Stephanie J. Murray
Monday, November 12, 2012
Dr. Lora Lee
Life sustaining treatments should be continued for patients in persistent vegetative states. All life is sacred and worthy of preservation, no matter what the condition is. There is currently no evidence that supports patients in persistent vegetative states do not feel pain or process sounds and discussions that are occurring around them. “. Descriptions of nonpurposeful behaviors as purposeful—smiling, laughing—can cause confusion and misunderstanding,” (Racine, Amaram, & Karczewska,, 2008, p. 1031). Schiavo’s parents had video tapes of Terry smiling and showing signs of purposeful behavior. Though Terri was severely brain damaged, she was able to maintain a blood pressure and breathe on her won, unassisted by a ventilator.
Recovery from the vegetative states can occur, but many live in the persistent vegetative state for months or years if provided with adequate nutritional functions. The importance of life and God’s will is a predominant basis for Christianity. According to Pope John Paul II, "the intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being does not change, no matter what the concrete circumstances of his or her life."(p.368). Terri was a devout Catholic per her parents, and it would have been completely out of character for her to not want to sustain life. She believed in the sanctity of life. A close friend of Terri’s testified that she had verbalized in the past that she believed in life sustaining treatments, but a court ruled against her and her parents in favor of testimony from Michael and his family that rebutted that claim.
Decisions about life sustaining treatments are taken away from the family only if it is unclear as to who should be the family surrogate or if the appointed family surrogate has a conflict of interest and may be unable to act in the patient's behalf. So when Michael Schiavo was received the million dollars from the...