fundies. Does this answer your question? :shrug:
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
58. You have seriously mis-stated the position of most posters here.
The issue is not one of worth or normality.

In America citizens have the right to have life support removed based on their choice. THAT is the issue.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
59. Do what you want. But keep your laws off of MY choice...
THAT is what the overwhelming majority of Americans are saying.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
61. This post is pure flamebait and should be removed.
I challenge you to find posts saying the feed tube should be removed for the following reason: "A person isn't truly a 'whole' person, or 'worthy' unless they're able to think and communicate like 'normal' humans".
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
62. Depends upon his advanced directives
In mine, there will be no feeding tube under any circumstances, so should I fall victim to Alzheimer's, I'll die before the most advanced stages.
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JordanTO Donating Member (110 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
65. The ad hoc approach to this question no longer works.
The time when we could make decisions about such things on a case-by-case basis has long since passed, as the incredible brouhaha surrounding this case shows. We simply must sit down and have an open, honest debate about the implications of medical technology run amok. Things which were mere dreams 30, 40 or 50 years ago are now, if not common, at least not rare. We have tried with limited success to deal with the implications nd consequences of such acts on an ad hoc basis, and that clearly doesn't work well any longer.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
66. under the present circumstances, of course not....
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 12:15 PM by mike_c
But the circumstances might change. If he lives long enough, his encephalitis will likely progress to the point where he can no longer swallow. By that time he won't be able to communicate any longer either, and it's unlikely that he'll be aware of himself, his condition, or his circumstances.

I heard a rabbi on NPR put this situation into a different perspective yesterday. When that point arrives, your step father will begin to die-- in the very real, physical sense, not just in the conscious awareness sense of Alzheimer's generally-- and sustaining his life by artificial means-- a feeding tube will be a minimum necessity-- is simply an impediment to his own death. An interruption of his journey.

Whether that interruption is warranted depends in large measure, I think, on what your stepdad says about his wishes now, when he can communicate-- when he can consider the matter at all, because if he lives long enough to need a feeding tube he'll be well beyond such consideration by that time.

No one can speak for your stepdad or your family, of course, but I can say that in his circumstances I would not want to be "kept alive" artificially, despite the fact that I would certainly not be aware of the matter anyway. I do not think that anyone other than the sufferer himself or herself has the right to "pull the plug" or otherwise suspend treatment prior to that point. I don't think it is ethical to hasten the deaths of sick people. But I do believe that it is not only ethical, but imperative, that we have the courage to step aside and let them go when the time comes, if that's what they want.

I haven't mentioned Terri Schiavo yet, but of course her case hinges upon her husband's and other family members' testimony about what she communicated prior to her loss of function. But no matter what they say, TS is a dying person and has been for the last 15 years-- she was interrupted in the process of dying and has been kept there for 15 years by human artifice. No matter how badly her family wants to change that circumstance, they cannot, and that is clearly the source of their tragic frustration. Michael Schiavo is at the center of this storm, but that's only because he is her messenger-- and his testimony in that regard has been compelling enough to convince the courts for years. But despite his position at the center of the media circus, this matter isn't about her husband wanting to kill her or anything similar-- it is about what she wanted when she had the capacity to want and could communicate her wishes. It would have been much easier for Michael Schiavo to walk away and refuse the role he has played-- he'll likely be a target of vengeful fundamentalists for years now-- so I can only admire the tenacity with which he has pursued a painful and difficult course because he believes he is serving his dying wife's wishes and best interests. That's my perspective, of course.

Most Alzheimer's patients don't live long enough to place that particular terrible burden on their families. Nonetheless, if there is any lesson in the Schiavo case it is certainly that EVERYONE should consider the circumstances they might find themselves in one day-- and consider them carefully, and hopefully from their future perspectives as well as their current-- and communicate their wishes in unambiguous terms.

Best of luck to your stepdad-- and your family-- as he nears the end of his journey.

xoxo
Mike C.

on edit-- you know I don't give a rat's buttocks about christian spirituality or beliefs-- I'm an atheist and as secular as they come-- but I still find the metaphor of life as a journey appropriate.
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bush_is_wacko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
67. Terri DOESN'T have Alzheimer's!
For Pet's sake! Compare apples to apples not trees to concrete!

BTW, at some point your father will die a NATURAL death in his disease process. I sincerely doubt you will want to artificially extend his life at that point. Terri is ONLY 41 years old. Her body will still be aging 20 years from now and even then it could hold out for 20 more years. Add that all together and tell me you would want to see your loved on in this state for 55 years or more!
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
69. apples vs. oranges
alzheimer patients are aware, just not in the same way non-alzheimers people are. There is no awareness on Terri's part. In fact, Terri is gone. She has a brain stem and a partial brain running organs on autopilot as long as someone inserts a feeding tube.
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Baconfoot Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #69
117. Exactly
The poster seems to think that one should infer from your comments that you think that someone with only 99% of normal cognitive activity, say, should not be offered life support.

But that's just absurd. And what is more, I think the poster MUST know this.

There is a big difference between:
1)a claim that if there is no awareness on the part of X and no potential for regaining any awareness possessed by X, they shouldn't be given life support
2)The nonsense claim the poster is putting into people's mouths.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
70. If I am not mistaken, you are a paralegal.
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 12:22 PM by nothingshocksmeanymo
"My stepdad has Alzheimer's, should we just "pull the plug" and give up?"

Is he hooked up to life support? Did he state his intent in writing or at least express it to his wife?


Since so many people here seem to think that a person isn't truly a "whole" person, or "worthy" unless they're able to think and communicate like "normal" humans, I have to wonder about that. My stepdad, at 61 and with Alzheimer's, is no longer the person he once was. He cannot think or communicate like "normal" people anymore, even though he's just in the early stages.

So then I just answered my own question. He isn't terminal and quality of life issues are the major concern.

I can't answer for those expressing that she isn't a whole person since in my view they are not the judge.

I can state she is gone from her body mentally. I can state that the fact finding mission in the case found there was enough information to credibly assert what her wishes were. And her wishes were to not linger indefinitely in a vegetative state.

She made these comments as an adult in several situations, all of which were situations in which ANY of us would have an opinion...i.e. following a funeral of someone who lingered with prolonged incurable illness, following a movie in which a person was critically injured and was on life support for a prolonged time...so she thought it through as we all would.

She was not an unintelligent person..she apparently worked for Prudential fer several years if I am not mistaken.

Do you not consider him to be a human being also, worthy of life? Or is it only the people YOU decide are "worthy" who should be kept alive? Do you not see the danger in dehumanizing a whole group of people just because they aren't "normal" human beings?
I am not in that class of people at DU who have called her a vegetable or made statements to the degree that she is less than whole so I cannot answer for the crowd that doesn't manage their terminology and speaks in crass terms.

I think there is a very REAL danger in dehumanizing whole sects of society which is why when the RW began discussing the labor force, the prison population and the disabled in terms of "entitlement programs" versus the "productive" members of society, I protested with my actions and my career.

I know you find some groups of conservative people to be reasonable, but I think it's rather humorous that this is the group the originally said her life was worth less when they voted for a party that has consistently cut programs for all those groups of people deemed to be "less than" them.




Michael Schiavo wants to get on with his life, fine, who can blame him?

I've not seen him make any statements to that degree, although as someone who cared for may father for over a decade during various stages of declining health to the point that a man in his 70's needed everything a small baby needed - it's hardly selfish to envision that day even though when it comes it is no less grief provoking.

But that doesn't give him the right to murder his wife.

And this is where I say you are using just as inflammatory rhetoric as those you accuse.

There were nearly TWO DOZEN reviews of this case. That is more than the MAJORITY of death penalty cases got in Texas where MR "ERR ON THE SIDE OF LIFE" pulled the plug so to speak.

This is CLEARLY not murder. Her intentions were discerned through loads of testimony. Some testimony was contradictory including her mother who testified that she saw Karen Ann Quinlan when she was 20 and wanted to live...the only problem was she was 11 or 12.

Just because she can't think or communicate like "normal" people doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to live also and that her so-called "husband" shouldn't just turn her care over to her parents if he wants to get on with his life. If he were a Bush supporter, you would be all up in arms against him.

Frankly there are one of two interpretations. He's killing her to get on with his life OR he's staying married to her so that HER wishes are fulfilled in spite of what her parents want. You DO realize her family testified that even if they were CERTAIN she didn't want to live, they wouldn't let her die.

Frankly, with the viciousness with which they have gone after Michael would you really want to entrust her care to people so irrational and spiteful? You do realize THEY had her home for 3 weeks and re institutionalized her...no?

I can relate to where Michael is coming from. I exhausted all means of rehabilitation for my father but he didn't want to be institutionalized. I kept him home for 12 years and was his primary care giver. When it came to heroic measures to keep him alive, he didn't want them. I honored his wishes.


Is what her controlling parents want more important or relevant than what nearly two dozen fact finding missions have determined SHE wanted?
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #70
77. Beautiful.
:thumbsup:
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
71. michael schiavo is a bush supporter.
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 12:22 PM by KG
but, please, don't let facts get in the way of a good cathartic rant.
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #71
96. how do you know that?
that's intersting...
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #71
99. Evidence please.
Thank you.
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #99
101. someone posted in a thread that MS contributed $ to the GOP
been trying to re-locate it, but it's tuff in this blizzerd.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #101
105. I've got time. I'll check back shortly. Thank you.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #101
110. That was a different Michael Schiavo. Someone in
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 02:05 PM by Bunny
Massachusetts, I think.


On edit, here ya go:

http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=MA&la...
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #110
114. Well, what's another drop of slander in the deluge of it?
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #114
121. Seriously. n/t
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Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
72. Is your StepDad on Life Support? What were his wishes?
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 12:38 PM by Pachamama
If your Stepdad was living on life support and it was expressly against his wishes to live in this condition and you were his WIFE (not stepchild) and its what he wanted and stated to, then I'd say follow what he wanted....but he's not on life support and he still has a cerebral cortex and can feel and think and eat and breathe, but his memory is going, so there is no comparison...

Gimme a break...what kind of post was this....You call Michael Schiavo a murderer, yet you talk about your stepfather, a man you aren't related to and aren't married to and have no legally authority to make any decisions about his life,not to mention that you compare Alzheimers to a "Persistent Vegetative State" as being the same type of thing (which it isn't, not even close).

What if your Stepfather considered this existence (prior to his Alzheimers) as not worthy to live? Would you impose your will on him because its your opinion?

And by the way, whether someone is a Bush Supporter or not has nothing to do with this case....it has to do with peoples right to privacy, the rule of law, civil liberties, constitutionality, separation of Church and State, the sanctity of marriage....And Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Progressives, Libertarians etc. alike all agree on this issue...its the right wing evangelical crazed Right-to-life hypocrites that have politicized this and have absolutely no respect for any of those things except for their own beliefs and opinions and agenda to the matter of Terri Schiavo...

As someone who has dealt with Alzheimers in the family, I resent your post deeply....As an American who respects the Constitution of the United States, the division of the branches of government, the rule of law, the separation of church and state, the rights of state and the sanctity of marriage and oh yeah, science and what it can do now and what is real versus the fiction of the minds of people who on the one hand are opposed to it (ie. stem cell research) but then want to keep the false hope alive for this to the Schindler family, I can tell you that its people like you and them that make me want to puke... :puke:
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
78. people with hangnail should be murdered asap
what a bunch of nonsense.

I love people so firm in their own moral superiority, they can sit in judgment of a marriage they heard about by biased parties paid to babble on the teevee.
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stopbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
80. Why are you even asking us? Isn't that his/your/the family's decision?
A few here have played your game in this thread, but we'd all do well to stay out of this kind of flamebait.

After you're done with us, why not ask Tom DeLay or the Shindlers? They have as much knowledge and connection to your step dad as us.

Honestly.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
83. His mind is altered not utterly gone
There is still a mind present in his brain. This is what we defend. In Terri's case there is no mind present. There is no hope of it returning.

In cases where a person's brain shuts down we extend a certain amount of leeway due to our knowledge that sometimes the mind can return. But in cases where the damage is too severe or the condition lasts too long we withdraw this extention of identity. We eventually have to face that there is no person present and will never be a person present within that body ever again.
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Nickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
84. Speak in Right Wing Talking Points much?
It's your family, and it's your family's decision within the existing legal framework. It's not 535 strangers in the House who should decide, it's not some radical Governor, it's not a bunch of lunatic protestors out on your front lawn.

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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
85. My mother died of Alzheimers
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 01:06 PM by stanwyck
it's the "slow death". She would have absolutely hated to know how her life wasted away. She went from being a very dynamic, regal women to being an infant who could not take care of her own most basic needs. My father remained her constant caretaker until her condition necessitated full-time hospitalization. If she had been able to vocalize her decision, I truly believe she would have chosen an earlier death. If you care each day for your stepfather for the next decade, you will understand.
I won't go out the way my mother did. I'll end my own life before I endure that kind of wasting away....not knowing who people are, not being able to make your needs known. And if I can't end my life on my own terms, I'll expect those who love me and know my wishes to end my life for me.
We need to make our own decisions on what life is. For many of us, that does not include an existence which is devoid of communication, mobility, and personal dignity.
Check back with me in ten years after you've seen first-hand the suffering. You might have more empathy for those who feel differently.
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Wat_Tyler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
86. Please familiarize yourself with the definition of 'murder'.
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #86
92. hey, what's a little slander, when you're trying to be sactimonious?
:eyes:
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
87. This is disgusting flamebait - you should know better.
I can't believe you would post something like this, LH. I'm one of the people who've been arguing stridently about the right to decide for ourselves, and you would paint me and everyone else as people who just want to kill those who aren't like us. Shame on you.

Especially since more than one of us have posted our own stories. My grandfather had a stroke and was in a coma, eventually degrading to PVS for over 12 years. How dare you accuse me with your post of not caring for people like my grandfather, or wanting to murder them, or hoping they die.

You should be ashamed.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #87
90. I'm with you, Pithlet
she really took me for a loop with this one.

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Connie_Corleone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
88. My grandmother is in the later stages of Alzheimer's...
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 01:17 PM by Connie_Corleone
AND has a feeding tube. She can still eat by mouth but not that much and she can speak. She had a stroke so it's hard for her to speak clearly. She can still understand what people are saying to her.

That doesn't mean she's ready to die. If she was in a vegetative state where she was basically gone except her bodily functions, then the family would have to talk about what to do.

Your stepfather's situation and my grandmother's situation are entirely different from Terri Schiavo's situation. Her cerebral cortex is gone. She's basically not there anymore. Her wish was not to live if she was in a state like that. Her husband is trying to honor her wish.

What's so hard to understand about that?
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Malva Zebrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
89. over the past two weeks
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 01:21 PM by Malva Zebrina
I have read many many accounts of persons who have been in this same situtation.

They have posted their guilt, their agony, and their deepest feelings when it came to the care of those loved ones for whom they had to make hard decisions. Many said it was the right thing to do, and many felt it the moral thing to do. Few said it was the wrong thing to do

I understand that this is anectodal evidence and possibly a fallacy ad populum, however, the facts of this case have always been clear throughtout the past fifteen years. If one still does not understand those facts, then more research is necessary and it is readily available through a search on DU and other places.

To call these people MURDERERS because of their decision is patently and inexcusably a most cruel and thoughtless accusation.

If this was MURDER then I would expect to see the sheriff standing by and at the moment of this woman's death, arrest all the workers in the hospice, the administrator, her husband, and any one else who would be involved.

People need to examine what they are saying and it may be time for persons to search within to find out their own fears about life--ie, that it ends, and that people have a say in how they want to leave this life and that there are times when the advances of medical interventions go too far beyond the natural progression from life to death and robs people of that dignity of choice.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
91. Before my mom lost her ability to speak as the ravages of ALS
progressed....she made it quite clear to the family that she wanted no heroic (life support) measures to keep her alive. And who would blame her? ALS affects the entire body, the person loses complete nuerological control of their muscles. Total and complete paralysis....but the brain functions as normally.

Can you imagine the horror of that condition? Now, one could postulate that it does not matter to PVS or Alzheimer's patients, because their brain is essentially gone....but, to turn the argument around...what if they are aware and can't communicate their desire to be freed from their living hell? If Terri could speak 2 words today, I'd bet they'd be, "kill me".

Suggest reading a book called "Johnny Got His Gun"...while it doesn't parallel Terri Sciavo's case, it's about a young man who loses all limbs and the ability to communicate, but whose mind is quite lucid. Very, very disturbing.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
93. If you are sincere and wish to do the right thing, start getting yourself
informed about Alzheimers. The disease is gradual and it will be a long time before you need to give him hospice care. When that time comes you will know it because it's the only option left.

Since Terri Schiavo, as has been pointed out endlessly by people who are actually experts and who have examined her, is not a living person anymore but a breathing corpse. Keeping her "fresh" is not keeping her alive. She's gone.

Scientists have said that it's possible to keep a beating heart alive with the right nutrients and machines, but that doesn't mean that there is a living person there. Inform yourself before you make brash statements with no basis in fact.

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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
95. We lost my great aunt to Alzheimer's last summer.
She was a wonderful, sweet woman, and we all loved her dearly. It turned out to be cancer that killed her (because she was unable to communicate about the symptoms and we didn't catch it in time). Since then, we have also lost a beloved aunt, and I buried my father on the 14th of this month. My sister was laid to rest in January last year.

In answer to your question, when its time for you to let your father go, you will know it. When his body is unable to do what it takes to sustain his life, and it becomes obvious that WILL NOT CHANGE, you will know. You will grieve, and it will hurt. The circle turns....

I have now been a part of the decisions of several people who wrestled with death and dying issues. My personal take is this:

Temporary use of extraordinary means for people who can / will recover is fine. Breathing tubes, etc. are fine for people who can use them simply as tools to live a happy, if challenging life. Long term use of "extraordinary means" for vegetative patients is obscene.

If you are currently caring for your father, and he is in the final stages of Alzheimer's, my sympathy and support for you and your family. Changing his diaper, tolerating the common "anger" issues, and making sure he is supervised 24/7 in a locked home, with "child proofing" issues addressed beyond anything you've ever experienced before (because this "child" can reach into cupboards, etc. where toddlers can't) isn't easy. As a caregiver, you are undoubtedly exhausted beyond words; at some point, you will probably need to surrender his care to professionals, who will monitor him in shifts (because you will need to rest, and live your own life, too). You and your family will (and should) make the decisions necessary for your family's well being; you know his wishes better than anyone else.

And when its time to let his final breathe be the last one, the rest of us will understand. The "Long Goodbye" isn't easy for anyone....

Good luck.
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steve2470 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
97. Of course not. My mom has AD.
AD is a long way from TS's situation. My understanding is that the patients are not on life support until the very end of the disease.
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NNguyenMD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
98. the point is that she never wanted to live like this
its a basic human right to want to refuse treatment, and yes a feeding tube is medical treatment.

And breathing on your own is not indicative of higher cortical functions.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
100. My father recently passed away from Alzheimer's.
and complications from diabetes. He had to have a leg amputated and he never really rebounded.


I authorized a feeding tube insertion, but ultimately the food was backing up into his lungs and he died from aspiration pneumonia. Fortunately, he was in a hospital and they provided him with pain meds and he was comatose right before he died.

Sometimes a feeding tube is not the answer. Sometimes letting them go is.
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ernstbass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
102. I have worked w/ Alzheimer's patients and their families for 24 yrs
and I lost both grandmothers to Alzheimers. I'm sorry that your family is dealing with this terrible disease. Persons in the early stages of Alzheimers have MUCH quality to thier lives and I'm sorry you have persons crass enough to suggest you "let go." This disease will progress and you may face these difficult decisions in the future. Most of the end/late stage Alzheimers patients I have worked with reach a point where they simply stop eating/ drinking or can no longer swallow. Typically their cognitive abilities are extremely impaired by then. The more difficult decision that families are often faced with is use of antibiotics in case of infections (UTI's, pneumonia, etc) - If untreated the patient may die but if treated they just go on to exist another day w/ no awareness of their environment (I'm talking late stage). This is a very tough call to make for some and I certainly can empathize with them.

Inicidentally I read another post which indicated Michael Schiavo contributed to the republican party in 2000.
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Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
103. It's none of my business
Period. It's between his family and his doctors.

Hopefully he has a living will or a power of attorney and it won't turn into a court battle.

Mz Pip
:dem:
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
106. is stepdad's brain gone?
Before becoming ill did stepdad ask you to let his life end in this circumstance?

I don't think anyone here or elsewhere is advocating euthanizing Alzheimer's victims.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
112. Murder his wife? Bush supporter?
First of all, I have NO clue what Mr. Schiavo's political affiliations are. And I don't care what they are.

Secondly, it's pretty disingenuous of you to say murder his wife. If you ask me, she murdered herself 15 years ago, when her bulimia got so bad she depleted her body's potassium level to the point of cardiac arrest. Tell me again how HE murdered HER????

Thirdly, I guess some people are still willing to just throw out ALL the courts decisions done on the preponderance of evidence in her case which found that she would not have wanted to live this way.

They are called COURT DECISIONS. There have been MULTIPLE court decisions in her case. Her case has had DUE PROCESS over and over and over and over again. Courts have found for the side arguing she would not have wanted to stay this way repeatedly. Evidence was brought forth by both sides and the side saying she wouldn't want to has WON IN COURT REPEATEDLY.

Does that mean NOTHING to you? Does the rule of law sound familiar??????

As for your stepfather, what did HE want? He's the only person who can really say. And if he didn't leave a living will (as Terri didn't), then if there comes a breaking apart of opinion in your family as to what should be done, you'd do like Terri's family did and GO TO COURT to settle it.

But then, lucky for you and your stepfather, you wouldn't have Jeb Bush and the whole freaknig world turning a circus out of your plight, thus it'd probably be a hell of a lot easier to proceed either direction the courts ruled in.

:eyes:
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #112
118. Yes, but Michael Schiavo kills kittens and eats them, and he has a dungeon
filled with slave women, and he was the president of the Oasis fan club.

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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #118
123. AND he paid Judge Greer to murder his wife
AND he is in cahoots with Pontious Pila---er, Jeb bush.

:eyes:
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #118
125. pres. of the oaisis fan club? now that is sick!
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #118
134. President of the Oasis fan club??? He should trade places with Terri!
:evilgrin:
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
124. My mother had an inoperable brain tumor and cancer in the bones
of her neck and back. As a result, the once independent, vibrant woman slowly and painfully deteriorated to the point that she couldn't walk or do anything for herself. She did not want to be in pain so she did everything the doctors ordered, but she knew that her death was inevitable. She fought as long as she could, but like the rest of us, she was not meant to live forever, by any means. At one point we had to rush her to the hospital because she was dehydrating, you know, you could pinch the skin on her arm and it would remain pinched together and would not fall back to its normal position.

My brother was angry with me, at the ER he told me that I was not fighting hard enough for her, that I had to give her hope and had to will her to live. He told me how scientific tests proved that a positive attitude could defeat cancer. He told me that I was killing her. After he had finished with his rant, accusing me of killing my mother, I simply looked him in the eyes and asked him if he wanted her to live for her sake or for his own. I told him that if he wanted what was best for her, he would let her go. If he wanted her to live, then he was being selfish, wanting to keep her "alive" because he didn't want her to die, worrying only about his needs and not hers.

It is painful to watch someone die, whether it be in the painful manner that my mother went through or in the quiet, almost sneaky manner that your stepdad is going through. To allow someone to die with dignity, to allow God's will, is not murder. It is what is. We are not meant to live forever.

Having been called a murderer for taking a similar stance for my mother, I know how harmful that statement truly is and I must tell you that you are so very wrong in accusing him of being a murderer.

He did not cause the cardiac arrest that has left his wife in this state for 15 years. He is trying to let her go, he is trying to respect her wishes and let her die naturally, something she would have done 15 years ago but for the heroic measures of man. He tried to resurrect her years ago, those efforts failed, he has accepted god's will, why can't others.

I would give anything in the world to have my mother hold me again. I would venture to guess that Mr. Schiavo feels the same way. If only she could hold him again and tell him that she loves him, if only she could relieve his heartache, if only this had never happened.

Judge not lest ye be judged.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
126. If your step dad's wishes to his wife were that he didn't want
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 02:46 PM by SemperEadem
to remain on life support should his disease take him in that direction, then if his wife is an unselfish wife to him, she will do as he asks, if she truly loves him.

What anyone else thinks is immaterial.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

get some facts under your belt before raising hypothetical non sequiturs.
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mandyky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
129. Your "Dad" is not Terri
Terri's case has been in litigation for almost 10 years. I doubt anyone _wants_ Terri to die. Michael Shiavo does not seem to be doing this (to me anyway) to "get on with his life". He could easliy have walked away a rich man (someone offered him a million dollars). I believe MS is trying to do what he feels Terri would want.

This Shiavo thing in one unique case. Your stepdad's is a separate and equally unique case. The issue is who chooses, the next of kin that know what the patient would want or the US Congress. The Congress messed up on thisone I believe.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
130. wow, your stepdad has alzheimers, but you haven't discussed with
doctors what the end stages are like? Have you a clue? Like when they get to the point where they are refusing food and water, and this issue or your OP might become a bit relevant.
Let me give you a hint, buddy, the last stage comes after the stage where they like wail in terror through the night, and dig in their own diapers and smear their feces all over the place. It's the stage where they are completely non- reactive and do not want food or water.
How fucking insulting to those of us actually living and coping with this in a informed and deeply loving manner. Shame on you.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
136. Does he have a plug? What the hell are you talking about?
He is NOT murdering his wife. She is dying naturally. Why are you so afraid of it?

Shame on you for saying he is murdering his wife.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
138. This is the worst thread yet on this dead horse of a subject.
Using a false comparison to make the slanderous accusation that DUers who support the court decisions in this case somehow approve of the "murder" of Terri Schiavo is a low, low tactic to take. You can choose to agree or disagree with euthanasia, but don't trot in here and sanctimoniously slander the majority of the posters on this website.

There are many other message boards that cater to this sort of nonsense (which I know you are aware of) - post this holier-than-thou shit there.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
140. Two things...
1. Not my business. That's between you and him.

2. This is flamebait.



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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
141. I guess that depends on whether the courts have decided that your
father wanted to be offed under the circumstances for the last 15 years.

Not that we want to use any facts in this argument.

Nice appeal to emotion.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
144. Never mind
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 04:21 PM by Bunny
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