The brother of Terri Schiavo is calling for the American medical and legal communities to stop using the term “persistent vegetative state” to describe the condition of seriously injured patients like his sister, whose high-profile case in Florida drew the intervention of Gov. Jeb Bush and President George W. Bush.
Such patients, said Bobby Schindler, associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, or CLI, and president of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, can be deliberately starved to death through the collaborative effort of families, physicians and others.
In his report, “Basic Care, Human Dignity, and Care for the Medically Vulnerable Persons,” published by CLI, he explains institutions have defined basic needs such as water and food as “medical treatment,” which then can be withheld, as people “allow their loved one to die.”
Schindler, whose sister died in 2005 when a judge allowed caregivers to deprive her of food and water, explains in the report that the problem begins with the term “persistent vegetative state.”
“A PVS diagnosis not only results in denial of insurance benefits, but also leads physicians to seek to convince the family decision-makers for medically vulnerable patients – who, it must be underscored, are not dying – to ‘allow their loved one to die’ by denying them food and water by means of the feeding tubes they rely on due to their brain injury,” his report said. (For more from the author of “Quit Starving Injured Patients, Activist for Handicapped Pleads” please click HERE)