Supreme Court refuses to hear Schiavo appeal.

  1. [font=Book Antiqua]I say let her die in peace there is no quality of life here.

    Supreme Court refuses to hear Schiavo appeal

    Other appeals pending in case of brain-damaged woman

    From Bill Mears
    CNN Washington Bureau



    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the husband of a brain-damaged woman on Monday by refusing to intervene in a Florida appeal to keep her alive with a feeding tube.

    The refusal to intervene, without comment, gives brain-damaged Theresa "Terri" Schiavo's husband, Michael, the right to remove the tube, although other legal appeals are pending.

    Terri Schiavo's parents want a feeding tube to remain hooked to their daughter. In a persistent vegetative state, Terri Schiavo, 41, is able to breathe on her own, but is unable to swallow and depends on a feeding tube to remain alive.

    After 10 years, her husband says she is not improving and would not have wanted to be kept alive in such a condition.

    The appeal asked the court to rule on the constitutionality of the so-called "Terri's Law," passed by Florida lawmakers in October 2003. That law gave Gov. Jeb Bush the power to restore a feeding tube that has kept Terri Schiavo alive since 1990.

    When Bush ordered the tube reinserted, Florida's highest court ruled the law unconstitutional, saying it wrongly vested such power in the executive branch. The court said such decisions should be decided in the judiciary.

    The case has sparked nationwide debate over who has control over the care and, ultimately, life and death decisions involving patients who cannot make such decisions for themselves.

    In February 1990, Terri Schiavo's heart stopped beating after she collapsed from a chemical imbalance caused by an eating disorder. She did not have a written directive before her collapse. Ten years later, her husband asked a court to have her feeding tube removed, arguing she had shown no improvement. A judge ruled Terri Schiavo would not have wanted to be kept alive artificially.

    Her parents, Bob and May Schindler, appealed, saying their daughter never had expressed such opinions. They are seeking a new trial, arguing she has been denied her due process rights.

    The parents have appealed the case to a Pinellas County judge and to a Florida District court asking for intervention.

    Speaking in Washington after the court ruled, Bob Schindler called the ruling "pathetic" and "judicial homicide." He contends that, despite the diagnosis of some doctors, his daughter is "awake and alert."

    Terri Schiavo's feeding tube has been removed on two occasions, but was later reinserted after emergency legal appeals were filed. She remains hooked to a feeding tube while legal issues make their way through the courts. The refusal by the Supreme Court to intervene will not end the legal appeals.

    Doctors hired by opposing sides disagree over whether Terri Schiavo's condition can improve. There also is disagreement over the extent, if any, she is able to communicate and comprehend her surroundings.




    Find this article at:
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/24/sc...avo/index.html
    Last edit by Jo Anne on Jan 26, '05
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Hard case . . . she is awake, smiles, vocalizes, etc.

    Just give her to her parents and go on with yoursteph
  4. by   renerian
    It is cases like this that prompted me to put a NO artificial feeding clause in my advance directives.

    renerian
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from renerian
    It is cases like this that prompted me to put a NO artificial feeding clause in my advance directives.

    renerian
    There's the rub . . .if only they hadn't placed one in the first place. Now it seems too premeditated.

    steph
  6. by   URO-RN
    Quote from stevielynn
    Hard case . . . she is awake, smiles, vocalizes, etc.

    Just give her to her parents and go on with yoursteph
    Yes, he (the husband) could do that. If they are Catholic, he can get a annulment and go on with his life. Her family have taken care of her thus far. I don't agree with the family, but if that is what they want fine.
  7. by   Tweety
    :deadhorse It's a tough case. I've only seen the one film that shows her supposedly alert, awake, smiling, although I haven't heard about any vocalizing Steph.

    I unfortunately can't be objective because I want to put my beliefs on the family. If it we me in that condition, and my spouse wanted to disconnect me, I would call it an act of a loving husband and I would smile down from the stars in gratitude for ending my misery. Because I don't care if I was alert, smiling and vocal, I would not want to live in a permanent vegetative state. I can't help but feel that if she could vocalize she would be screaming "take the tube out already, I've had ten long years trapped in this hell".

    Take the tube out already and everyone get one with their lives and give the poor woman some peace.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jan 27, '05
  8. by   renerian
    Well said and here, here.


    JMHO,

    renerian
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    :smackingf I see I made a mistake when typing my message so fast and not proofreading . .thanks for figuring it out and not pointing it out.


    Tweety - I meant making sounds in response to her mom, not words. And I think you are right to have all arrangments made beforehand. It is just that darn feeding tube is in now - and her parents want her to live and want to care for her and I don't believe her husband has any loving reasons why he wants to pull the tube, like your spouse would or you would for your spouse. I don't like him - I admit it.

    Beating a dead horse smiley says it all for you though, right.

    Her parents should have some rights.

    Like I said, a hard case. I too would not want to end up like that. But you pull the tube and she is dead and that is a permanent decision and if she isn't in pain now and her parents want to care for her, why pull the tube? Because WE wouldn't want to be like that; and maybe that is self-centered. We are projecting our own feelings onto her. In truth we don't really know what she would want - we need to remember her. Maybe he needs to consider letting her go and finish getting on with his life.

    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Jan 29, '05
  10. by   Tweety
    I agree Steph. It's almost as if he wants her to die to get even with her parents. When for the parents sake, he should just wash his hands clean and let them take care of her.

    I still maintain those grunts are her trying to tell them how miserable her life really is.

    Again, I'm trying to put my views on both poor Terri and their parents. My view is that Terri wants out of her misery. My view that while her parents are guided by pure love, it's so totally selfish to make their daughter live that kind of hell.

    So I'm not objective at all.

    When do parental rights end and spouses rights begin? Would you want your parents coming in and telling your husband how to run your life and family if you were incapacitated? I've told my parents, that they are no longer burdened with that responsibility, that John is.

    It gets tough, because we had a head-injured patient who whose 21 year old wife was fueding with his parents who wanted to take him to their hometown 4 hours away and she demanded he stay under her care. It can get ugly. Especially when they are young. I'm sure if your son eloped and got head injured, you'd had a few things to say.

    Sigh............life isn't easy is it?
  11. by   fergus51
    I think the real issue here is who should have decision making power in such cases. Do you want your parents to be able to overrule the man you chose to marry? I wouldn't. And I would never forgive my hypothetical husband if he appeased my parents by letting me linger on like that if he knew it wasn't what I would have wanted.
  12. by   LauraF, RN
    I'm kind of torn too. I wonder what their relationship was like before this happened. Could he have been part of the reason why she had an eating disorder? Was she seeking help for the eating disorder. Sometimes if a husband is cheating the woman will do things to try and get him back such as lose weight, to the point of anorexia. If this is the case then yes, he needs to move on and let her family care for her and make the decisions. If he assisted her in getting help for said eating disorder then he may be looking out for her best interested. Does that make sense? Anyway, I'm torn. I think it would be a horrible horrible way to die, to starve or die from dehydration.
  13. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from fergus51
    I think the real issue here is who should have decision making power in such cases. Do you want your parents to be able to overrule the man you chose to marry? I wouldn't. And I would never forgive my hypothetical husband if he appeased my parents by letting me linger on like that if he knew it wasn't what I would have wanted.
    I agree.
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from fergus51
    I think the real issue here is who should have decision making power in such cases. Do you want your parents to be able to overrule the man you chose to marry? I wouldn't. And I would never forgive my hypothetical husband if he appeased my parents by letting me linger on like that if he knew it wasn't what I would have wanted.
    Ah but what if your husband was a slimey scumbag who didn't give a rat's arse for you? And your parents did?

    If something had happened to me when I was married to my ex, who was not a nice man and cheated on me and was a druggie . .hell no I wouldn't have wanted him to make the decision. He would have pulled the plug in a New York minute, especially if there was hope.

    If your relationship with your parents is good and they know your wishes and your husband is only interested in the insurance money, well . .

    This isn't an easy situation. Terri's parents are nice people who love her. Her husband is not a nice person. But does that legally negate his power over her? The truth is I wouldn't want anyone to have power over me.

    I need to make those decisions myself and not burden my family. But who thinks of that when you are in your 20's?

    steph

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