posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 10:00 PM
I'm gonna throw my two cents in, speaking as both a nurse and a funeral director.
We, for the most part, are a culture of life. Wakes are now meant to be "life celebrations", not the mournful events of centuries past. Photo's are
placed around the casket, mementos are placed inside, and the time is spent remembering the deceased. The days of making sure dear ol' grandma's
hair was died just like it was when she was young(er) are gone- our society has become more accepting of the time leading up to death, and aside from
very few instances, our grieving process now encompasses the entire life-span, not just the "good times", as I know so many were told to remember
during times of grief.
On to Terri Schiavo... this woman has SUFFERED for 15 years. Having a permanent feeding tube, not to mention an indwelling catheter, are not pleasant.
She could be fed by the tube, and the catheter removed, but then she'd be lying in pooled urine for several periods of time each day, leaving her
succeptible to severe skin breakdown- namely decubitus ulcers, which are not only terribly painful, but also life threatening (as was the case with
Christopher Reeves). Her feeding tube and catheter were only meant to prolong her life so that her parents would not be forced to suffer the death of
their child, which is admittedly hard for any parent to deal with. Someone bedridden for over a decade would be lucky to make it much further without
some form of decubitus ulcer, or the life threatening infections that come with it, not to mention pneumonia and muscle atrophy.
I don't know many people who have stated in their living wills- which EVERYONE should have if they'd like their wishes followed- that they would
like to be kept alive even if their brain was dead.
I guess my main point here is to look at the quality of life issues involved- why prolong the suffering of someone for years, considering they have 0%
chance of recovery, instead of letting them die with dignity?