Starving Patients to Death is Legal in Every State in America

Opinion   |   Bobby Schindler   |   Aug 1, 2022   |   4:16PM   |   Washington, DC

On June 24th, 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the legally deficient 1973 ruling that a woman had a “constitutional right” to kill her unborn child.

Much of the credit was given to President Donald Trump for choosing Supreme Court justices who properly interpreted our nation’s Constitution. The pro-life community that devoted their time and resources and resolved to upend the law decriminalizing abortion is also due a significant amount of credit. Now, the battle to protect the unborn shifts to the laws of each individual state.

While this monumental ruling will certainly protect countless unborn babies, there currently exists a thriving Roe vs Wade type law that has a similar goal to end the lives of the medically vulnerable, as Roe did on the unborn. This law redefines feeding tubes, which provide a patient’s food and hydration, from basic and ordinary care to medical treatment and artificial life support.

Essentially, the redefinition of feeding tubes went unnoticed and as a result, it is now legal in all 50 states to either deny or remove a patient’s feeding tube – even against the expressed wishes of the patients – directly causing the patient’s death by dehydration and starvation.

In his book, Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, author and bioethicist, Wesley J. Smith writes that “defining ‘artificial nutrition’ as treatment instead of human care was a crucial step in the development of the culture of death.”

According to Smith, as far back as the early 1980’s, bioethicists like Daniel Callahan saw the feeding tube as a serious hurdle, openly stating that changing its classification from “basic care” to “medical treatment” would be “the only effective way to make certain that a large number of biologically tenacious patients actually die.”

Eventually, Callahan’s view became widely accepted. This included a 1986 opinion by the American Medical Association (AMA) that listed feeding tubes as medical treatment instead of a basic requirement for life, fundamentally changing the medical definition of receiving food and hydration by feeding tubes. This new meaning invites all kinds of scenarios that can end the lives of patients who either require feeding tubes permanently or temporarily until they can relearn how to eat and drink.

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Take for example, the 2005 case of my sister Terri Schiavo, who needed a feeding tube after experiencing a brain injury and having difficulty swallowing. Her guardian and estranged husband, Michael Schiavo, incentivized by his adulterous affair and also monetarily by the close to a million dollars he would inherit upon Terri’s death, invented a story and subsequently lied to a judge, alleging Terri would rather die than live in in a disabled condition.

This revelation surfaced years after Terri’s unexplained brain injury when Michael conveniently remembered Terri’s desire to die just after she received a million dollar malpractice payout that Michael vowed would be used for Terri’s lifelong rehabilitation.

Nonetheless, the judge ruled in his favor and permitted the removal of Terri’s feeding tube, inhumanely starving and dehydrating her to death. A slow and horrific killing that took almost two weeks.

Indeed, Terri’s case alerted the public that feeding tubes can be removed from a family member – even when someone purposely lies and financially benefits from the inhumane and unjust death sentence. However, 17 years after Terri’s death, nothing has changed as dehydrating to death persons like Terri continues every single day.

Even more, this injustice is worsening because the bureaucratic killing apparatus deep-rooted in our healthcare system saves billions of dollars by rationing ongoing care, making it easy and desirable to kill. Not to mention that, unlike the zeal to protect the unborn, there is no urgency or serious effort to protect our medically vulnerable. Bear in mind, all of this was occurring prior to the medical bullying triggered by Covid-19.

Consider, in a February 2004 editorial George Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo, criticized the Florida legislature for being “politically motivated” by their fight to prevent Terri’s death, bluntly stating, “Because of the notoriety of the Schiavo case, which is one isolated case out of tens of thousands over the years, I think the Legislature is politically motivated to look like they are doing something.”

Then, in a March 2008, New York Times article titled, “Terminal Options for the Irreversibly Ill”, Judith Schwarz, a registered nurse and clinical coordinator for Compassion & Choices of New York openly stated that over one-million people die each year in American hospitals as “a consequence of someone’s decision to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the one million people killed by today’s healthcare system add up to more deaths than abortions committed in 2020, which totaled 930,160 nationwide.

Furthermore, if you assumed the death crusade would stop at feeding tubes, then you don’t understand the appetite and commitment there is to kill our mentally and physically defenseless.

Presently, just as it was done with feeding tubes, there is a push to redefine spoon feeding as “medical treatment” which will allow the healthcare systems to kill patients who are unable to feed themselves. The same goes for Alzheimer’s patients if they cannot bring a utensil to their mouths, just as long as they made the request in an advance directive.

Indeed, just as we are currently witnesses to a compliant nation being devoured by the godless, today’s healthcare is the product of too many who have been propagandized to idolize a secular culture, hostile to a biblical worldview, and believing the impossible proposition that a person can lose their God given value when they are no longer productive citizens.

This is why all of us need to have a Healthcare Agent, which is not a medical directive, but instead is a principled and resilient advocate you legally choose in a medical durable power of attorney who will manage your care and make your medical decisions if you cannot make them yourself. Frankly, it is the best and only chance you might have to fight for life-affirming care in a climate where our medical liberties are being ignored.

Eight years ago, in 2014, a monument was opened in Berlin to remember the more than 200,000 victims of the Nazi government’s T4 euthanasia program. For two years beginning in 1939, this nationwide eugenics program was managed by mostly German physicians with the intent to eradicate the incurably ill, mentally or physically disabled, the elderly, and the emotionally distraught. These individuals were killed by either poison gas, starvation, or lethal injection.

Perhaps we’ll all take notice when they start using poison gas.