Thursday, March 24, 2005


It is impossible to miss the Schiavo case -- it is all over the news. It is a difficult case, but my view is that Schiavo's feeding tube should be reinserted.

Kate Adamson's similar experience has had a role in shaping my perspective:

"Had the government not stepped in, Mr. King wanted to know, would Mrs. Schiavo's passing have been "a terrible death"?

"No," Mr. Schiavo said. "It's painless and probably the most natural way to die." He later told a caller, "It is a very easy way to die."

Kate Adamson begs to differ. "It's anything but that. I lived through it."
A decade ago, Mrs. Adamson, then 33, suffered a double brain stem stroke that left her completely paralyzed, unable even to blink. Inside though, she was fully cognitive, able to understand doctors telling her husband she would either die or wind up "a vegetable." She wanted to, but couldn't, scream out when "people talked about me as if I wasn't a person, as if I didn't exist. . . . It was like being trapped underground and you're praying that somebody is going to be able to find you."

During 70 days of intensive care, doctors fed Mrs. Adamson through a tube. Then her digestive system failed, forcing them to remove the tube until her body could again eliminate waste. For the next eight days, she learned what it feels like to starve.
Unable to communicate, she remembers the terror of being "on the inside screaming out, 'Feed me something! I don't want to die! . . . I'm alive! I'm a person in here! Do not let me starve!' The hunger pains were unbearable," she said. "I thought I was going insane."

Read it all:

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