Commentary on medical news by a practicing physician.

  • Epocrates MedSearch Drug Lookup


    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

    ''Once you tell people there's a cure for something, the more likely they are to pressure doctors to prescribe it.''
    -Robert Ehrlich, drug advertising executive.

    "Opinions are like sphincters, everyone has one." - Chris Rangel

    email: medpundit-at-ameritech.net

    or if that doesn't work try:


    Medpundit RSS

    Quirky Museums and Fun Stuff

    Who is medpundit?

    Tech Central Station Columns

    Book Reviews:
    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    More Reviews

    Second Hand Book Reviews


    Medical Blogs


    DB's Medical Rants

    Family Medicine Notes

    Grunt Doc




    Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse

    Feet First

    Tales of Hoffman

    The Eyes Have It


    SOAP Notes


    Cut-to -Cure

    Black Triangle



    Kevin, M.D

    The Lingual Nerve

    Galen's Log



    Doctor Mental



    Finestkind Clinic and Fish Market

    The Examining Room of Dr. Charles

    Chronicles of a Medical Mad House



    Health Facts and Fears

    Health Policy Blogs

    The Health Care Blog

    HealthLawProf Blog

    Facts & Fears

    Personal Favorites

    The Glittering Eye

    Day by Day


    The Business Word Inc.

    Point of Law

    In the Pipeline


    Tim Blair

    Jane Galt

    The Truth Laid Bear

    Jim Miller

    No Watermelons Allowed

    Winds of Change

    Science Blog

    A Chequer-Board of Night and Days

    Arts & Letters Daily

    Tech Central Station





    The Skeptic's Dictionary

    Recommended Reading

    The Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams

    Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth Fenn

    Intoxicated by My Illness by Anatole Broyard

    Raising the Dead by Richard Selzer

    Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

    The Sea and Poison by Shusaku Endo

    A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich



    American Academy of Pediatrics

    General Health Info

    Travel Advice from the CDC

    NIH Medical Library Info



    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Mercy: Terri Schiavo's case took another turn last week, when the courts decided to allow her to continue to be fed while her parents appeal. It looks like her husband might give up:

    Felos said it might be time to advise Schiavo to end his quest.

    ``It would appear that pursuing any remedy through the judicial system is simply a waste of time,'' Felos said. ``It is hard to see where there is any benefit in staying the course in this case.''

    Friday's decision by Circuit Judge George Greer to stay the case indefinitely while the Schindlers appeal his latest ruling ``could delay this case months, even years,'' Felos said. ``I think it's outrageous.''

    For those of you unfamiliar with the case, Terri Schiavo is a brain-damaged woman who is basically involved in a custody battle between her husband and her parents. Generally, absent a living will or other advance directive, a spouse assumes decision making power if someone becomes incapacitated. The problem is, what if there's a question of the spouse's motives? What if the couple were having marital problems at the time of the injury? Terri Schiavo's parents want to assume the responsibility of her care. Her husband doesn't want them to. The result has been a long, drawn out legal battle.

    As it happens, there was a letter today in our local paper by a man in a similar situation, but with a different turn of heart (Fourth letter; requires registration):

    I've heard bits and pieces of this story and find myself looking back to a similar situation. In August 1999, my wife and I were in a motorcycle accident that left her in a coma for about four months. That June we had discussed updating our wills and what we'd like done if something like life support became an issue. We both decided we did not want to be kept alive by machines if it were determined that our brains were dead. Ironically, we were to sign those documents on a Wednesday but our accident occurred on the previous Sunday.

    My wife had surgery on her brain to relieve pressure and swelling. The surgeons told me, in front of our parents at my request, that at the time no promises could be made and we should prepare for at best a lifetime of machines and various equipment or death -- only time would tell. I let our parents know of the wills and that they were not signed, so any decision I would make would be done with their considerations in mind.

    I felt that even if I wanted to end this and her parents disagreed, how could I deny them the chance or hope of holding on to their daughter even if I've given up on my wife?

    After 20 months of stays in various hospitals and nursing homes, I was finally able to bring my wife home. Five years later, she is still at home with me. She is totally dependent on me, the families or the nursing staff for all of her needs. I'm now her legal guardian, and we have new wills in place.

    We just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, and we're only five years in this situation so I don't claim to know how Michael Schiavo may feel after 14 years. But if he's entered into a new relationship, and money isn't an issue, then why not return custody of his wife to her parents and let God and them decide how and when she should die? Her parents seem, after all, to be aware of what it takes to care for Terri. It takes so much to care for a loved one, and if someone is willing to do that, especially her mom and dad, they should be allowed to. They did all they could to make her worth marrying, and they should not be kept from caring for her to the end, no matter how futile it seems to courts or anyone else.

    I hope and pray that Michael Schiavo would return Terri to her parents and move on with his new relationship.


    posted by Sydney on 11/01/2004 07:38:00 AM 0 comments


    Post a Comment

    This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.

    Main Page


    Home   |   Archives

    Copyright 2006