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To Feed or Not to Feed
Today, Terri Schiavo died. I just heard it on the news. I was fascinated with how widespread the story became. How so many people got involved, from the Governor of Florida, the Vatican, The President of the United States, and of course, Jesse Jackson. We can't leave out Brother Jesse. He seems to find his way into many controversies.
I spoke to people who had strong opinions on both sides. Some siding with Schiavo's husband, some siding with her parents. Some were highly upset the government got involved. Others were upset about the removal of the feeding tube.
Speaking of the feeding tube, the whole incident did prove to be educational for myself and many others I think. Do you have to be brain dead to need a feeding tube? No. Many people can be on feeding tubes for many reasons. An example is the Pope of recent days, who has a feeding tube in his nose, which will hopefully help him to build his strength they say.
The most beneficial outcome of this event, well, maybe beneficial isn't the right word, but it has people talking. Talking about death, talking about choices and options. Making preparations for death is a subject many people want to avoid, but this case shows us how very important it is to discuss. Or else, family members can potentially take your life, death, and choices all the way to the Supreme Court, involving whole a country and even the world.
Have you completed a Living Will? Did you know that in some states, California being one of them, a Living Will is not enough when it comes to health care choices? Have you filled in an Advance Health Care Directive? That form specifically discusses your personal decisions about your health and welfare. Have you educated yourself?
I saw an interview about hospice last week. Three ladies in that industry shared some insights on end-of-life decisions. How much insight do you have? Now is the time to take care of your business. Terri Schiavo was 26 when her life, and the life of her family changed forever. Don't take one minute of your life for granted.
To Feed or Not to Feed? The choice is yours, but you have to make the decision now while you are still able.
by Paula Hines Lonergan