Saturday, March 19, 2005

Killing Terri Schiavo Through Painful Dehydration

Senior citizens are at particular risk for dehydration because their kidney function has diminished to some degree. Symptoms of dehydration, which can cause death in extreme circumstances, include confusion, drowsiness, labored speech, dry mouth, and sunken eyeballs. Side effects for seniors who do not drink enough water, however, extend far beyond dehydration. Even short-term water deprivation has been known to cause chronic pain. Over time, lack of water causes loss of muscle tone, excess weight gain, slow metabolism, increased toxicity, and even organ failure. Other negative effects include arthritis, dry skin, migraines, hypertension, digestive complications, and persistent constipation.

In order to maintain health, the kidneys must excrete a minimum of ten ounces of waste per day. When water is not available, there is nothing present in which to dissolve the body’s waste products (uric acid and urea) for expulsion. As a result, they build up within the body, leading to kidney stones, while putting additional strain on the kidneys to find adequate liquid with which to expel toxins.