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Starvation and dehydration are generally considred to be slightly below bieng burnt alive in a fire, and Strangulation.

from Hospice of the BlueGrass Newsletter, fall 1990:


"Many studies have been done comparing the comfort of patients who choose not to have intravenous fluids and tube feeding and those who chose to have them.

Both experience and studies show that dehydration caused by decreased or no oral intake of fluids, does not cause discomfort if care is given to prevent dryness of the mouth. Some patients reported feeling euphoric or an increased sense of well-being. The drowsiness caused by dehydration may itself be beneficial.

Dehydration may actually increase comfort by reducing gastric secretions which cause nausea and vomiting. Hospice team members know from their own experience that suctioning to eliminate the buildup of fluid in the lungs is unnecessary for dying patients who are not receiving intravenous fluids or tube feedings. The placement of intravenous needles and the need to family members to manage and monitor intravenous fluids can create stress and discomfort for both patient and family. IT IS NECESSARY TO WEIGH THE QUALITY OF LIFE AGAINST THE QUANTITY OF LIFE.....

The body's ability to digest and use food is changed in the later stages of terminal illness. Liquid supplements of food through tubes in the nose or directly into th stomach cannot be expected to result in weight gain or to significantly lengthen life. These patients continue to lose weight and often develop problems which created discomfort such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or gastric distention.....

Two essential parts of the Hospice philosophy are the belief that death is a natural process and that the patient and family have the right to make choices regarding care. Hospice is founded on the belief that the body adapts as a disease progresses and death approaches, and that these adaptive processes should not be interfered with unless there is clear evidence that benefits to the patient will outweigh any discomfort. But the ultimate decision is the patient's and family's.

Or should be.

Her Cerebal Cortex is still with in her body since no one has removed her brain YET.

Her Cerebral Cortex is dead.

From the little that I've caught on TV and and published photographs of Terry is is alive. Her mental abilities appear to be in the non-verbal age catagories. But she is far from being a vegetable.

From what the doctors say, she has no mental abilities. There are merely some reflexes left, but no consciousness at all, and no chance of their every being one again.
The lights are on, but there's nobody home.
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