Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube Removed

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 15, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube Removed

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 15, 2003

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Doctors removed Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube on Wednesday afternoon. Although Terri is not hooked up to any artificial breathing apparatus, the feeding tube provided her with food and water that allowed her to remain alive.

Terri’s father Bob Schindler confirmed that the tube had been removed and attorneys for her husband, Michael, said doctors have told them it will take anywhere from a week to 10 days for her to die.

"I just haven’t given up hope yet," Mary Schindler told reporters outside the hospice.

She watched along with Micahel Schiavo, who demanded that Terri’s live be ended, and was reportedly "visibly shaken" and distraught afterwards.

Terri’s parents are clinging to an 11th-hour meeting with Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL). He promised to have his legal team investigate any possibility whereby he could intervene on Terri’s behalf.

George Felos, Michael’s attorney and an assisted suicide advocate, claimed the Schindlers were "in denial" about his claims that Terri wouldn’t have wanted to be kept alive.

Wesley Smith, a leading national spokesman on bioethics issues, says the decision denies Terri’s right to live.

"We’re talking about a woman who is not terminally ill, who’s not hooked up to machines, who is going to live a normal lifespan unless her food and water is taken away," Smith explained.

Smith interviewed neurologists and others for his landmark euthanasia book Forced Exit and said that Terri will die a painful, "terrible" death.

"People can go into seizures. Their lips can crack. They can vomit. The hands mottle and turn cold, because all the water goes in towards the heart."

Pro-life groups say the case of Terri Schiavo is not new.

Burke Balch, the director of medical ethics at National Right to Life, tells LifeNews.com that Terri’s situation signifies a clear trend towards denying basic medical care to the severely disabled.

"For about two decades, the law in virtually every state has decreed that ‘surrogates’" may authorize denial of treatment to those who cannot speak for themselves," Balch said. "Consequently, vulnerable people with impaired consciousness have routinely been denied life-saving treatment, food and fluids until they die."

"Perhaps not until the publicity about this case have large numbers of Americans recognized how deep and widespread is the commitment to the "quality of life" ethic among doctors, hospitals, and the courts," Balch added.

Related web sites:
Bob and Mary Schindler – https://www.terrisfight.org