When I was watching Dr. Phil on Friday I found myself with a big knot in my throat and tears filling my eyes. I just couldn’t believe what this mother had been through. Her daughter Janet is 43 and her son Jeffery is 42 and they are both suffering from the rare, incurable genetic disorder, Sanfilippo Syndrome.
Jeffrey has had a feeding tube for 17 years and Janet, 5 years. Nobody knows what these two feel, hear, see……nothing. Her daughter had a broken thumb and nobody knew about it for a long time so nobody knows what they even feel.
Now, the mother can remove the feeding tubes legally and she said now that she wished back then she wouldn’t have put them in in the first place but we all know how that goes. She still had hope. She hates to remove the tubes because it will starve and dehydrate them and that makes her sad and since nobody knows the “feeling” thing of things, she feels bad. She wants a way to legally euthanize these two so if there is suffering, they won’t suffer anymore. She also says that the older she gets, the more worry she has because she’s afraid of what will happen when she dies.
Here is a small clip.
I really wish I could just somehow get the whole program on but his website is a huge mess and a big circle of nothing and I couldn’t get it. There are too many ads and the waiting is horrendous but I think you all get the point.
I’ve always stood for this. I’ve always thought if a situation was absolutely hopeless, why is it we help our pets but not living humans? For it to be legal to remove feeding tubes but not to just inject something to put someone out if this terrible misery just sounds so silly to me.
When you think about it, we do this all the time but it’s not called this. When someone is in a coma, we unplug with no shame. Brain dead, unplug. We hear of feeding tubes being removed all the time but it’s not called “that.” The end result is the same. Death results but do you think it’s just the word “euthanize?” Is it just that? Because in the end, pulling the plug, remove the tube=death.
Do you think we should have the right to euthanize people we love that are incapable of living? They will NEVER recover and just sit/lay there and may be hurting and in pain. What to you think?
Tell us how you feel WITHOUT being an ass and try to remember that we all have opinions. If there is rudeness, I will delete comments this time because I won’t take bullying
I would have a really hard time making a decision to end a life – I’m not sure I could do it to a human. But assuming some people do decide that is the right thing to do, I absolutely agree that it needs to be more humane than starving the person to death. I mean, look at how we execute people on death row. Most of the time it’s very quick and the intent is for it to be painless, or nearly so. The idea being that it’s not humane to drag out the suffering. So if it’s been decided to stop using interventions to keep a person alive, the person at least deserves no worse than what he’d get on death row. A quick death that is as painless as possible.
I follow the blog of a fellow adoptive family whose daughter was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs (a degenerative disease which is 100% fatal) after coming home. When she was 4 years old, she had not been able to see, hear, eat, communicate, or move intentionally for years. She had frequent seizures and periodically would cry out as if in pain. Her body was deteriorating slowly and she needed more and more interventions to maintain life. Many times they thought she was about to die, but she’d get past it and maintain status quo. Finally after a series of medical emergencies the parents decided to stop her food and water. They gave her heavy pain meds to keep her comfortable until she died. It took her something like two weeks to die, which took (and still takes, over a year later) a tremendous toll on the family. Wouldn’t it have been better for all involved to give her a little too much pain medicine at the outset?
I’m not sure I could do it either. Or should I say, I sure wouldn’t want to but I haven’t “been there.” The whole starving and dehydrating thing is what got to me when the doctor was talking. He’s the one who said it’s not a pretty thing and why can’t there be something else? The suffering of that is awful.
14 days is about the normal time it takes for people to die once removed from tubes. That’s how long it took Terri Schiavo also. It’s really inhumane and I don’t know how parents can stand it.
This is such a hard thing, but I find myself agreeing with SKL. Our society demands that we be compassionate in the extreme to the most despicable people in our society, but to our loved ones, we are bound by law to keep them alive no matter what.
Apologies if this offends, but I truly believe that it is a very twisted interpretation of the Bible. We use the “eye for an eye” passage to justify the killing of those vile criminals. And then we turn around and say “thou shalt not kill” when it applies to those closest to us. It’s a sick gratification we get in being “just” on one hand, and in martyring ourselves (and our loved ones) by suffering over illness, on the other.
We have already set ourselves up as a society that kills out of compassion. If we are going to do that, it should be held across the board. Either we do not execute, or we DO euthanize. It shouldn’t be both.
I just can’t imagine how difficult this woman’s life has been and will continue to be.
People have difficulty making proper decisions on wheather or not to euthenize their pets. I can’t imagine there would be any better decision making abilities when it comes to a human being.
I think if eutheniazing a human were legal (in this country) it would be a very slippery slope. Just look at abortion. Now there is talk of being able to kill a baby two weeks old and younger!
However, I will freely admit that there are some people that I wish I could euthanize with no penalties what so ever.
I agree with you there. I’ve had the privilege of working in a vet clinic, and I’ve seen all sides of the pet euthanasia situation. I saw some pets that *needed* it, and their owners refused to acknowledge it and let go. I participated in a rescue of one that the owner desperately wanted to euthanize because they just didn’t want it anymore. The other techs and I stepped in and found an owner by the end of the day and saved it. And I’ve seen owners face their responsibility and know when it was time. I’ve been there too, and it’s not easy, but it’s true when they say that your pet will “tell you”.
But you’re right, there is a slippery slope concern. Perhaps if this weren’t such a “forbidden” topic, people would be more willing to do Living Wills and include it in there. I have a living will that expressly says – pull the plug if I’m a vegetable. I don’t want to “live” like that. I think it’s a person’s responsibility to make that decision for themselves, if at all possible, which is why I did that. I want Josh to know, if that time ever comes, that it’s ok with me, and he won’t (hopefully) feel the guilt, if it happens.
There were a few things in this story that I wish would have been a little more clear. She was only in the first few segments but she cried when she said she was alone and she was getting older and what was going to happen to these two when something happened to her? This place looks pretty nice as far as these places go so I’m wondering, how much does this kind of care cost? Is it something health care covers or who pays for it? If the mother died, would these two get to stay where they are?
Obviously this would be the worst and most difficult decision to make. IF my child were suffering, and in pain and had no quality of life, I think as a parent, I should have the right to do what is best, and most humane thing for my child.
I’m sure I’m repeating what everyone else has said….but,
The whole thought comes across as morbid, because of the term used, “euthanize.” People need to look past that, and see the real issue. We are allowed to put our beloved pets to rest, why aren’t our beloved family members allowed the same respect. Criminals on death row, are put to death pretty humanely, but we have to sit and watch our loved ones suffer until they go when it’s time. Doesn’t seem fair to me, at all.
So, I’d support it, and hope that I never have to go through it.
The saddest cut of all is that the kids can’t speak for themselves. If they could, at the very least, they could express their own wishes. I can’t speak for anyone else but myself, but I know if I were in such a state, or lying comatose in a hospital somewhere I would want to be “let go.” There is no quality of life in that situation.
I’m not advocating for one side or the other . . . only expressing my own wishes.