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March 23, 2005

Opinion: Terri's Last Chance - It's time to try giving Terri Schiavo orally administered liquids.

Topics: Terri Schiavo's Life Counts

While I am in total agreement with the author of this article, William Anderson, a lecturer at Harvard University and Senior Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, I believe that his suggestion falls short of an opportunity for success. Instead of dealing with rational and caring human beings which would find no reason to do other than as he suggests, we are instead dealing with the Pinellas County court system which is heavily entrenched in the guardianship and euthanasia community, and a judge that is committed to killing Terri Schiavo. We are not dealing with a rational court.

- By William Anderson in The Weekly Standard
THE CHIPS ARE DOWN. We have had a surfeit of due process. It is now well past time to consider the facts which process has willfully ignored. There is no reason, medical, moral, or legal, to refrain from an attempt to provide Terri Schiavo with orally administered liquids.

There are only two possible explanations for having employed gastric tube feeding. Either (1) her neurologic damage has brought about a swallowing dysfunction with danger of aspiration pneumonia; or (2) it was simply a matter of convenience to avoid labor intensive hand feeding.

In either case, no medical reason now exists to refuse a trial of natural drinking. She may have impaired swallowing function, but that at its worst cannot be as bad as death by dehydration.

Allowing her to drink water would be the definitive test of swallowing function. She may be able to swallow water and other clear liquids, in which case she will avoid death by dehydration, even if she later succumbs to malnutrition. Or she may be able to swallow pureed food, which will avoid death by malnutrition. Or she may not be able to swallow water without aspiration into the lungs, and so would develop pneumonia, and have a quicker and more peaceful death.

As to legal concerns, a guardian may refuse any medical treatment, but drinking water is not such a procedure. It is not within the power of a guardian to withhold it, and not in the power of a rational court to prohibit it.

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Cross posted at BlogsForTerri

Posted by Hyscience at March 23, 2005 2:46 PM

Yes time for only seems to be getting her closer to death's door...

Posted by: Crystal Clear at March 23, 2005 3:45 PM

Who Cares

Posted by: bob at March 23, 2005 9:46 PM

How can these people play god!This is murder. How can the Us allow one person to decide whether a person should live or die? How can they allow a husband who has committed a sin by having an affair decided whether Terry should live or die? How can they even say this is legal? The only person who should make this decision is god!!! I am really disappointed and I have never been so disappointed in the legal system as I am now. I hope these people are prosecuted for what they are doing. If not there is something wrong with this world. I will be praying for Terri.

Posted by: Tracy Lyons at March 26, 2005 7:26 AM

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