We always said that if he or I were on life support, we did not want to be kept alive. So I made the decision to have the life support shut off.
I am living with that guilt, that I killed him this way, but that was what we both wanted.
We had 43 wonderful years together, and he still made my knees knock.
Dusty C. Mathews
If I were in a persistent, vegetative state like that of Terri Schiavo, I would not want to be kept alive indefinitely.
The decision to stop my treatment would be made expressly by my immediate family in my best interest.
Love is unselfish. I say let go for the dignity of life.
And although hope is the substance of things we wish for, if I am to live, I will live and live naturally and on my own.
As a 15-year-old sophomore at Owings Mills High School, I feel that I would not want to be kept alive in a state where I could not comprehend my surroundings.
If I were able to think and see on my own then there would be a point to living, for I would still feel I was part of the world. But it would probably be more helpful to my family if I were not kept in a vegetative state.
I would not want to put my parents or, if I were married, my spouse through economic hardships.
People need to talk with their parents and come up with a decision before a situation like this happens.
And I would want my parents to decide that I will not live any longer when there is no hope.
A broccoli and a cauliflower were crossing the street when a car hit the broccoli. At the hospital, the doctor said to the cauliflower, "I have good news and bad news. He will live, but he will be a vegetable for the rest of his life."
A tasteless joke. But the tug-of-war between the parents and husband of Terri Schiavo -- and now Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- has become a sick joke. The unwitting punch line? Ms. Schiavo.
And, if nothing else, her existence should serve as a graphic reminder of what can happen if we don't have a living will.
In my case, my family is aware that I don't want to remain in a perpetual limbo state, supported by artificial means.
If I didn't have a living will, I would have to trust them -- fully informed by competent doctors -- to discontinue treatment if recovery does not appear imminent.
And to those who love me too much to let me go, I say: Don't love me. Respect me.
Don't reduce my memory to that of a tasteless joke.
No matter what is said, the only true victim in the Terri Schiavo case is Ms. Schiavo, as she cannot make her intentions known one way or the other.
If anyone ever needed a reason to do proper estate planning, all they have to do is look at this situation.
As I read the articles and letters on Terri Schiavo, I think back to when my only son died several years ago. I had him at home for the last year and a half in a hospital bed, with hospice helping me. I watched him waste away until there was only a shell left of his body.
His mind was controlled by his pain and suffering. His body was controlled by his pain and suffering.
He did not have a living will, and yet when the time came to let go, I did. I did this because I loved him.
Yes, I could have insisted that they keep him alive. I could have let him suffer. I could have watched him unable to make a decision or think coherently because of his pain. But I loved him enough to let go.
I feel sorry for Ms. Schiavo's parents, but maybe it is time that they love their daughter enough to let go.
It is not easy to do this, but they will give her dignity by letting her go.