May 5, 2008

"Irreversible" vegetative states

I am not at all convinced that physicians always know when death is near, or when a condition is "irreversible." This story reminded me of the Terry Schiavo murder a few years ago. Here's the summary:

Last winter, just as the state’s highest court was about to rule that a girl in an "irreversible vegetative state" should be removed from life support, 14-year-old Haleigh Poutre started to breathe on her own.


Norman Teigen said...

Be careful, Pastor. Terry Schiavo was not murdered.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

I also was shocked by the Terri case, so you are not alone in that.

I'll never forget the stats on her situation. They said she would die in a very short time. The most a person can survive while being dehydrated is about 14 days.

She made it to 13 and 1/2.

Sure, she "wanted to go". Right.

Christopher Esget said...

She wasn't? I think she was. What else could you call it?

Norman Teigen said...

I should not have responded to your blog as I did. I don't wish to get into any arguments with Christian friends. I do think that the right-wing grabbed on to this issue several years ago and made a great spectacle of it. It was from this point that I lost my respect for President Bush on domestic issues but I do maintain my respect for him on foreign policy issues. The point is that the Schiavo case has to deal with the rule of law in the United States.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

Norman, I agree with you that a spectacle was made on a certain level, and I'm sure that some people were disingenuous about the whole thing for political purposes.

But those two weeks of reports, while she still held on, broke my heart. I can completely understand a person in end stage cancer, wanting to just get over it all, or someone dying from something.

In this situation, it really did seem to be a person who was brain damaged, and they just dehydrated her to death. It took her just about as long as it would for me to die in that situation.

It makes me cringe just thinking about it now.

(Sorry if I am over stepping blog ettiqette (sp?) by responding to a response. Some folks don't like that.)