Ironwood Tree

Friday, March 25, 2005

Last comment on Teri

I put this comment on Americablog, thought I should put it on my own.

The Teri Shaivo situation has sparked some conversation at home. Mom has dealt with this situation before, as have other relatives. 10 years or so ago my grandfather was 93 years old and living in a nursing home. He could get out for Sunday dinner and we all visited him frequently. He fell and broke his hip.
He refused to eat in the hospital. He refused to talk too. I visited him and he smiled at me but wouldn't talk. My mother wanted to respect his obvious wishes to go in peace and dignity. It seemed to us that he had really already left. The doctor didn't see it that way. He said he had to insert a feeding tube or he'd feel bad because he didn't do anything.
He inserted a feeding tube, not through the abdomen but through Grandpa's nose. It went into his lungs and killed him painfully.
Before that he was without food and water for several days. It was not painful for him or distressing. All I ask is that people don't do things for themselves. This doctor inserted that feeding tube for himself, not my grandfather.


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