Condemned to dehydrate or starve

One of the good things about the blogosphere is that you get to read about stories from around the world which don’t make an appearance in mainstream media. In her blog Allthings2all, Catez highlights the plight of Terri Schiavo in Florida, USA, a woman who is awaiting judgement as to whether she lives or dies. However, the judgement is not to determine if she has committed a crime or not, but to determine whether she wants to live or die.

On one side, her family is putting forward the case that Terri wants to live and they will take care of her. On the other side her husband is putting forward that she is in a persistent vegetative state and wants to die. There are doctors on both sides of the argument, as well as lawyers.

Looking at the information on the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation web site, provided by those wishing to keep Terri alive, she seems to be quite significantly brain damaged, but importantly, not in a persistent vegetative state. This can be seen in her reactions to her surroundings, to her family and friends, as well as the fact she is not on life support, but merely on a drip which is only given to her at meal times.

The fact that she is not on life support means that the only way to ‘allow her to die’ is to withhold the drip from her, meaning she would have to suffer from acute dehydration and starvation before she dies. Yet, from the evidence, I think she should be fed and watered, as is the right of any human being. It would seem the only argument to leave her to die is because she is an inconvenience, but this alone is not sufficient grounds.

No human being should be made to think they should be dead just because they are an inconvenience to others, let alone actually left to die.

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1 Response to Condemned to dehydrate or starve

  1. Catez says:

    Excellent Gerald – this is a good analysis of the issues. And when all factors are taken into account the same conclusion is reached – she should not be starved to death. I appreciated reading a reasonable and factual post that gets to the heart of the issue.

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