This is what Harvard student Joe Ford hears when people say of Terri Schiavo and other disable people that they "would not want to live like this."
Ford is very passionate about Schiavo's case and those like it, because he has severe cerebral palsy and had a doctor remove an oxygen tube that was keeping him alive.
Besides being disabled, Schiavo and I have something important in common, that is, someone attempted to terminate my life by removing my endotracheal tube during resuscitation in my first hour of life. This was a quality-of-life decision: I was simply taking too long to breathe on my own, and the person who pulled the tube believed I would be severely disabled if I lived, since lack of oxygen causes cerebral palsy. (I was saved by my family doctor inserting another tube as quickly as possible.) The point of this is not that I ended up at Harvard and Schiavo did not, as some people would undoubtedly conclude. The point is that society already believes to some degree that it is acceptable to murder disabled people.
Ford makes the point that Terri's parents are forced to make the argument that she could possibly "get better" which asserts that when disability, particualarly cognitive disability, is present it provides enough proof that death is more desirable than a life "like this."
He concludes, his excellent piece by outlining the means that are taken when someone is "allowed to die" by starvation. They are most likely treated for "pain or discomfort" and nausea. They may be given morphine for respiratory distress. They may experience seizures as part of them simply "letting go." He includes a link to Terri's "exit protocol" that outlines these possible side effects.
At that link besides reading what could happen during Terri's starvation, you find testimony from a nurse that worked with Terri. The nurse details when the feeding tube was removed in 2003, other nurses dressed Terri in wool sweaters and long pants and wrapped her in a wool blanket to "sweat her out" or to make her dehydrate (and die) faster.
This does not seem right.
Hat Tip: Powerline