Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 28, 2005

Schiavo swallows?

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:04 am

It is reported that after first refusing, Michael Schiavo allowed Terri to receive communion on Easter, and on March 18:

The Rev. Thaddeus Malanowski said he gave Schiavo wine but could not give her a fleck of communion bread because her tongue was dry.
… Schiavo last received both sacraments on March 18, just before her feeding tube was removed.

Apparently, on March 18, since she was hydrated, her tounge was not dry, and she was able to receive the bread.

And apparently, she swallowed it. So why it is that she “can’t survive” without “artificial life support”?

Because, with these two exceptions, the judge has prohibited her from taking food and water by natural means, i.e., by mouth.

In other words, she can’t survive without the feeding tube because the judge has ordered no feeding without the tube, and the judge has also ordered the removal of the feeding tube because he’s decided she wouldn’t want to live with a feeding tube.

Frankly, I can’t see why the judge could not have made all these same orders for someone who was not brain-damaged. In other words, it could be you. Someone ties you to a bed, sedates you so you can’t talk, puts in a feeding tube, and then goes to Judge Greer and gets an order to pull it. I know this isn’t what happened to Terri — she actually had a brain-damaging incident first — but from a strictly legal standpoint, was that step required?

If you know otherwise, please explain in the comments.

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