Anyone seen the Terri Schiavo videos?

I have not, and am looking for some opinions from those who have.

Supposedly, one of the videos shows here opening her eyes widely at the request of her parents.

The question: Did they ask her to do anything else, like “Look to the right” or “Blink once for ‘yes’ and twice for ‘no.’” Something like that would seem more compelling to show that there was some amount of cognitive brain function going on.

I personally don’t think she’s aware of much, and I have doubts about how much she can actually understand.

I’m not really asking any questions about the case, just looking for some opinions from those who have seen the videos.

I have seen the videos. In one of them she is asked to open her eyes widely, and with some prompting, she opens her eyes widely, turns her head, and raises her eyebrows.

The eyebrow raising to me seems to look like she is trying to say, “See, I’m doing what you told me to do.”

Is that possibly some sort of automatic response when she is using her eye muscles?

I really don’t know how to interpret the videos. I agree with the yes or no questions to determine if there is a cognitive response. Then again, if that happened, it would probably be on video.

I hear “Weird Al” Yankovic is going to direct her next video.

I have seen them. She seems to respond to external stimuli, spoken or touching, in those videos. I saw about 6 links, and it may be that those are the only 6 times she has responded at all, or she may do this every day. The eye opening was just that, an eye opener. She appeared to have some higher functioning there. I am 100% for a team of independent medical professionals to conduct an independent and unfettered evaluation of her current condition.

I thought I heard that no less than 18 doctors have evaluated her, and the majority of them believe she is running on auto response.

This statement, ““Terry is great, absolutely great. She has her color back. She’s tired, but she just looks wonderful,” said her father, Bob Schindler.” just breaks my heart. Her parents are so obviously in denial. I just don’t see how anyone can think that she’s got a high functioning brain. I hope the husband can reverse Jeb’s decision and let the poor girl go.

I saw the videos, She knows her mother…

Maybe she can’t get up and run around… BUT her parents love her and want her to be kept alive.
The act of starving this woman is absolutely beyond my comprehension…
I also want to see a picture of this scumbag husband, I cant find one in my searches… I just want to see what a person like that LOOKS like…
And another thing… Who on here would want their spouse to make a decision like that FOR YOU???
NOT ME, been married for 27 years, but, no way would I want someone I happen to be married to make that decision, I would want ONLY a blood relative to do that.
Just because you happen to be married to someone ,all of a sudden they can control life and death decisions for you??

What if the spouse had been contemplating divorce right before you were injured?? :eek:

This is why everyone needs to have these decisions made for themselves NOW while you are stil alive and fiunctioning conitively. Spell it all out in your will what you would want in that situation. I personally would not want to kept alive for 12 years with a feeding tube. That is just my personal choice. I would hope that my husband, mother, father, brother, sister, best friend, or lawyer would make those arrangements if I could not.

I have a living will with all of that specifically spelled out. I know it is hard for the parents. I can’t imagin having to watch my child in that condition, can’t imagin anything more painful. But certainly wouldn’t want to be there myself.

I saw the videos and I’m not convinced at all that Terri ‘is there’. If Terri has rudimentary responses (and Drs agree she does) she may move, make faces, grimace, smile, etc as pictured in the videos. She may do these things all day long (for all I know). Just because she does them with someone present (and on tape)doesn’t mean to me that her movements have meaning. I think her family has convinced themselves that she is responding to them when she is really just moving about.

I’ve had a couple of experinces that back my feelings up. I once worked on several occasions with a man who had a severe case of spastic cerebral palsy (as opposed to flaccid). He ‘was there’ but his body was completely out of control. He made alot of the same movements and facial grimaces I see on the tapes. We could communicate with great patience and attention, but there was certainly a difference between what he had contol over and what he did not.

The other experience I’ve had involve the death of a family member. I sat with him for several days as he died. The last two (maybe three) days we spent together, I felt he was ‘not there’. He too seemed alot like Terri, and I continued to take care of him and communicate with him as before, but I never felt he responded to me. He did make responses, very much like the tapes of Terri, with what I felt were random movements, sounds, and facial expressions. Just to be sure, I took gentle loving care of him, but I don’t to this day think he had any real awareness of it.

I saw the videos, a few weeks ago.
If I recall correctly, the “eye opening” video went something like this:

Doctor: <gets right down close by her face> Okay, now we’re going to ask her to open her eyes.
Open your eyes, Terri.
Open your eyes!
Open your eyes!
Open your eyes!
Terri, open your eyes.
Open your eyes, Terri.
Terri, open your eyes!
Open your eyes!
Open your eyes!
Terri, open your eyes.
Okay now, open your eyes, Terri!
Open your eyes!
<repeat for about 60 seconds>

Terri turns her head toward the doctor, and opens her eyes.

There’s one where the parents claim she shows “clear irritation at being tickled with a cotton swab”–in this one, the doctor pokes around her nose and mouth with a swab, after a bit of prodding, she pulls her lips down, and moves her head a bit.

I obviously can’t make any sort of determination about Terri Schiavo’s situation, as I don’t know anything about brain damage or response to stimuli and what can be considered congnitive function, or whatever–but I will say that I have made it very clear to Mr. Armadillo that if a judgement about my remaining cogntive function depends on whether or not I can be prompted to open my eyes with a full minute of repeated goading, then please, pull the plug.

This, I can speak to. I would absolutely 100% trust my wife to make this sort of a decision for me if I was unable to do so. I chose to be with her, and trust her to look out for my best interests if I am unable to do so.

My "blood kin, on the other hand, are just a bunch of folks that the dice roll of parentage and circumstance stuck me with. A few of them I would trust for something like this, but a lot of them I wouldn’t trust to make a decision more complicated than “paper of plastic”.

Honestly, the idea of being married to someone that you do not trust with your life makes my skin crawl.

Specifically, if I were trapped in my body the way that this woman seems to be, I would want someone to pull the plug. Granted, starving people to death has an ominous feel to it, but I think that the real problem is that we are rather namby-pamby about helping people to die when it is the right thing to do.

Just yesterday evening (based on this case) I all but begged my girlfriend to pull the plug on me if anything like this ever happened to me. Then I asked my mother this morning. So yes, I do trust her. The idea that a spouse would committ something tantamount to murder just because they were contemplating divorce is overdramatic.

ANYWAY, as to the videos- yes, I’ve seen some of them. They left me horrified: the woman is GONE. In “Terri and Her Mother,” there is no ‘glowing smile.’ She gives the same (in my opinion) eerily blank look and makes the same expression the entire time, including before her mother speaks. Calling these ‘reacting’ and ‘glowing’ are pretty good evidence of wishful thinking, to me.

Because of the way the “Balloon” video is shot, there’s no way to tell if she’s actually looking at the object or not. You can see that her eyes move at points, but it’s never clear where they’re looking. Several times they look in what seems to be the dead wrong direction, which is backed up by the doctor’s prodding to ‘look over here.’ From what I can tell, she’s mostly moving her head and eyes at random.

The “cotton swab” thing doesn’t suggest anything either: she does react, eventually, by turning her head away - though that’s not her initial reaction. If you want to interpret that as annoyance, as her family does, you can. But we already know she can react to stimuli, so it doesn’t prove anything. The “open your eyes” is pretty much as mixiearmadillo says: the doctor hollers at her for 15 seconds, after which she gradually opens her eyes. We already know she can react to noise. Ditto the “piano” video: it’s a REAL stretch to call the blank stare she makes in the general direction of the sound “listening.” That sure isn’t how I listen to music. The response - not even close to immediate - to “how’s your cold?” is a low groan that’s less expressive than anything you’d ever get from your dog or cat.

I already used the words “wishful thinking,” and that’s what I think this is. The website notes - well, drastically overstates - things in those clips that might help their case, but they never note things like the very delayed responses and the fact that she’s got the same open-mouthed, blank stare in every single video. Which indicates to me that there’s no comprehension of anything going on.

If you go into this thinking “she might be conscious,” or with the mindset of the deluded parents, I can understand why you’re let with an ambiguous attitude. On the other hand, if you go in having read multiple doctors testify that her cerebral cortex has been destroyed, so there’s no way she could think, recognize anyone or have any feelings about them, then you might realize that the lights may be on, but nobody’s home.

You know, nothinboutnothin, if I was your husband reading that, I’d be deeply hurt. “You’ve known me for 27 years, but you think I’d kill you?”

Well, yeah. That’s kind of the whole point of all that stuff about cleaving to one’s mate, flesh of one flesh, all that I am and all that I have do thee endow, etc. That’s what marriage IS, trusting another human being with everything you are, or ever have been, or ever will be. And you can bet your bippy I’d rather have the man who voluntarily shares my bed, my meals, my laughter, my tears, and all the rest of my everyday life to make that decision for me than someone who happens to be born to the same family and sees me three or four times a year.

My mother would follow my wishes, I think, because she feels the same way. My dad, I’m not so sure about. My grandparents wouldn’t, I’m sure. They’d do exactly what Terri Schiavo’s family has done, as would several of my aunts and uncles. My brother? Good god, he’s such a pessimist and so clueless about me that he wouldn’t bother with the Heimlich if I were choking on a ham sandwich. Dr.J, though, I KNOW he would make the decisions I would want made.

I haven’t seen the videos, as my browser keeps timing out before their page will load, but every description is pretty consistent with PSV.

Not only would I want my husband to make the decision ( or actually, to carry out my decision after I am no longer able to), I would expect him to fight my mother tooth and nail. The very last person I would want to make that decision is my mother. Because I know my mother will make the decision on her feelings, beliefs and preferences, and not on mine.

I don’t doubt that her parents love her and want her to be kept alive. But that doesn’t mean that she wanted it, and it doesn’t eliminate the possibility that the husband is not evil, but is merely trying to carry out his wife’s wishes.

There’s an article in yesterday’s Slate about just this very subject, oddly enough.