I think it's all a bit weird.
It makes me sick at how that poor woman is going to die. she's going to starve to death, it's going to be a long torture for her, how can this happen? :-/
Isn't it that Schiavo told her husband she didn't want to live in this situation, or at least her husband believes that. The husband and some doctors are saying she's non responsive and will never be, whereas the parents say she is responsive. Either way it's a confusing mess and difficult to get at the truth of it.
The only reason I can see for parents wanting to choose the sex of their children is where a particular sex is more likely to suffer from some genetic disease.
Schiavo's husband is suspected by many for being the cause of Terris state but has never been proved. Her parents have battled for a long time asking for him to stop being the legal guardian.. I don't think the parents should be either as they are too closely involved but if there are any suspicions of the husband and his motives I don't think he should be the guardian either.
Its such a shame because at the end of the day.. doctors cannot say 100% that she can't feel emotions.. it's all scientific best guesses..
It's horrid to think that she could be screaming inside for someone to feed her but no-one can hear her or understand her!
I hope for her sake that the doctors are right and that she can't feel emotions.. as I think starving someone to death is barbaric!
I did have my suspicions when I read about him suing the hospital and receiving a large amount of money, then going on immediately to have another family.
But these were just suspicions, and it's all to easy to sit in judgement based on a news article. It's really one for the professionals to comment on, although there does seem to be a lack of real facts and issues in a lot of the comment about this.
It does suggest that people need to sit down and make their view on this very clear in case it might happen, but I'm sure most of us would rather hope that it doesn't. And how are we to know how we would feel if it were to happen? It might change our view...
I just read the Q&A bit on the bbc news website and they said that PVS (Persistant Vegitative State) ...
They have a normal heartbeat and can breathe independently, but their awareness of their surroundings is highly debatable.
Because of this uncertainty PVS lies in a legally grey area
Which means they don't fully understand PVS and "highly debatable" doesn't sound too confident to me..
Her parents have video footage of her moving her head and opening her eyes which was a reaction to stimuli.. but the doctors state this was perhaps a co-incidence..
co-incidence or not her parents won't be able to see that because all they know is that their loved one reacted to something they did which gave them hope.
I just hope and pray that if she is allowed to go this way she can't feel anything because starving someone for 2 weeks is awful.
I guess it's altogether possible that she feels awful in this state also...
It's equally horrid to think that she's spent 15 years screaming inside for someone to let her die... :/
The allegations about him being the cause of the illness only came up recently, and have been discounted by the courts. It was the court and a judge, not him, that decided she would have wanted to die and so should have her feeding tube removed - and that decision has been upheld again and again. Even if he did hand care over to the parents, they couldn't just keep her fed. They'd have to convince (yet another) court that the previous court's decision was wrong.
With me being a mum, and knowing how much I love my Jacob, I can in a way understand the sex selection through IVF. A friend of mine had a son and he died at 3 months old as he had some genetic disease that both parents gave him. They tried for another baby and prayed that it was a girl as a girl would have been safe and wouldn't have that same problem - if they found they were having a boy they would probably have aborted as I think there was a 95% chance he'd have it to0. But she's having a girl and has got 2 weeks to go before the birth! :) So yes, in a way, I can understand it, but it's still playing God. :-/
We had neighbours who had similar problems in that they had a son with a genetic condition that was prevalent only in males. They watched him die over several years, and I can't imagine the pain and suffering they went through (and more importantly the child went through). It eventually caused the breakup of their marriage after their son died, presumably because they could never be sure that they would be able to have a girl.
I thought that the ability to choose the sex via IVF was all about genetic disease problems but I see no mention of this in the BBC article. I can't see how choosing a boy or girl can be necessary unless people view their children as fashion accessories. And for this reason at least it's something that should never be legal. It should only be for those with a proven genetic problem.
I agree with you on the "customising" of babies, that's wrong.
As for the other, I can only think about it in the terms of if I was in a vegetative state I wouldn't want to carry on. 15 years like it, they're not going to get any better. I don't see it as denying someone the right to live, but letting them go with a little dignity.
As much as I appreciate the families wish to let her live, obviously you don't want to see a loved one die, I would want to think about what the individual wanted. Can you honestly say that if you were in the same state you'd want to carry on?
It's a very, very complex situation. Unfortunately medical progression has thrown up more problems than solutions as far as I can see. Just because you could, doesn't mean you should... Hmm.
There are as many 'fors' about choosing a baby's sex as there are 'againsts' which is how it can be done... as for the feeding tube case, I have my own personal opinions that are both proffessional and personal - professionally we can't end a life by injection say, we can however let nature take its course by removing the feeding tube. Personally I don't think anyone would want to live in a non-responsive state and it puts enormous long term strain on relatives, no matter how much they love the patient. Its just as important for relatives to take care of themselves as patients otherwise they end up in hospital too and we go around in circles...
I'd seriously question whether she could be described as living. Look here http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=life
and for the first definition, compare how many parts of that define what you are, now do the same for a braindead vegetable lying in a bed.
If I ended up like that I'd like to think I'd be given an injection to end it. However I know the bastards in the courts would never allow it. I think keeping what is essentially a breathing corpse alive is plain sick.
That's the thing. She's been referred to as 'braindead' by many sources. But if she's responding positively to stimuli (and I don't mean reflex actions), then how can she be braindead?
The courts have determined and repeatedly upheld that she isn't responding positively to stimuli. It must be very hard for the parents to let go if she makes random movements which sometimes seem as if they aren't random, though.
It's a sad case all round :(
Speaking purely scientifically as I've done research in response stimuli...
Neurons can respond whether or not the person is "brain dead". I can get a neuron to fire when there isn't even a brain attached to it.
I can REMOVE parts of the brain and get those neurons to respond to stimuli.
It's a matter of learning, and some things the brain will never unlearn. Even a brain dead lab rat responds to things they learned before they were braindead..
Personally, I think that potential parents should only be allowed to choose their childs sex if there is a genuine medical reason to do so (i.e. if there is a high chance of once sex getting a genetic desiese which would significantly harm their quality of life or severly shorten their life). There may be a handfull of other exceptions but generally I don't think people should be able to choose the sex of their child unless they have a very good reason.
As for the Terri Schiavo case, that is a very grey area - as she doesn't have a living will and is a adult, it's debatable whether anyone has the right to make decisions which allow her to die without her consent.
I think that although everyone has the right to live, I also think that everyone has the right to a basic quality of life.
If she isn't aware of her surroundings then I'd say that isn't much of a quality of life but if she is aware of her surroundings and effectivly trapped inside her body, unable to communicate with the outside world then then arguably that would be an even worst quality of life.
If an animal was kept alive like she is then its owner would be prosecuted for cruelty, so she's been in this state for 15 years and there's no sign of her ever coming out of the PVT then regardles of her awareness, it seems rather cruel to keep her alive in that state.
I think that more people should be encouraged to create living wills as that would help a lot with this sort of situation.
That's my 2p's worth anyway :)
Dave, I'm with you on this one totally.
We treat animals better than we are treating Mrs Schiavo. They are starving the woman to death. She's not on life support, never has been. All she receives are feeding tubes.
Her husband is a tool. He won over a million dollars to finance her continued care but then refused to part with it. He has numerous 'girlfriends' (all while still being married to Mrs Schiavo and asserting husband/wife rights to starve her to death), one of whom he has children with.
There is no proof that she wanted to die, except for his word which is a dubious ask to believe at best. There was even evidence in court that he admitted she had never expressed her intention to die. And even on the odd chance this was her wish, using this method of inducing death is cruel and inhumane. If she is meant to die, her body should shut down naturally, not require us as humans to intervene.
Many are saying that she will die a peaceful death. Well if food and water deprivation results in a peaceful death, why the hell are we giving money to starving children in Africa. Has Live Aid ripped us off? Hardly. We know that starvation is a terrible death. So why are we as a society sanctioning this when have been told for years that this is a pretty awful way to go.
The whole thing makes me very sad that we could treat a human being like that. For a husband to wish upon his a wife a torturous death, and for people to agree with his decision, is mind-boggling.
Sorry if this post was a bit all over the place. It's an issue I'm feeling very strongly about.
I don't know all of the details about Terri's condition, etc. My problem is the Court playing God in these situations. I don't believe it should ever be a Court's role.
But, who should make that decision? Are families ever able to distance themselves enough to make it?
Maybe this is leading to an argument re: living wills.