Straight Up with Sherri

Thursday, March 24, 2005

WARNING: READING THIS MAY BE UPSETTING!

Reading this is not for the weak of heart. It is HORRIFYING!

DON'T LET THEM TELL YOU THAT THIS IS PEACEFUL!



Terri's Exit Protocol:

The nurse who discovered the Exit Protocol, Cheryl Ford, R.N., a Tampa nurse, was reviewing Terri’s medical file at the request of the Schindler family when she found the document. For the benefit of our readers, Ford agreed to explain this document in detail. [Editor’s note: The protocol, in bold print, is followed by Ford’s comments.]

• Patient Care Notes— The Hospice of Florida Suncoast — 4/19/01 — Clinical Pharmacy — Re: Medication review and symptom management. The patient is a 37-year-old woman in a vegetative state with no apparent signs of distress. Enteral tube-feeding to be discontinued on 4/20/01.

“This is a very critical piece of information from a nurse’s point of view,” Ford said. “We have a patient with no apparent signs of distress, yet enteral tube feeding is going to be discontinued on 4/20/01. This is murder. And it’s premeditated murder, because look at the dates — notes were prepared the day before the tube was supposed to be withdrawn.”

What would make the death more difficult is that Terri is a healthy woman, weighing approximately 138.5 pounds, which means she will endure longer than other patients who are in the midst of a natural-death process.

“I was an oncology (cancer) nurse,” Ford said. “These people are very weak and gaunt. Their bodies are already shutting down, and their tube feedings are withdrawn when their body systems can no longer handle it. But Terri is not a cancer patient — that’s what bothers me. She’s a healthy young woman.”

• Monitor symptoms of pain/discomfort. If noted, medicate with Naproxen rectal suppository 375 mg. Q8 prn [“Q8 prn” means eight times a day as needed].
If someone in a persistent vegetative state cannot feel pain, as Michael Schiavo and his attorney, George Felos, have consistently told the world, why do Terri’s charts tell nurses how to treat her for pain?

According to Ford, that is because Terri can and will feel pain during this process — and a lot of it.
“Think about what hunger pains are like if you haven’t eaten in a while,” Ford said. “You start to get that gnawing feeling, almost a burning in your stomach. Most people don’t extend themselves into the depths of hunger. They grab a cracker or bread if they’re out shopping for a while just to make themselves feel better.”
Terri would not have this option, however. “Within several hours, she’ll start to feel this kind of hunger pain,” Ford said.

Dehydration would only add to the discomfort: “When she starts going into the dehydration stage, her metabolism will start to change. Her electrolytes will get imbalanced. She’s going to get uncomfortable and will start to writhe.
“Advance a couple days without food or water. Now her mouth is parched, her lips, her gums, her tongue will start to crack and bleed. The nasal cavities will start to dry, crack and bleed. The stomach will get dry and shrink, causing vomiting and heaving,” Ford said.


• Pulmonary
(a) Inability to clear secretions — reposition and swab mouth, consider scopolamine patch behind ear every 3 days.
“When you first go into dehydration, your body will automatically compensate by making saliva. But when she gets into the stage where the stomach shrinks and nausea begins, they’re going to stick a patch behind her ear for the nausea. What the patch also does is dehydrate you by taking away this fluid.”

(b) Dyspnea — nebulize low dose 2-5 mg. Morphine sulfate Q4 prn [four times a day as needed].
“Dyspnea is when you have difficulty breathing. What they’re going to do is use a nebulizer the way you might use for asthmatics — only instead of giving a histamine to help her breathe, they’re going to give Terri morphine sulfate, which only suppresses respiration more. In the later phases she’ll start gasping for air.”

In seven to nine days, as most of her body fluids are lost, her blood pressure will go down and her heart rate will rise. The blood will be shunted to the central part of the body from the periphery of the body, so that usually two to three days prior to death, the hands and feet become extremely cold. They become mottled and have a bluish appearance. The eyes will become so dry the patient can’t move them anymore because there will be fluid in them.


• Multifocal myoclonus or terminal agitation [sometimes caused by electrolyte imbalance]. Consider diazepam rectal administration 5-10 mg. May repeat in 4 hours if not resolved then daily — twice daily as needed.

Multifocal myoclonus means seizures taking place in various parts of the body. “Because of the electrolyte imbalance, Terri will begin to have seizures,” Ford said. “She’ll start to twitch. You don’t see this in an oncology patient because they’re already dehydrated. Even the elderly, who are going into the natural process of death, their bodies are doing what God created them to do — slow down.

“Our job as health-care professionals at this point is to understand the death process and to oblige the process God has given these people to help them in comfort measures — palliative care — not to enhance death. But Terri’s not terminal,” Ford said. “What they’re doing here is starving a healthy person to death. This is the only reason why she’ll go into multifocal myoclonus.”

• Grand Mal seizure, which is highly unlikely given current conditions and lack of contributing factors (meds) [medication]. Recommend diazepam 15 mg. rectally as indicated in seizure management orders.

“If she happens to make it into a grand mal seizure, they will give her 15 mg. of valium. … The valium won’t make this easier, it will just help to bring her to death faster, because she won’t have the ability to fight her way out of it,” Ford said. “Her body will not be in good shape at this point. You wouldn’t look at her and say she was comfortable. She’s been without food and water for a long time. She’s pretty much withered, her skin is broken down, her metabolism is broken down, her kidneys haven’t received anything. Her body is reacting to the lack of food.”
At this point, death is imminent.

During the Oct. 2003 tube withdrawal, Ford saw Terri before the process began.
“They started off by dressing her in wool sweaters and long pants, then wrapped her in a wool blanket — to ‘sweat her out’ — to make her deyhdrate faster,” Ford said. She was horrified, especially because it was only October and it’s still hot in Florida in October.

“This is not a painless or dignified way to die,” Ford said. “It’s against the law to dehydrate and starve to death a prisoner on death row. Why should we allow it to be done to a disabled woman — or anybody?”
The cruelty Ford has seen Terri endure is “not even believable,” she said. “In this case, Dr. Kevorkian would be more humane than what they intend to do to Terri.”

25 Comments:

  • Poe could not have written anything as horrific as this. This is torture for the sake of torture. I simply CANNOT believe this is actually happening - IN MY COUNTRY!

    By Anonymous lady redhawk, at 10:04 PM  

  • lady redhawk

    AMEN!

    This is HORRIFIC!

    I couldn't hardly read it...

    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 10:06 PM  

  • Oh for Pete's sake!!

    now they are reporting a "suspicious package" outside of the FL Supreme Court as a BOMB THREAT!

    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 10:09 PM  

  • Yes, they sent in the bomb squad, but worst part was, they had to evacuate the judge and his staff! That means it will take even longer for his ruling! This is not good news....

    By Anonymous lady redhawk, at 10:23 PM  

  • What a RIDICULOUS thing to do...

    I can't believe this would come from a pro-life or pro-family person or group, but then again- there are those that bombed the abortion clinics!

    Talk about HYPOCRISY!

    At least the judge has promised to rule on this BEFORE he goes to bed!

    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 10:26 PM  

  • Yes, yes, TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, and worse yet-- HAPPENING IN AMERICA!!

    Folks, not to burst your bubble... but unborn babies have been suffering just as much for DECADES while our parents, ourselves, and our children have done NOTHING to help them.

    This is on our collective conscience as a nation.

    We MUST bring change. If Terri was -41 years old, all this would be LEGAL and ACCEPTABLE in this country (and in the eyes of most Americans).

    God help us. God help us.

    By Blogger Rebecca, at 11:31 PM  

  • rebecca,
    Do you believe that this is all a smaller part of the Right-to-Life struggle? I certainly do.
    You are correct in your assertion that, as a society, we have become desensitized to abortion. Not all of us as individuals, but as a collective. Now the effort is in place to desensitize us to euthanasia. And to accept the idea that Courts are the ultimate arbiter of life and death - a privilege that they may delegate.
    But that's my opinion.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 12:48 AM  

  • It seems that it was inevitable; that when it was deemed acceptable for women to have their unborn babies killed in the womb, that it would not be long until the value of the lives of babies outside of the womb would be similarly degraded; and in time, all human life.

    By Anonymous Dee, at 1:29 AM  

  • Dee & Rebecca,
    I catch a lot of cynics that question this, but I have always found pregnant women to be remarkably appealing. Not in a sexual way, but in the notion of the fulfillment of a true purpose in life. My own children, before they were born, became individually known to me. Unborn babies not only have life, they have personalities! And even fathers can appreciate that. Not as closely as mama of course.

    Here's a good one for you: In all the languages I have ever found, there is one word that is universally understood: mama.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 1:43 AM  

  • Oh, remind me to email you the picture I got today of a pregnant woman. It was a picture of her belly and had a big foot outline on it. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

    By Blogger jlfintx, at 2:43 AM  

  • Agree this is torture and abuse.
    What happened to the followup
    MRI's, CT's and other tests she
    should've received? Does she have
    hydrocephalus? Terri's husand has been unfaithful to her and should
    be considered untrustworthy to
    speak on her behalf. That poor girl is in my heart and prayers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:47 AM  

  • self righteous and selfish period.

    President Bush an idiot and fool---

    Let this poor women die in peace!

    SHAME on the BUSHES and the corrupt

    Republican congress!

    Making her a political side show

    for their OWN gain--trying to take

    law into their hands.

    Thank God

    they didn't get their way. and

    this from a commited beliver in

    christ!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:36 AM  

  • Oh shut the hell up. There is a women that is being starved to death for no other reason that her husband is a cruel bastard and to bring politics into it by people like you makes me sick..let her die in peace you say havent you just read this article!!!!!There is no need for terri to die none what so ever.. if there were more presant bushes around this would not be happining to this poor women that cant stand up for her self. im so sorry but this just makes me feel so ill. and Im just glad I live here in Australia...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:04 AM  

  • This is murder to the most extreme. Only probelm is is that it's being done by our own court system. The same system that protects us from harm has now gone and inflited the worst punishment for murders rapist and child molestors on a disabled women. An innocent women is being murdered on the hearsay of words conjuerd up by her husband whom has broken thier marriage vows years ago. It would benefit the whole world to let Terri Schiavo live and have Michael Shia

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:50 AM  

  • This is murder to the most extreme. Only probelm is is that it's being done by our own court system. The same system that protects us from harm has now gone and inflited the worst punishment for murders rapist and child molestors on a disabled women. An innocent women is being murdered on the hearsay of words conjuerd up by her husband whom has broken thier marriage vows years ago. It would benefit the whole world to let Terri Schiavo live and have Michael Shiavo being starved to death. This is not the America i know This is not the america I want to live in. American people need to follow this and think of those you know and love whom are disabled and think what can the American court system do to them. I am glad I live in Australia and have left America. My heart goes out to the schindler family and friends and all those who support Terri and her fight to live. Michael Schiavo you need to grow a pair be a man and have that tube reinserted and divorce Terri and let her have her family name back. Terri Schiavo should not die in vain and especially die as a Schiavo. I can oly pray and hope that Terri gets to live so that the system that was put in force to protect does not revert and give all the rights to life to murderers and adultress and liars.

    g.smith
    Australia

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:52 AM  

  • Lesson from this-Durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will. Government interferrence in this case is atrocious. Fundamentalist nutjobs are atrocious. This case is forcing people to confront their own personal fears of death. Death itself should not be feared but it is the "dying" that is fixated on. Are we living to die or dying to live? Everyone should be "prolife" in the sense that we should make the most out of each and everyday because tomorrow may be our last. We cannot live "forever" on this planet. This is so tragic because I believe that Terri's body remains in that hospital bed but her true soul has been set free 15 years ago.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:08 PM  

  • it's truly amazing how divided this country really is. In a life or death situation there is no real answer, the only answer comes from God. I question George Bush for signing an 11th hour bill to try and prolong terry's life and yet he is against stem cell research, which could potentially save lives someday. I question Jeb bush motivation to try and save terry, although very noble, when there are so many other cases similar to terry, why is it just now he is acting on this. No one can feel what micheal has gone thru, we can only imagine. Without man's medical intervention, terry should have found peace with god a long time ago. Let her have the peace that only God can give her and let us remember her for who she was before this tragedy struck her so that we may all move on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:19 PM  

  • A Prayer for you Terri. Let us remember you for what you were-a radiant young woman. You have served your time lying in a bed for fifteen years, living hell on earth. I chose to remember you, not as a pawn in the game for politicians, the media and fundamentalist nutjobs, but as a woman who fought the good fight. Heaven is waiting for you. Do not fear what lies ahead. Your suffering on this earth will come to an end. You are in God's hands now. Peace for you.

    By Anonymous Mila, at 8:37 PM  

  • if insurance money wansnt involved would husband be still pushing for death???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:43 AM  

  • be careful, libs are trolling

    By Blogger GOP Christian, at 2:21 PM  

  • I have watched many people die, in the course of my career. We worked our tails off at homes, in long-term care facilities, in dark alleys and on highways. I have seen miracles and have also witnessed tragedy that the average American could not even fathom. We try our best, we have equipment and technology to try and cheat death sometimes to no avail. I have stared death in the face and seen it lying on every surface imaginable in this country. Never in my time have I seen a woman's life and dignity be shredded by the media, politicians and those who serve to use her body as a platform for their own selfish reasons. This is a private family matter. Personal attacks on both sides only serve to divide a country in turmoil. I guess according to some of the posters, I would be considered a liberal and an athiest/satan worshipper because I don't agree with labelling a man who is her husband a murderer, adulterer, calling his innocent children bastards, proclaiming judges/government as Nazi's and passing judgment around like only the Creator can do. That is not the Christianity I know. Death is all around and it is a part of life. Terri deserves peace and not a living hell on earth. I have met Terri's, Schiavo's and Schindler's in the course of my day. I would not want to be in their positions whatsoever. But I have to bear witness to death each and everyday and it can be so devastating for some and yet a release for others.You cannot imagine what this is like unless you have been there. My heart goes to all involved.

    By Anonymous Stephan, at 5:37 PM  

  • I canNOT believe some of the comments I've read all over the web...How can anyone support what's being done to Terri? One person said that her parents should be shot for trying to keep a vegetable alive, that they were creeps for stealing Terri's dignity!
    HOW the hell can there be dignity in dying by being murdered? I wondered if this person thought that Terri's parents should sit idly by and remain "dignified" as their beloved daughter is murdered?
    It's despicable, this entire nightmare!
    NO ONE but GOD has the right to take a life!
    I don't care what the circumstances are...whether one is PVS, brain damaged, comatose, requiring a ventilator, the bottom line is we all have a SOUL imparted to us by GOD and NO ONE has the right to decide another's fate. Only God can decide. I can only imagine the horror Terri is enduring, her family is enduring as they are forced to watch her being murdered. It is an atrocity and a sin. My heart aches for Terri and her loved ones...I continue praying and hoping God will intervene and her life will be spared...praying it is not too late.
    To the Schindler Family: DON'T GIVE UP! WE ARE PRAYING FOR TERRI! WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
    I continue keeping vigil beside you in my heart.
    (((((((TERRI)))))))

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:56 AM  

  • Give me a freakin break, you think you're the only one who seen death in front of you, Well have you ever experience someone or something dying in your hands. I lost my beloved goldfish right in my hands, so what i did was fry it up and ate it so that it will stay with me forever. The moral of this story is absolutely nothing, like their is absolutely nothing we can do to prevent death. There is one constant in this world and that is change. Christians and catholics believe that we will meet in heaven someday, so why don't we take that approach and just enjoy our lives. The center of the universe does not revolve around anyones feelings. We need to enjoy our time here on earth and if you believe in heaven than that's where we shall meet again. Terry has not enjoyed her life for the past fifteen years, she has endured the hardship any of us can ever imagine. So stop worrying so much, enjoy your life and the things around because it will change

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 PM  

  • Give me a freakin break, you think you're the only one who seen death in front of you, Well have you ever experience someone or something dying in your hands. I lost my beloved goldfish right in my hands, so what i did was fry it up and ate it so that it will stay with me forever. The moral of this story is absolutely nothing, like their is absolutely nothing we can do to prevent death. There is one constant in this world and that is change. Christians and catholics believe that we will meet in heaven someday, so why don't we take that approach and just enjoy our lives. The center of the universe does not revolve around anyones feelings. We need to enjoy our time here on earth and if you believe in heaven than that's where we shall meet again. Terry has not enjoyed her life for the past fifteen years, she has endured the hardship any of us can ever imagine. So stop worrying so much, enjoy your life and the things around because it will change

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 PM  

  • Looking for pancreas cancer information I came across this post. I totally agree with you and would feel the same way!

    jon

    By Blogger bemusedly resources, at 12:38 PM  

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