That would be Karen Ann Quinlan. That case was noteworthy for another reason: doctors aren’t kidding when they tell you not to mix alcohol with prescription meds. Which is how she got that way.
The hospice where Terri is has been caring for her without charge. Michael Schiavo won more than a million dollars in a malpractice suit against the hospital which treated her after the heart attack which debilitated her. Most of that money has been blown on the lawyers he hired to try to make Terri officially dead. And he’s not sitting home alone and lonely, he’s got one child and another on the way with a “fiancee.”
In the grand tally of sympathetic characters, Michael Schiavo ranks pretty damn low on the list.
I don’t know enough about Michael Schiavo to judge him, but it does seem that after a number of years it’s not unreasonable that he would get on with life. He can’t marry his girlfriend until his wife is declared legally dead after all and it does seem pointless to keep her on life support at this point.
I’m not saying he’s without fault, just that his having somebody else in his life isn’t a bad thing.
Is this all you’ve got against him? Would it have been better had he bought himself a Porsche? If he really believes that she would have hated being kept on life support, then he’s spending the settlement money to insure that her own wishes are carried out. In any event, since he doesn’t seem to have much left of it, you should be able to see that at this point, he has no financial incentive to continue the fight, and indeed it does seem against his financial best interest, doesn’t it? He certainly could divorce her at this point.
As long as we’re talking about the money, who can prove that he spent that particular money on the lawyers?
We know that he got a large settlement. We know that he’s been paying lawyers. That’s all we know. Could his income have paid for the lawyers? Did he spend more on them than he would have, if he hadn’t won the settlement? Did someone write down the serial numbers on the dollar bills and track them, where’swilly.com style, into the lawyers’ pockets?
It’s all spin.
And I’m mad about this too because some moron-woman in the Gazette wrote a similar editorial, with the same fallacies.
I don’t fault this guy a thing. Not. One. Damn. Thing. The fact that he is not curled up in a some fetal position himself from the strain of this bizarre event is a testimony of his strength.
With a feeding tube in, and the rest of the body young and healthy, this poor woman could live for years, decades. What kind of life is that for her ( if she is there) and for him ( who has already gone the distance and is fighting the unpopular fight.) and still has so much more to go down a road with seemingly no end, chucked with potholes.
I’m with Stoid on this with the visual bites the newscore releases. She doesn’t look that bad off, but who are we to decide on such a personal issue unless we are in their shoes day after day, year after year after year. I also know zero about coma’s and cerebral cortexes to comment clearly. I’ve only paid a slight bit of attention to it, when the news shoves it in my face, because this kind of story hits my hot button topic like a three alarm nuclear fire. And since I’ve been there, I can’t watch these things.
The fact that he has found someone to share his burdens with while this entire farce is being played out in the Theater D’Absurd is showing that he hasn’t given up hope. Given up living. Because when you are in that Terminal State of Nothing Happening (also Known as God’s Waiting Room.) it is all too easy to give up on everything and just live in darkness.
So many lives have been put on hiatus or changed forever because of this, it is insane and there is no easy solution. The fact that he hasn’t just thrown up his hands, divorced her and washed himself of his inlaws astounds me. I’ve heard of lesser circumstances where the spouse leaves at the first sign of problems.
It’s as bad as that mother in Georgia a few years ago that shot her two long-suffering sons in a nursing home. They suffered from something horrid ( can’t remember, but the afflicted was essentially checked out and a shell remained.) IIRC, she got prison for ending their misery. A prison sentance. Like two sons in a horrid state like that isn’t hell on earth.Try four The general public just does not understand what it is like to live with a terrible situation. They all want Disney Endings and Rainbows. That is not reality. Not every life is worth saving. Someone in a persistant vegetative state is not suddenly going to be normal the next day or the next year. Not ever.
Not every situation is reversable. It’s okay to let go, you are not a failure or failing them for doing so. In fact the reason why it happened to them and not you is that they could not handle the stress, but that is my Karmic thought that helps me cope. [/rant]
Barring a case of pnuemonia or staph infection, she will probably live years. I can only hope there is a DNR on her.
I wish her husband and his family a sense of peace during the insanity.
If I was coherent at all, it was by pure fluke and I promise it won’t happen again.
I just want to say that a) I completely agree with Stoid, and b) when CNN had a two-person point/counterpoint discussion on the Schiavo case, they had a large headline (bigger than the crawler) underneath that said “America’s Favorite Vegetable”. It turned out to be for a separate story that was actually about vegetables, but the placement/timing made my jaw drop.
According to what Schaivo said last night on Larry King re: the videotapes of Terri blinking her eyes on command or following a balloon…
He said what you are seeing are snippets of hours-long tapes. Chances are, at some point, Terri will blink her eyes when Mama tells her to. What you are not seeing is the 49 other times she didn’t blink her eyes when Mama said so.
I’ve got a thread going in Cafe Society about his appearance on Larry King. It seems like Gov Bush and the others opposed to Terri’s death do not have all the facts.
We hear “pull the feeding tube” and think “Oh my God she’s going to starve to death or die of thirst! How dare he!” I’m just not convinced Terri has enough awareness left to feel hungry or thirsty.
Ye Ghods, I hope this never happens to me. I don’t really care about my life being dragged out one way or another after I’m braindead, but this seems like a tremendous waste of years of hospital resources that could’ve been used to care for someone with a real chance of recovery – regardless of who was paying for it.
The AP story calls Shiavo ‘disabled’ because her parents call her ‘disabled.’ If I say I can make magic parrots fly out of my ass, the AP would refer to them as “alleged magic ass-parrots.” But adding “alleged” in this case prolly would have confused the issue further.
BTW, Disability advocatesare using Terri Shiavo as the basis for a slippery slope argument that the norms are gunna Auschwitz the handicapped.
Oh, brother. As some doper mentioned recently, slippery slope arguments are pathetic.
The lack of judgment is itself a judgment.
I just read the article this morning and had the same reaction as you did.
“Disabled” is hardly the same thing as a non-functioning cerebral cortex.
I don’t claim to know all of the facts about the case. If she’s truly vegetative, then I think it would be mercy to let her go. I certainly wouldn’t want to be kept around in that state, with no hope of recovery. I hope that someone would actually love me enough and be strong enough to do the right thing despite how hard it would be for them. However, I am uncomfortable with the idea of simply withdrawing support and allowing a lingering death by dehydration. I don’t know whether or not she is able to be aware of her body’s needs or not, but I wouldn’t want that chance taken with me.
If she (or I) needed to have a breathing apparatus to live, and was vegetative without hope of recovery, I would be fine with withdrawing that. It would be brief and effective, but in this case it seems like it would be an awful lot more merciful to just drop something in an IV tube and send her off instantly.
Frankly, I feel more sorry for her husband, who will probably be stuck with his media-applied villain label for the rest of his life. God I hate that about our modern media, they have to make everything in to a TV drama with clear cut good guys and bad guys. And how many innocent lives have they destroyed so that Myrtle and Gus don’t have to go to the trouble of thinking before they draw conclusions about whatever’s making the news that day?
By the way, I have some experience with “death by withdrawal of food and water”.
My sister had a series of strokes, the last of which left her unable to speak at all and also unable to swallow. The only way to keep her alive would be to have some kind of feeding tube and hydration. My sister was not unconscious, and she had years before filled out an extremely comprehensive medical directive spelling out in no uncertain terms the fact that she would not want to be kept alive under such circumstances. I demanded that she be asked point blank if this is what she wanted, because I found the whole idea very distressing, as you might guess.
So, in the end, she never received a feeding tube and the hydration was withdrawn. We brought her home, slapped a couple of morphine patches on her so that she wouldn’t suffer, and watched her life slowly slip away. She fell into a coma within a day or so and died within a day after that. We were all with her, and it was extremely peaceful.
All this to say…she wouldn’t suffer. Palliatives would be given (one hopes!) and she would die fairly easily.