Gut Rumbles

April 01, 2005


The Grim Reaper is a relentless stalker and he comes for us all one of these days. You can't stop him--- the only debate is how long it takes him to find you and what manner in which you will go.

Modern medicine has discovered ways to keep you hanging on when you are not and never will be again the person you once were. With all of their tubes, respirators and machines, they still don't manage to cheat the reaper. They simply prolong the inevitable.

No matter how much YOU love life or love the person faced with that situation, there is a time to let go. My mama did it with dignity and the same kind of stubborn pride and true grit that she displayed her entire life. It broke my heart to see her go, but in a special, secret way, I was pleased to see it happen that way.

My brother and I grieved, but not nearly so badly as we did when daddy died. The doctors had too much fun keeping dad alive for far too long. When Mama was in the same position, she told all the doctors to go fuck themselves. ( Mama never used that kind of language, but the meaning was the same.) She knew what was coming, put her affairs in order and DID NOT make her death a long, drawn-out travesty.

That's what I don't understand about some of the Terri Shavio ranters. I've been there and done that twice. The "Save Terri" crowd never had a clue in MY humble opinion.

Sometimes, death is the right exit to take.


What to you think the odds are that the Pope still has the feeding tube in place; assuming he is alert enough to signal his desires.

Posted by: bottlestop on April 1, 2005 02:14 PM

She knew what was coming, put her affairs in order and DID NOT make her death a long, drawn-out travesty.

There is the difference. Terri Shiavo didn't put her affairs in order. Judge Greer put her affairs in order for her at Michael Shiavo's request.

Posted by: Arcs on April 1, 2005 02:31 PM

Same for me...

Posted by: Sam on April 1, 2005 02:41 PM

That's why I strongly recommend a living will. Get your affairs in order ahead of time.

Posted by: Acidman on April 1, 2005 02:41 PM

Here is a sample of a living will I can respect. Caution!!!! Not for those not willing to exercise a sense of humor..


Posted by: Tom on April 1, 2005 02:49 PM

I would agree with you Rob, except for one point, Terri was, other than having brain trauma, in otherwise good health.

And we can't truly know the extent of the brain trauma due to the fact that Micael Schiavo would'nt allow the proper assessment tests to be made or remedial rehabilitative therapy applied. She MAY of been too far gone, but we will never truly know, and that's where the controversy lies with me.

The fact that he wouldn't allow her parents to be by her side in her last moments on Earth and THEN wouldn't allow her parents to bury her in accordance with their (and presumably her) religious traditions further emphasizes his lack of compassion and leads to questions about his true motives, as does his initial attempt to prevent an autopsy.

Posted by: delftsman3 on April 1, 2005 02:55 PM

I mostly come down on the side of delftman3. That being said, I personnally would not want to live like that either, Rob. However withholding food and water as a way to kill her was barbaric. I would hope that if I am in that condition someone would have the balls to at least give me the same as criminals sentenced to death. First a shot of moriphine. (wait a few minutes....let me enjoy the buzz if i'm in there use wasting good moriphine) Then a shot of potassium to stop the heart. Quick and simple, both for me and my family and friends.


Posted by: Tom on April 1, 2005 03:08 PM


while I concur with most of your thoughts, there was no other option in the state of Florida, as there is none in most other states. The judges made no moral decisions, they simply adjudicated the law as written. If you don't like the law, then work to change it.

That is why one should have a GOOD relationship with one's Doctor. If he knows your wishes, and the circumstances under which you would NOT want to live, he will be of help. Mine knows my wishes in that regard, and is comfortable with them. Morphine me into oblivion, then a shot to the heart. Fairly quick and painless.

My legal will will state NO AUTOPSY, and that will be that.

Pretty common thing, but not advertised, as you can well understand. Talk to your Doctor, see what his feelings are.

Posted by: Wayne on April 1, 2005 05:11 PM


Judges may not make moral decisions but they sure can find ways to work around any law when it suits their purpose. But you are correct, most state and federal statutes are ill equipped to handle end of life issues such as the ones surrounding Terri Schiavo. Plan accordingly.


Posted by: Tom on April 1, 2005 06:06 PM

Another spot-on post from the Crackerbox!

I suspect that if you look at the folks who advocated letting Mrs Schiavo go vs. those who advocated saving her at all costs, you'll find a substantial number of the former who have had loved ones used as science experiments by the medical "profession".

Like our host here, I had a parent who was kept alive by "all possible means". This was 25 years ago, before the concept of a living will was well known. That poor woman -- my mother -- suffered at least a year longer than necessary because the so-called "experts" didn't know when to quit.

Your mama did the right thing, Acidman. My condolences to you and your brother.

Posted by: Grumpy Old Ham on April 1, 2005 07:47 PM

Terri Schiavo was bulimic... her initial heart attack was due to an electolyte imbalance directly related to her bulimia.... she would have been mortified to know her photos were shown on TV in her present condition.... devastating for someone with poor self / body image...
Next, she married as an adult and as such her spouse is her legal next of kin... I have to assume one's spouse would know more than one's parents what his or her wishes are... Michael Schiavo waited and hoped for several years that Terri would improve and she didn't.... when he was convinced there was no hope he requested life support be removed..... yes, this man has moved on with his life, but he has not abandoned Terri.... rather he has attempted to carry out what he believes his wife's wishes to be.... I see him as loving her enough to not divorce or leave her, even putting his new life on temporary hold until Terri's situation resolved..... This is such an emotional issue I believe many lose sight of what Terri would have wanted and who was in the best position to know what Terri would have wanted.... as a happily married adult woman at the time of her initial heart attack, Michael Schiavo is her voice.

Posted by: Kelley on April 2, 2005 12:21 AM
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