On the Terri Schiavo case, I post a question above and beyond its being taken over from clinicians (as seems to occur in healthcare more often in the past few decades) by politicians and lawyers:
In my medical training and experience, while feeding tubes may have been removed from terminal patients (e.g., with cancer or post-stroke), an IV with basic fluids was not.
To my knowledge, Ms. Schiavo is not receiving IV fluid hydration such as normal saline solution. If anyone knows differently, please correct me.
The body loses significant fluid each day from respiratory losses, perspiration, etc. Without replacement, death will occur via dehydration long before it occurs from starvation.
Dying of dehydration was considered inhumane, at least in the medical world I trained in. I ask, somewhat rhetorically, if this has changed in the past decade since I left clinical practice for Medical Informatics.
Lying to receive pain medications hurt patients in true pain - My patients lie to me every day. Some tell me that they have been taking their medications regularly when they haven’t. Some say that they have been eating...
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