Lauren Richardson will not be euthanized

Above is video of Lauren Richardson, most certainly not “brain dead” as Alan Colmes called her several months ago.
I’ve written previously about Lauren, a brain-damaged 23-year-old who overdosed on heroin in August 2006 while 3-4 months pregnant.
Lauren was kept on life support until she delivered a healthy baby girl in February 2007.
Then Lauren’s mother, Edith Towers, began a legal battle to remove her feeding tube, while her father, Randy Richardson, fought to keep Lauren alive and assume responsibility for her care.
Well, I’m happy to report the case has been positively resolved. Reported the Associated Press yesterday…

The parents of a DE woman declared to be in a persistent vegetative state have resolved a legal dispute over her care.
After fighting over the possible removal of their daughter’s feeding tube, the parents of 24-year-old Lauren Richardson have agreed to jointly care for her at her father’s home.
Randy Richardson said his daughter, who is currently at a nursing home near New Castle, will be transferred to his home in Elkton, MD, next month….
”I said in court I don’t want to have to pull Lauren’s feeding tube,” said Towers, who prayed constantly and relied on her Christian faith throughout the ordeal but had been assured by doctors by doctors that her daughter would never recover.
”I was waiting on God to help me through this, and I think I got my answer the day I realized, if I cut my daughter’s life short without giving her every opportunity to heal, could I live with that decision?” she said.
The judge issued an order last week granting Richardson and Towers joint guardianship and closing the case….
Towers decided in August to drop the lawsuit and joined her ex-husband and other family members in visiting Lauren the following month.
”We said ‘Lauren, it’s mom and dad and we’ve just come out of a meeting and you’re going home … Would you like that?”’
Towers said she was then given a few minutes to be alone with her daughter, who started sobbing.
”I held her,” Towers said. ”I had never seen that, never seen any emotion or any response to words that had come out of my mouth.”
Towers said she knows that the daughter she once knew is gone and that the future is uncertain, but that she maintains hope.
”We want to see what we can do for her; if there’s anything we can do for her,” she said. ”I can’t wait to see how she reacts when she gets home.”
Randy Richardson said his daughter is not comatose but is in a state of minimal consciousness. He said she responds to stimuli and can express emotions, is aware of her surroundings, has full movement of her limbs, and tries to sit up….

[HT: LifeNews.com]

49 thoughts on “Lauren Richardson will not be euthanized”

  1. We realize villians have a different view of the sanctity of human life. I suspect Colmes has the cold left make his thinking decisions for him. These are ways God tests our faith in him.
    The godless try to make God’s decisions for Him.

  2. What is morbidly fascinating to me is how quickly proaborts like Alan Colmes rush to say things like “She’s brain dead”, or “Let her die”, whenever any controversy comes up related to euthenasia. What is this fascination/obsession with death, killing, and dying that some proaborts seem to have?
    Are they all like “Dr. Death”? (Do a websearch on “Dr. Death”, and Jack Kervorkian’s name is about all that comes up.)
    What a sad commentary on the perversions that drive some people.

  3. ”I said in court I don’t want to have to pull Lauren’s feeding tube,” said Towers, who prayed constantly and relied on her Christian faith throughout the ordeal but had been assured by doctors by doctors that her daughter would never recover.
    ”I was waiting on God to help me through this, and I think I got my answer the day I realized, if I cut my daughter’s life short without giving her every opportunity to heal, could I live with that decision?” she said.

    Thank God!

  4. What they are thinking is once it becomes too hard or too inconvenient, they need to get out of the way as in die. I just watched again Expelled and was fascinated when the part of the German lady showing Stein around the old death chambers in Germany and explaining their thought process of useless eaters of society and therefore had a duty to die when speaking of the disabled. Are we far away??

  5. Dr. Kevorkian is actually a very articulate and intelligent man. I had the opportunity to hear him speak last year.

  6. “What is this fascination/obsession with death, killing, and dying that some proaborts seem to have?”
    I don’t know why people, especially Christians, are so disgusted by death. Everything dies, from the tallest tree to the smallest bug, the rich and powerful to the poor and weak. Death can come to anyone at any time, we shouldn’t live our life in fear we should appreciate the time we have now.
    Death is a part of life. The two cannot exist without each other.

  7. Jess: ” don’t know why people, especially Christians, are so disgusted by death. Everything dies, from the tallest tree to the smallest bug, the rich and powerful to the poor and weak. Death can come to anyone at any time, we shouldn’t live our life in fear we should appreciate the time we have now.
    Death is a part of life. The two cannot exist without each other. ”
    So why do you think it is so bad to eat animals?
    Oh right…its not the death of animals that bothers you, its the KILLING of animals.
    Well, its the KILLING that bugs me so much.
    Dr K, by the way, was a bit obsessed with death. I wouldnt say that he was or is not articulate/intelligent, but he was and is definitely disturbed.

  8. Jess: I don’t know why people, especially Christians, are so disgusted by death.
    It’s just the opposite. Christians are NOT disgusted by death or the dying process (which btw we are all participating in at every moment). That’s why their feelings are true compassion…they are willing to live out and through, caring for the person, the harder moments of his/her life. Christians give a meaning, the only meaning, to suffering util the real end, not one man-made “out” of expediency. Rather, it’s the pro-death group that cannot stand to look at or participate in the reality of life that is defined as suffering, unappealing, in need of help and sacrifice by others, or just hard to accept in the current culture of illusion. Pro-death folks can’t stand the reality of death and all that naturally goes with it so they take life in their own hands in order to sanitize its end. They’d rather kill others and themselves in order to escape and to not see the reality of life.

  9. I don’t know why people, especially Christians, are so disgusted by death. Everything dies, from the tallest tree to the smallest bug, the rich and powerful to the poor and weak. Death can come to anyone at any time, we shouldn’t live our life in fear we should appreciate the time we have now.
    Death is a part of life. The two cannot exist without each other.

    I can’t believe you are saying this, of all people, Jess.
    First of all, we’re not talking about natural death. We’re talking about KILLING which is a totally different topic.
    You are a vegetarian because you oppose the killing of animals.
    If you really can’t understand what our problem is with killing people because death is a natural part of life, then what the heck is your problem with killing animals? It’s a natural part of life, right? Or does that only apply to humans?

  10. Jess
    There’s a difference between dying naturally when your time on earth is finished (like when my paternal grandmother, rest her soul, passed away at the age of 90 in early 2005) and slowly dying after you have your ONLY nutrition removed from you (like Terri Schindler).
    I was thrilled when I read the story about Lauren being saved. And I am glad Haleigh is getting the care she needs.

  11. Wow, Jess, I was going to respond to your off-topic reply, but I see others have done a very thorough job of it. ;)
    Personally, I have no negative feelings about death at all, but I feel very negative about people who are so anxious to visit death on other people. They are stealing life itself away from others, they are the worst kind of thief.
    Alan Colmes is a perfect example of that… I’m sure he wants to live to be a thousand years old, but he’s very quick to wish death on others.

  12. “Dr. Kevorkian is actually a very articulate and intelligent man. I had the opportunity to hear him speak last year.
    Posted by: Erin at November 20, 2008 12:11 PM”
    And, pray tell, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?
    Earth to Erin???

  13. I’m sure he wants to live to be a thousand years old, but he’s very quick to wish death on others.
    Doyle, you crack me up sometimes. : )

  14. LizFromNebraska,
    I hate to tell you this, but her married name was Terri Schiavo. And since she never divorced, that is the name with which she died.

  15. her husband cheated on her (ADULTERY) while they were still **legally** married. I prefer not to use that man’s name.

  16. Jess: “I don’t know why people, especially Christians, are so disgusted by death.”
    Ah, Jess. Should we re-engage the “can someone shove a pillow over your mouth” argument?

  17. Liz, you do remember that Terri Schiavo brain was mush? It was mostly LIQUID. She wouldn’t be alive if they weren’t keeping her alive. Do you think her soul was trapped in that body, or it had moved on? A body is just a body. It’s not right to keep someone’s body alive unnaturally. She never, EVER was going to recover from the state she was in. Anyway, I’m not sure about this woman because I don’t see anything about the state her brain is in.
    I don’t think not keeping someone alive unnaturally is “murder”.
    I’ve told my parents and boyfriend both that if anything ever happens to me, I don’t want to be kept alive… and I’d haunt them if they did keep me alive. :)

  18. “She never, EVER was going to recover from the state she was in.”
    Big, fat, hairy deal. The issue in the Schiavo case is NOT whether she ever would have been “herself” again; it was whether or not she wanted to die if ever in such a state of brain damage (not “brain death,” by the way). And the contention that she did want to die invites serioius skepticism.
    “I’ve told my parents and boyfriend both that if anything ever happens to me, I don’t want to be kept alive…”
    Bully for you, Josephine. So have a living will. But you don’t get to make that decision for anyone else, K?

  19. Josephine 6:55PM
    There was a man in France, a married father of two children, functioning normally, who doctors were shocked to discover had only fluid in his skull. Bethany was able to produce an x-ray of this man’s head.
    The human brain and its capacity is beyond comprehension. How can “savants” play piano concertos after listening to them only once?
    Or coincide dates and days going back centuries?
    Many autisitic children were assumed to be retarded and in fact were highly intelligent.
    The more we find out about the human brain, the more questions we have and the more we discover how little we really know.

  20. Josephine,
    It’s amazing how many people don’t know the truth about Terri Schiavo. Do a search at the top of the page for “Terri Schiavo” to find many articles Jill has written about her. You’ll be amazed what the MSM didn’t talk about.

  21. bmmg79, Uhm, did I make that decision for someone else? I’m pretty sure I haven’t. :)
    “Terri Schiavo suffered severe, irreversible brain damage that left that organ discolored and scarred, shriveled to one-third its normal size, and partially turned to liquid. The brain was damaged in nearly every region, including the areas responsible for vision, speech, and motor functions. “
    I don’t know much about this woman, and her family probably knows whether she’d like to be kept alive like this or not, but Terri Schiavo’s husband seemed certain she wouldn’t want to be kept alive artificially. It’s not anyone’s job to play God. She should’ve died long ago. Just because doctors keep her body going, doesn’t mean she should be alive.
    If this woman has only been this way since 2006, then maybe she has a shot. Stranger things have happened. *Shrugs* I just hope her family isn’t keeping her alive if she’s expressed before she doesn’t want that.

  22. I didn’t know food and water were artificial.
    Her parents wanted to care for her. My heart broke as I watched her last days play out. The description of her parched lips…..heart breaking. And for what? Because her “husband” claimed she wouldn’t want to live this way…….yeah, some husband…..in SICKNESS and in HEALTH.
    There was even some speculation that Terri was a domestic abuse victim.
    She was denied the Sacraments by her husband.

  23. Janet– I read through it. I read through the comments. A lot of people felt the same way I do.
    There’s a difference between being alive and existing. She existed.

  24. By the way, Liz, many people don’t want to “live” that way. I’m one of them, and the person that knows that best would be my boyfriend. Her husband could have known.

  25. Josephine :”There’s a difference between being alive and existing. She existed.”
    First of she was alive. She was not a vampire invalid or a banshee invalid. She was a human being who was alive.
    Second of all, who is to decide the point when someone wants to live? You claim that your boyfriend would know, and as much as I am sure that you two are soulmates and finish each other sentences, he still has no way to know your thoughts when you are in the moment. Lots of people think they wouldnt want to live a certain way, and then change their mind when they are in that position.
    Wouldnt it be prudent and respectful to err on the side of life? Watch videos of Terry. She didnt look ready to die to me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th6Njr-qkq0
    Check out this video. This is a child that many would want to be killed by abortion or otherwise. Look at the JOY this child has brought so many people through his brief existance. Who is to say what is worthy of being alive. Im sure that if that boy could have made the decision, knowing the effects of his life, he would 100 times over choose to live. Why should we decide for him?
    Be reasonable. Im not even against assisted suicide. This is different. You know that it is. You cannot measure someone else’s life!

  26. I forget sometimes how amazing that life is. Everytime I watch this video I sob like a baby…sob like I havent sobbed in my life. The most beautiful lines every uttered….
    “Not a pulpit. Not a slick presentation. Not a best selling book. But a 6 pound boy with Trisomy 18. God found great pleasure to take a lowly thing in the eyes of the world to show truth.”
    As much as it is so easy to caught in the semantics of what a “person” is, can we not agree that it is a horrible thing when we have to place value on human life? Even if you feel it is justified to proclaim a preborn not human enough to deserve rights, certainly you have to weep at least inside when you openly confront the darkness that goes with that condemnation. Personally I do not see how we can measure human life, in any circumstance. I know that I for one will never look at someone like Terry or someone like a dumb clump of cells as “lowly.”

  27. “he still has no way to know your thoughts when you are in the moment”
    Dude, I straight up told him. :) (And I’m nineteen, I don’t think we’re soulmates. :P)
    I know what I’d like. If my brain was gone, obviously I wouldn’t care if I I died. I mean, death isn’t scary. To me, living like that would be being trapped here. That is TERRIFYING to me. Now, I know not everyone would make that choice. I didn’t say they should let this girl die, but if Terri Shiavo’s husband KNEW she wouldn’t want to live like that… the only right thing IS to take out her feeding tube and let her “move on”. IMO, anyway.

  28. Josephine, having a feeding tube in place isn’t extraordinary care. In fact, there was evidence to support the thoery that Terri would have been able to eat on her own, but the feeding tube was used for expediency. She wasn’t on any sort of aparatus to aid in her respiration, she was just receiving basic nutrients.
    Likewise, she didn’t die quickly and quietly after having a respirator turned off. She anquished for days upon days. She wasn’t even allowed water.
    Think about that. Think about what it is like to die of dehydration. Her death was anything but merciful.

  29. http://www.lifenews.com/bio842d.html
    Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — An attorney for Terri Schiavo’s parents told Fox News Saturday morning that Terri Schiavo’s medical condition due to her starvation and dehydration is growing perilous. Terri is now reportedly bleeding from her eyes and mouth.
    Barbara Weller, an attorney for Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” that blood was coming from
    Terry’s eyes and tongue.
    “Her eyes are sunken and her skin continues to flake off,” Weller added.
    Terri looks so poor in health now that Weller described her as resembling “an Auschwitz victim.”
    Without such eyewitness descriptions, the world may never know the kind of pain and suffering Terri is enduring in her final days. At the request of Michael’s lawyer, euthanasia advocate George Felos, videos and cameras are banned in Terri’s hospice room.
    Terri’s parents, family and attorneys are also limited to the amount of time they can spend with her each day and they may not be present with Terri if the ultimately passes away.
    Some doctors contend the death process is not painful, but Dr. David Stevens, the president of the Christian Medical Association, says “most so-called experts have never seen someone die in this manner.”
    Stevens worked for 13 years in Africa, where the most common cause of death in children is dehydration from gastroenteritis.
    “I have seen hundreds if not thousands of patients with dehydration and some of them so far gone, that despite resuscitation attempts, they died,” Dr. Stevens said.
    “In misery, the patient tries to cry but there are no tears. The patient experiences severe abdominal cramps, nausea and dry-heaving as the stomach and intestines dry out,” Stevens continued.
    Stevens says patients who die form starvation and dehydration have cracking skin and lips and their tongue swells. As mucous membranes dry out and break down, patients will suffer from severe nose bleeds.
    “Contrary to those that try to paint a picture of a gentle process, death by dehydration is a cruel, inhumane and often agonizing death,” Dr. Stevens concludes.
    The public also won’t know as much as they could about Terri’s final days because, according to Dr. Ed Dominguez, a medical consultant for KLTV in Tyler, Texas, Terri’s estranged husband Michael has decided against running a brain wave scan on Terri.
    Dominguez says the electroencephalogram would give doctors a good idea how Terri’s brain responds to pain.
    Michael has also decided to cremate Terri’s body, preventing any postmortem examination and preventing any experts from determining whether Terri was physically abused as Terri’s family and others contend.

  30. Bethany, what I read said that they did an autopsy and most likely, her stroke was due to her bulimia.. no one found her for an hour and her heart was working ineffectively the whole time which caused the brain damage.
    Lauren, there’s no point trying to convince me it was wrong. I don’t know what she would’ve wanted. All *I* know is that I wouldn’t want my body being kept alive when I wasn’t really there. If her husband knew she wouldn’t want that, I don’t think he did a bad thing. If it were ME, I would like my husband to do me that last thing. I’m not saying that’s right for everyone, I can only speak for myself. None of us know what she would’ve wanted though, but the person who probably knew the best was her husband.
    I know what I would want. I would hope no one would judge my husband for “pulling the plug”.
    So, I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but everyone feels differently about how they’d want things to go. If this girls parents think she’d like to stay in this state, I have no problem with that. I think it’s great that they’re willing to support her. If they knew she wouldn’t want to be kept alive, I’d think they were brave to be able to pull the plug to give their daughter what she wanted.

  31. Bethany, what I read said that they did an autopsy and most likely, her stroke was due to her bulimia.. no one found her for an hour and her heart was working ineffectively the whole time which caused the brain damage.
    The doctor who performed Terri’s autopsy said he found no evidence that she had ever been bulimic.

  32. After my sister’s brain hemorrhage in 1993, it took her more than 2yrs to recover more than Lauren. It wasn’t until after Terri Shiavo was murdered that my sister began making a real effort to talk again (I guess she figured that if it could happen to Terri it could happen to her, too). She has since had her g-tube removed & takes all nourishment orally (a nice change for her after all those Jevity feedings), and although she cannot “talk” she whispers many words/phrases (whereas before she mostly used her eyes to communicate). So who knows where Lauren will be in another 13yrs. BTW, my sister is fully cognizant, laughs at jokes, has preferences of restuarants & ice cream flavors, likes going to the mall & the movies, votes, etc. (a lot of the things normal people do).

  33. I believe you all need a course on Medical and Moral ethics.. and especially some updates on the Catholic church. I am a Catholic Ethicist and wish I could sit with you all and discuss end of life care— I believe you are quite confused. Jill, my advice is to really study these issues before posting… If you have professionals reading this, they see that you have some real error…
    Just some advice.

  34. There is a big difference between pulling the plug and starving and dehydrating someone to death.
    If machines were keeping my organs pumping but my brain registered no activity I would want my organs donated and pull the plug.
    If I were brain damaged and need rehabilitation and a feeding tube my husband would see to it I had those things.

  35. Bethany, I wouldn’t want to be kept alive period. I don’t care how it happened that I died. If I dehydrated, that’s okay. If I starved, that’s okay. If they unplugged whatever life support, that’s fine.
    Like I said, *I* wouldn’t want to be kept alive like that. I think it would be cruel for someone to make me live like that when I’ve already said what I wanted.
    It’s not like I’m saying they should just let this girl die. I’m just saying *I* wouldn’t want to live, so if someone close to Schiavo thought she wouldn’t want to live in that situation, I think it’s just being nice to let her go. It’s not like I’m encouraging yanking out tubes on people who don’t want to die.

  36. Michael Schiavo sued for money to assist in her rehab and then didn’t want to use it for rehab. He was also living with a woman at the time. Her parents simply wanted her to be released into their care. They didn’t want the money. Why couldn’t he have done that?

  37. Eileen. There is NO REASON to argue with me if you’re reading what I wrote.
    I’m not going to argue back.

  38. adviceAnna, call yourself what you want, but you obviously do not know the what the Church teaches about end of life care:
    http://www.sspx.org/against_the_sound_bites/to_live_and_let_die.htm
    “To counter these conclusions, we are convinced that the provision of food and fluids is not simply —or strictly — “medical care,” but the minimum care that must be provided for the sick, whatever their medical condition. All beings need food and water to live, but such nourishment by itself does not heal or cure disease. In consequence, to stop feeding the permanently unconscious patient is not to withdraw from the battle against illness, but simply to withhold the nourishment that sustains all life.
    Moreover, to withdraw the artificial provision of food and fluids is not simply “to allow the patient to die” : what we are doing is not to cease a treatment against disease, but to withdraw what is essential to sustain the life of every human being, either healthy or ill. Death will happen, not because of the illness, but because of our omission to provide adequate nutrition and hydration.
    In consequence, it can be affirmed that the procedure is neither useless nor burdensome: it preserves life, and the material inconveniences that it provokes are certainly and abundantly compensated by the good that it preserves. Consequently, whatever the medical condition of the patient, artificial nutrition and hydration have to be continued.
    In some very particular and extraordinary instances (as examples, in the case of a patient in a terminal condition to whom the artificial nutrition imposes a pain excessive in proportion to the very short span of life remaining, or in the case of an irreversibly demented patient who keeps tearing apart the feeding tubes and causing himself serious wounds, and who cannot be continually restrained) the inconveniences may become so burdensome that the artificial nutrition might be considered an extraordinary, non-obligatory means of preserving life.”
    I suggest you read something truly Catholic in order to inform yourself.

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