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March 22, 2005

An RN speaks

I'm reprinting part of an email (I asked and received permission from the writer to do this) I received this afternoon. She eloquently underlines the alarm I've been feeling and trying to articulate.

I am sure that all medications (parenteral) are being withheld from Terri. An untreated infection will likely facilitate and hasten Terri's death....

It is my own professional opinion (as a nurse with 20+ years experience, including neurological-neurosurgical nursing) that Terri Schiavo is in no way, in a condition that could be truthfully described as a persistent vegetative state.

This is a lie, and I am bewildered as to why the term has been repeatedly used in reference to Terri Schiavo in the media, the courts and some members of the Medical community.

Teri Schiavo is awake, alert, responsive to verbal stimuli and self-aware. She is physically and cognitively impaired (similar to someone with Cerebral Palsy). She attempts to communicate and responds approiately to commands... In no way is this woman in a " coma or a persistent vegetative state"

These are dark days for the people of the United States. Our government and our courts have chosen to reject the recognition of the human soul. We are all bearing witness to institutionalized murder of a helpless woman.

Terri Schiavo's case is precedent setting on a number of levels.
Mandated euthanasia can now be ordered by the courts on the grounds of diminished mental, emotional and physical capacity, especially if significant improvement is not probable for the long term.

All children who are born with impaired physical and cognitive abilities are now in jeopardy. So are those children with various forms of Autism, Downs Syndrome and genetic abnormalities. All brain damaged individuals are now at risk at being court ordered to death. Elderly stroke victims can euthanatized by court or medical mandate---
Future emphasis for care giving, will be change from rehabilitation to euthanasia--- (All the aforementioned examples are already the case in Europe, especially the Netherlands)

This is where Nazi Eugenics began... and it progressed to the elimination of all peoples deemed "undesirables" by the State.

Pray for Terri Schiavo.... then pray for the rest of us.

G-D help us all----

Now, let's hear from another RN that was much closer to Terri's case:


BEFORE ME the undersigned authority personally appeared CARLA SAUER IYER, R.N., who being first duly sworn, deposes and says:

1. My name is Carla Sauer Iyer. I am over the age of eighteen and make this statement of my own personal knowledge.

2. I am a registered nurse in the State of Florida, having been licensed continuously in Florida from 1997 to the present. Prior to that I was a Licensed Practical Nurse for about four years.

3. I was employed at Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center in Largo, Florida from April of 1995 to July 1996, while Terri Schiavo was a patient there.

4. It was clear to me at Palm Gardens that all decisions regarding Terri Schiavo were made by Michael Schiavo, with no allowance made for any discussion, debate or normal professional judgment. My initial training there consisted solely of the instruction “Do what Michael Schiavo tells you or you will be terminated.” This struck me as extremely odd.

5. I was very disturbed by the decision making protocol, as no allowance whatsoever was made for professional responsibility. The atmosphere throughout the facility was dominated by Mr. Schiavo’s intimidation. Everyone there, with the exception of several people who seemed to be close to Michael, was intimidated by him. Michael Schiavo always had an overbearing attitude, yelling numerous times such things as “This is my order and you’re going to follow it.” He is very large and uses menacing body language, such as standing too close to you, getting right in your face and practically shouting.

6. To the best of my recollection, rehabilitation had been ordered for Terri, but I never saw any being done or had any reason at all to believe that there was ever any rehab of Terri done at Palm Gardens while I was there. I became concerned because nothing was being done for Terri at all, no antibiotics, no tests, no range of motion therapy, no stimulation, no nothing. Michael said again and again that Terri should NOT get any rehab, that there should be no range of motion whatsoever, or anything else. I and a CNA named Roxy would give Terri range of motion anyway. One time I put a wash cloth in Terri’s hand to keep her fingers from curling together, and Michael saw it and made me take it out, saying that was therapy.

7. Terri’s medical condition was systematically distorted and misrepresented. When I worked with her, she was alert and oriented. Terri spoke on a regular basis while in my presence, saying such things as “mommy,” and “help me.” “Help me” was, in fact, one of her most frequent utterances. I heard her say it hundreds of times. Terri would try to say the word “pain” when she was in discomfort, but it came out more like “pay.” She didn’t say the “n” sound very well. During her menses she would indicate her discomfort by saying “pay” and moving her arms toward her lower abdominal area. Other ways that she would indicate that she was in pain included pursing her lips, grimacing, thrashing in bed, curling her toes or moving her legs around. She would let you know when she had a bowel movement by flipping up the covers and pulling on her diaper.

8. When I came into her room and said “Hi, Terri”, she would always recognize my voice and her name, and would turn her head all the way toward me, saying “Haaaiiiii” sort of, as she did. I recognized this as a “hi”, which is very close to what it sounded like, the whole sound being only a second or two long. When I told her humorous stories about my life or something I read in the paper, Terri would chuckle, sometimes more a giggle or laugh. She would move her whole body, upper and lower. Her legs would sometimes be off the bed, and need to be repositioned. I made numerous entries into the nursing notes in her chart, stating verbatim what she said and her various behaviors, but by my next on-duty shift, the notes would be deleted from her chart. Every time I made a positive entry about any responsiveness of Terri’s, someone would remove it after my shift ended. Michael always demanded to see her chart as soon as he arrived, and would take it in her room with him. I documented Terri’s rehab potential well, writing whole pages about Terri’s responsiveness, but they would always be deleted by the next time I saw her chart. The reason I wrote so much was that everybody else seemed to be afraid to make positive entries for fear of their jobs, but I felt very strongly that a nurses job was to accurately record everything we see and hear that bears on a patients condition and their family. I upheld the Nurses Practice Act, and if it cost me my job, I was willing to accept that.

9. Throughout my time at Palm Gardens, Michael Schiavo was focused on Terri’s death. Michael would say “When is she going to die?,” “Has she died yet?” and “When is that bitch gonna die?” These statements were common knowledge at Palm Gardens, as he would make them casually in passing, without regard even for who he was talking to, as long as it was a staff member. Other statements which I recall him making include “Can’t you do anything to accelerate her death - won’t she ever die?” When she wouldn’t die, Michael would be furious. Michael was also adamant that the family should not be given information. He made numerous statements such as “Make sure the parents aren’t contacted.” I recorded Michael’s statements word for word in Terri’s chart, but these entries were also deleted after the end of my shift. Standing orders were that the family wasn’t to be contacted, in fact, there was a large sign in the front of her chart that said under no circumstances was her family to be called, call Michael immediately, but I would call them, anyway, because I thought they should know about their daughter.

10. Any time Terri would be sick, like with a UTI or fluid buildup in her lungs, colds, pneumonia, Michael would be visibly excited, thrilled even, hoping that she would die. He would call me, as I was the nurse supervisor on the floor, and ask for every little detail about her temperature, blood pressure, etc., and would call back frequently asking if she was dead yet. He would blurt out “I’m going to be rich!,” and would talk about all the things he would buy when Terri died, which included a new car, a new boat, and going to Europe, among other things.

11. When Michael visited Terri, he always came alone and always had the door closed and locked while he was with Terri. He would typically be there about twenty minutes or so. When he left Terri would would be trembling, crying hysterically, and would be very pale and have cold sweats. It looked to me like Terri was having a hypoglycemic reaction, so I’d check her blood sugar. The glucometer reading would be so low it was below the range where it would register an actual number reading. I would put dextrose in Terri’s mouth to counteract it. This happened about five times on my shift as I recall. Normally Terri’s blood sugar levels were very stable due to the uniformity of her diet through tube feeding. It is my belief that Michael injected Terri with Regular insulin, which is very fast acting.

12. The longer I was employed at Palm Gardens the more concerned I became about patient care, both relating to Terri Schiavo, for the reasons I’ve said, and other patients, too. There was an LPN named Carolyn Adams, known as “Andy” Adams who was a particular concern. An unusual number of patients seemed to die on her shift, but she was completely unconcerned, making statements such as “They are old - let them die.” I couldn’t believe her attitude or the fact that it didn’t seem to attract any attention. She made many comments about Terri being a waste of money, that she should die. She said it was costing Michael a lot of money to keep her alive, and that he complained about it constantly (I heard him complain about it all the time, too.) Both Michael and Adams said that she would be worth more to him if she were dead. I ultimately called the police relative to this situation, and was terminated the next day. Other reasons were cited, but I was convinced it was because of my “rocking the boat.”

13. Ms. Adams was one of the people who did not seem to be intimidated by Michael. In fact, they seemed to be very close, and Adams would do whatever Michael told her. Michael sometimes called Adams at night and spoke at length. I was not able to hear the content of these phone calls, but I knew it was him talking to her because she would tell me afterward and relay orders from him.

14. While at Palm Gardens, I became fearful for my personal safety. This was due to Michael’s constant intimidation, including his menacing body language, vocal tone and mannerisms.

15. I have contacted the Schindler family because I just couldn’t stand by and let Terri die without the truth being known.



The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of September, 2003, by CARLA SAUER IYER, R.N., who produced her Florida driver’s license as identification, and who did / did not take an oath.

Notary Public

Posted by Darleen at March 22, 2005 05:44 PM


Darleen, OMG! I am just appalled. I have tried to withhold judgement on Michael, but this just rings too true and there would be no reason for her to lie.
It's a miracle that she is still alive.
This whole thing is just making me sick and sicker.
How could a judge ignore this???????

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at March 22, 2005 07:51 PM

Oh, I posted it at my site too. Everyone who is so smugly for Michael should read this.

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at March 22, 2005 07:51 PM

Here is a great place to separate fact from fiction. Check it out. I can't see a bias one way or the other. Just the facts:


Posted by: Mieke at March 22, 2005 08:45 PM

Wonderful! One R.N. who has not been anywhere near Terri is able to “ diagnose” her condition by what? Telepathy? And let’s not forget that when you don’t have all the facts you can always just slime your opponents. Darleen I hope you never get sued, but the awful fact is that all sorts of human cockroaches come out in these types of proceedings. Carla Sauer Iyer could be holding a grudge, she could have been coached, she could just be wrong in her interpretation. The judge took here testimony in consideration when he made his decision. If there was one scintilla of evidence that Terri was being abused or Nursing notes were being destroyed or any of the other accusation made by Nurse Iyer were true the courts and the press would be all over it like ants on a chocolate bar. Come on folks “ I took copious notes only to have them destroyed by that master of mischief Michael Schiavo” isn’t this a little too convenient? Hello , she couldn’t pop on down to the nearest copier and burn a few backups? And what about the charge Nurse and administrators of Largo Convalescent Center? Don’t you think multiple alarm bells and assorted claxons would be going off if they had any inkling that someone was shredding the nursing notes that Ms. Iyer was supposedly beavering away at? “Hey wait a minute here, five minutes ago I had “War and Peace” now I’ve got Hemingway” And would Michael Schiavo be so stupid to say the things he said alleged to say in front of nurse Iyer if he really was filled with bad intent? Not even in the movies! Don’t you think the judge would pull Michael’s guardianship in a New York minute if he thought Michael was only interested in getting Terri’s malpractice money? Maybe Michael is walking slime, I seriously doubt it. If this was about money, he could of easily exploited this for personal gain. He could have sold the movie rights to the P.T.L. club, he could have scooped up several million dollar offers, he could have “found Jesus” (hey lookie he was right there under the couch cushion next to the bag of Doritos®) an then sold the rights to the P.T.L. club. The possibilities are endless in our celebrity obsessed culture.

If Michael wanted to kill Terri with insulin, or kill her in some other way he would have done it by now, especially now that Nurse Iyer is no longer there to stand up to his nefarious doings. That Michael might not be the most pleasant person to be around is not proof that he is an evil man. He obviously has strong opinions and has an immense will to follow through on his core beliefs. He has gone toe-to-toe with his former in-laws, the state of Florida and now the Federal Government. That some people might find him overbearing and intimidating is no surprise. He is not applying for sainthood he is just trying to do what he thinks is right.

Posted by: James at March 23, 2005 12:03 AM


Wonderful! One R.N. who has not been anywhere near Terri is able to “ diagnose” her condition by what? Telepathy?

You either have very little respect for the field of Nursing or you are completely ignorant of the skills required of a nurse.

I rather think it's the former, given your disparaging remarks regarding nurses.
" human cockroaches" ---indeed.

Nurses are required to do a continual, observational physical, mental and emotional assessments each and every time they interact with their patients.

A patients neuro status is constantly evaluated and reevaluated because changes in mental and neuro status often precedes any precipitating deteriorations in patients cardiovascular, respiratory, bio-chemical as well as neurological systems.

Any relatively competent care giver can see from viewing the videos of Terri Schiavo,
that she is quite evidently not in a "Persistent Vegetative State"

Terri Schiavo is awake, alert and oriented to herself and others. She tracks other people appropriately, She responds to verbal communication, and consciously attempts compliance to verbal commands within her limited physical parameters.
Terri also attempts simple verbal communication and exhibits some intentional non-verbal communication abilities.
She also has displayed appropriate responsiveness for pain, fear, anger. frustration , happiness and love.

Terri Schiavo, that she is not in a "Persistent Vegetative State"

Regarding Carla Sauer's Testimony...(the nurse you referred to as a "human cockroach")

Carla Sauer is truly putting everything on the line---
Her reputation...Her Career and her livelihood, by coming forward with these allegations against Michael Schiavo and the Nursing facility.

If she were to perpetuate falsehoods about a patient ,patient's family member(s) or her employers, she would literally loose her license to practice as a Registered Nurse and forever be banned from the practice of nursing.
She has already lost her job, because she has refused to remain silent regarding the treatment Terri Schiavo has been getting under the intimidating oversight and direction of Michael Schiavo.

...and Carla Sauer is not the only caregiver to come forward with disturbing reports regarding the care Terri Schiavo has received and Michael Schiavo's behavior.

Contrast this with the behaviors and actions of Michael Schiavo--- (and his attorney George Felos)
Michael Schiavo has denied Terri any rehabilative care, even including bedside range of motion exercises.
Michael Schiavo in addition to issuing "do not resuscitate" orders, has also refused therapy and barred stimulation and treatment for infections.
Michael Schiavo has denied additional diagnostic procedures for his "wife", such as barium "cookie swallow" studies, speech evaluations etc...this includes diagnostic procedures such as CT and PET scans.

Michael Schiavo has also been charged with routinely altering the medical record chronicling Terri's care, and has deleted nursing observations from her chart
(If this is an untrue allegation, then Carla Sauer will loose her license to practice Nursing)
Michael Schiavo continues to deny Terri the right to receive Holy Communion, from a Priest, as part of her Catholic faith

Something sinister is going on in this Nursing Home, Hospice Woodside----(in which Michael Schiavo's lawyer George Felos, is a Board Member)..

Felos has been paid $358,434 out of Terri Schiavo's Trust Fund as of last year---
(Attorney Felos is also the Director of Florida Right to Die and has testified that he can ascertain a person’s desire to die by “looking into their eyes and letting their spirit speak directly to him”)

George Michael Schiavo has gone through nearly a million dollars of Terri's Trust-

Dr. Ronald Cranford , the doctor chosen by Michael Schiavo, to "treat and evaluate" his wife is a right-to-die activist who has been a featured speaker for the pro-euthanasia Hemlock Society. He is an active proponent of Physician Assisted Suicide--- He has publically applauded European values that embrace euthanasia.
Cranford testified in the court cases before county court Judge George Greer that Terri Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery.

His "diagnostic findings" have been disputed by Dr. William Hammesfahr, ( Nobel nominated Neurlologist) who said, "I spent about 10 hours across about three months and the woman is very aware of her surroundings. She's very aware. She's alert. She's not in a coma. She's not in PVS."
Dr. William Hammesfahr, has also testified that Terri’s neck injuries are consistent with only one type of injury: that of strangulation.
Michael Baden, a top forensic pathologist has stated Terri’s injuries are not consistent with a heart attack; no cardiac evidence to support it
It is extremely rare for potassium imbalance on woman her age and in her good health
Terri's injuries are consistent with severe trauma possibly caused by a beating

Dr. Hammesfahr's full report

Carla Sauer Iyer RN: Testimony in 2003
Further Reading

Posted by: fiery celt at March 23, 2005 03:19 AM


Another "Human Cockroach" has been fired for supporting Terri Schiavo-

Hospice Nurse Fired for Supporting Terri Schiavo

A registered nurse who was employed at the Florida hospice where Terri Schindler-Schiavo is being dehydrated and starved to death has been fired for not supporting the efforts to kill the disabled woman..
Nora Lynn Wagner says she that the administration of Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park notified her employment agency Monday afternoon that they did not want her back working at the facility.

...Wagner said that her firing came after she had refused to sign a petition being circulated among the hospice staff that said Congress had acted improperly in passing legislation designed to keep Terri alive.

The RN said that anyone at the hospice who speaks out against Michael Schiavo is reprimanded

The facility is operated by the non-profit Hospice of Florida Suncoast. George Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo, the estranged husband and guardian who is trying to kill his wife by court order, is a former chairman of the hospice board of directors and a nine-year member of the board. ...

Wagner, who was employed at the hospice for two years, says that Terri Schiavo is cognizant and communicative. She said she would often joke with Terri who would respond with laughter.

Those darned Nurse "human cockroaches"...Why don't they just shut up!

Posted by: fiery celt at March 23, 2005 03:54 AM

I'm pretty shocked by what this nurse is writing. If it's even remotely true, then it's obvious to me what should be done.

Shame on you Fiery Celt for doing such a lame manipulation of words. He wasn't calling nurses (the profession) "human cockroaches." You know better.

I'm skeptic about the alteration of medical records. Medical records are legal and unalterable documents. No charge nurse or nursing staff would allow anyone, even a doctor, to make "deletions" in the chart.

Posted by: Inconseq at March 23, 2005 04:44 AM

Gosh Darn It!!!!

These Nurse "cockroaches" just keep coming out of the woodwork---
Don't they James?

Former Nurse Accuses Michael Schiavo

....Ms. Iyer said that after Michael visited Terri one day for about 20 minutes, with the door shut, she went in after he left and saw Terri sweating, lethargic and "crying hysterically."

Carla checked Terri's blood sugar, and it was barely reading on the glucometer. She also saw a vial of "insulin concealed in the trash bin."

According to Carla, there were needle marks underneath Terri's breast, under her arms and near her groin. Carla talked to the police and then went to the director of nursing, who was very upset that Carla had gone to the police. ....

More Nurses Accuse Michael Schiavo

...Two additional nurses have filed affidavits in the Terri Schiavo case that corroborate bombshell allegations by nurse Carla Sauer Iyer, who went public on Tuesday with claims that Michael Schiavo had deliberately withheld treatment from his disabled wife.
Heidi Law was a certified nursing assistant at the Palm Garden Convalescent Center in Largo, Fla., where she treated Mrs. Schiavo in 1997. ...

"I know that Terri did not receive routine physical therapy or any other kind of therapy. I was personally aware of orders for rehabilitation that were not being carried out. Even though they were ordered, Michael would stop them."

Law continued:

"Michael ordered that Terri receive no rehabilitation or range of motion therapy. I and [another CNA] would give Terri range of motion anyway, but we knew we were endangering our jobs by doing so.

"We usually did this behind closed doors," Law said, because "we were so fearful of being caught ... we were always looking out for Michael, because we knew that, not only would Michael take his anger out on us, but he would take it out more on Terri. We spoke of this many times."

"At least three times during any shift where I took care of Terri, I made sure to give Terri a wet washcloth filled with ice chips, to keep her mouth moistened.

"On three or four occasions I personally fed Terri small mouthfuls of Jello, which she was able to swallow and enjoyed immensely. I did not do it more often only because I was so afraid of being caught by Michael."

Like nurse Iyer, Law suspected that Michael was mistreating Terri, noting in her sworn statement:

"Several times when Michael visited Terri during my shift, he went into her room alone and closed the door. This worried me because I didn’t trust Michael.

"When he left, Terri was very agitated, was extremely tense with tightened fists and sometimes had a cold sweat. She was much less responsive than usual and would just stare out the window, her eyes kind of glassy. ...

We were convinced that he was abusing her, and probably saying cruel, terrible things to her because she would be so upset when he left."

"The Palm Gardens staff, myself included, were just amazed that a 'Do Not Resuscitate' order had been put on Terri’s chart, considering her age and her obvious cognitive awareness of her surroundings."...

Carolyn Johnson, a certified nursing assistant who worked at the Sabal Palms nursing home in Largo, said Terri's mistreatment went back to at least 1993.

"I learned, as part of my training, that there was a family dispute and that the husband, as guardian, wanted no rehabilitation for Terri. This surprised me, as I did not think a guardian could go against a doctor's orders like that, but I was assured that a guardian could and that this guardian had gone against Terri's doctor's orders."...

Johnson recalled: "No one was allowed to just go in and see Terri. Michael had a visitors list. We all knew that we would lose our jobs if we did not do exactly what Michael said to do."....

There is something seriously wrong in that Nursing Facility --- This so called "hospice" appears to have been run using tactics of fear and intimidation ...

Posted by: fiery celt at March 23, 2005 04:54 AM

Inconseq ---

...Wonderful! One R.N. who has not been anywhere near Terri is able to “ diagnose” her condition by what? Telepathy? And let’s not forget that when you don’t have all the facts you can always just slime your opponents. Darleen I hope you never get sued, but the awful fact is that all sorts of human cockroaches come out in these types of proceedings. Carla Sauer Iyer could be holding a grudge....

Let's see---

The both persons "James" was referencing, when he was used the appellation "human cockroaches" were Nurses. No one else was referenced.

Seems to me -
...he was either calling these individual persons "human cockroaches" who both happened to be nurses --- or --- James meant the persons who practice the nursing profession in general are "human cockroaches.

Shame on Me?!?

Posted by: fiery celt at March 23, 2005 09:13 AM

There's an awful, awful lot of BS flying around the web right now. Outrageou claims that Terri can actually relate to her environment. Enraged personal attacks on her husband, which have absolutely nothing to do with the abrogation of legal precedent in this case.

Not a single one of you "culture of life" folks has probably wondered Why he didn't divorce Terri so her parents can keep her on the feeding tube?
Can you give me a better reason for his persistence than the fact that he wants to respect her wishes, and what is actually best for this brain dead woman?

If Michael is such an asshole then why has he refused the Schindler's offer to relieve him of financial responsibility for Terri and let him keep her trust fund?

Posted by: Brad at March 23, 2005 10:06 AM

And while you're all making these claims that Michael is an asshole and an adulterer and a wife beater, why haven't a single one of you disassociated yourself from the disgusting tactics and hate speech of Randall Terry? This is a guy who slammed a woman doctor against a car outside an abortion office, who encouraged physical beatings of people trying to enter clinics, who has said things like
"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good...Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism." (quoted by The News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN, Aug. 16, 1993)

Posted by: Brad at March 23, 2005 10:16 AM

I really beg you to go to the site I mentioned earlier in this strand. So you can get a factual record of the event, and not just facts from "right to life" sources. What is the source, by the way, for all fiery celt's nurse quotes?

Just as Frist was out of line in diagnosing Terri never having read her file or met her,not to mention it isn't his specialty, this nurse is on ethical thin ice with regard to her pronouncement of Terri's condition.

REGARDLESS, numerous friends of Terri's and her husband testified that she said she would not have wanted to live like this, certainly she would not have been pleased to have pictures of herself in this condition made public and used by both sides.

Why don't you guys read all of the facts, not just the ones that bolster your opinion? You can still be "right to life" and spew your eugentics theories without comepletely vilifying Michael. It is this tendency which the extreme on your side has, which causes those of who want to listen to your side to completely shut down. Those in the extreme end up sounding like mindless hysterics. Their opinion becomes meaningless because they turn everything into the most extreme black and white and so distort what is fact, public record, and easily verifiable they end up sounding a little kooky.

While I may not agree with your "right to life" position, it is a valid one to have -why not have the faith that this is a good enough reason to oppose the ending of Terri's life and leave it at that?

Posted by: Mieke at March 23, 2005 11:57 AM

By the way, if the nurse found a needle that she believed was used by Michael to murder his wife, why didn't she grab it out of the trash can and present it as evidence to the police? Surely his fingerprints were on the syringe. If what she is saying is true, the nurse had a responsibility to call the police and turn in the evidence. This whole thing sounds a bit wacky. This is what I mean about perverting the story. It gets to be a bit much.

Posted by: Mieke at March 23, 2005 12:08 PM

Teri Schiavo is awake, alert, responsive to verbal stimuli and self-aware. She is physically and cognitively impaired (similar to someone with Cerebral Palsy). She attempts to communicate and responds approiately to commands... In no way is this woman in a " coma or a persistent vegetative state"

This is simply not true. All evidence is to the contrary, and everything the Schindler family is saying is based on emotion and wishful thinking.

Here's an interviews with Dr. Jay Wolfson, professor of Public Health and Medicine at the University of South Florida which appeared on the Washington Post site today. Wolfson was a court appointed, special guardian ad litem for Terri Schiavo in October of 2003:

I was appointed by the judiciary, according to the requirement of the law for a special guardian to investigate Terri's swallowing capacity. This opened the door to issues relating to her neurological capacity. I was required to review and report on the previous 14 years of legal and medical evidence and activities. After spending hours with Terri, getting to know her parents and siblings and her husband, and reviewing all of the evidence, my conclusion was that the competent medical evidence provided in the the case, following the Florida rules of civil procedure and evidence, and according to the Guardianship law in Florida, which was carefully crafted over fifteen years of bipartisan political and religious efforts --- indicated by clear and convincing evidence that she was in a persistent vegetative state, according to the most credible science and medicine. I also concluded that based on the same Florida laws and rules, the trier of fact appropriately determined that Terri had expressed, while she was competent, the intention never to be kept artificially alive under such circumstances. The evidence supporting this included competent legal evidence demonstrating that she personally expressed those intentions at the funerals of two family members who had been on life support -- so it was contextual.

He is as objective and REASONABLE an authoritative source as one could hope for. His actual report is here, and I would encourage Darleen and others who are exhibiting self-righteous hysterics to read it. In particular, I'd like to highlight the following observations from Dr. Wolfson:

Throughout the course of the litigation, deposition and trial testimony by members of the Schindler family voiced the disturbing belief that they would keep Theresa alive at any and all costs. Nearly gruesome examples were given, eliciting agreement by family members that in the event Theresa should contract diabetes and subsequent gangrene in each of her limbs, they would agree to amputate each limb, and would then, were she to be diagnosed with heart disease, perform open heart surgery. There was additional, difficult testimony that appeared to establish that despite the sad and undesirable condition of Theresa, the parents still derived joy from having her alive, even if Theresa might not be at all aware of her environment given the persistent vegetative state. Within the testimony, as part of the hypotheticals presented, Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it. Throughout this painful and difficult trial, the family acknowledged that Theresa was in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state.

Posted by: Brad at March 23, 2005 01:33 PM

I just heard on the radio that Dr. Wolfson was appointed by the same judge who ruled against Terri. And that he is a right to die advocate. So that hardly makes him objective.

I also heard the nurse who said she found the vial (not the needle) in the trash can after Michael left. She went to the police that night right after work. (why would she do that, if not true?) The police took her statement and the hospital promptly fired her. A detective interviewed her. But the radio host didn't aske her if she picked up the vial. I wondered about that.
So it is police record that she filed the report as she says. I don't know why nothing was done. But again. Why would she rush to the police and sacrifice her job? That just doesn't make sense.

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at March 23, 2005 04:07 PM

Let’s try this again,

Lets take the charges one by one. Aware and orientated? The Judge has been there and done that, Terri is not, repeat not either aware nor orientated to person, place nor time. Not since the heart attack she suffered fifteen years ago. She has either no or a very minuscule cerebral cortex. Either way her higher brain functions are gone. This is not my opinion but a legal fact in the case. Terri is in a Persistent Vegetive State, her only hope of recovery is in an act of God, His Son, the Virgin Mary or one of the Saints.

Michael the master of evil. Oh this horrible person he told us not to do x, y or z. First they forget that for the first years of this ordeal Michael was right in there swinging. He was performing “aggressive therapy” on Terri. That means he was doing range of motion exercises and more for Terri. Finally he came to the conclusion that this was futile endeavor and that Terri was irretrievable lost. He then had to make a bitter choice “what would Terri want?” He concluded that Terri would wish to die. From this perspective his “awful” behavior is not so awful. If the end game is to end Terri’s condition in the shortest way possible, then anti-biotic therapy is absurd. That would just prolong her time on earth in her P.V.S. And Terri, to the best of Michael’s knowledge, did not want to prolong her life in such a state. Ditto the absurd point for rehabilitation, you have to have something to rehabilitate. Remember, there is no higher brain function to latch on to. Is Michael a unpleasant person to be around? More than likely. Is he utterly evil? Well to some he is because he is trying to end Terri’s existence. Note I did not say “life” Terri merely exists, she has not been alive for fifteen years.

Evil doings in Hospice. This has all been looked into numerous times. There is no conspiracy, the judge found absolutely no merit in the charges. The depositions of the nurses were taken, evaluated and tossed. The state of Florida has been to this particular well three times via the DCF. Each time the judge has essentially rolled up a newspaper , smacked the DCF on the nose and said “Bad Dog!” Why did these Nurses make these charges? I have no idea, maybe they truly believe them. I can’t rule that out. But maybe some of them do have an ax to grind, what a perfect way to get back at difficult and demanding client don’t you think? Remember this is a CIVIL case, prosecutors almost never press perjury charges in civil cases. This because legally you have to prove that the defendant knew her statement was false. This is a very high bar. Am I saying that these Nurses perjured themselves? NO I am not. I can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew their statements were false. I do know that no criminal charges were filed against Michael. Euthanasia ( the active ending of the life of terminally ill or P.V.S. person) is still illegal in the state of Florida. If there was any real evidence against Michael on this count, W’s brother would have unleashed the hounds of war. As for the Nurses risking their likelihoods. Please note that they were already fired from their positions at the Hospice when they made these statements so they were not risking anything there. They all still have there licenses so they can still work in the Nursing field if they wish. I seriously doubt the licensing board is going to go after them, for what ? ethics violations? Not likely. Can’t prove that they knowingly made false statements. And maybe they actually believed every word they said. You can tell the “truth” as you see it and still be wrong. So what did they risk? They risked Nothing. What did they gain? At best they aired their suspicions and were heard. At worst, well let’s not go there again. I take back the insect reference. I’m sure each and every one of these fine ladies is the reincarnation of Florence Nightingale.

As for Michael being in for the money, what money? When this is all done, Michael might have enough money left to purchase a happy meal. Court cost and other sundries will have wiped out whatever nest egg he had from Terri’s malpractice funds. If this was about money Michael would have found some angle to profit from this without terminating Terri. This case has dragged on for nine years, only the most committed person would still be at this for all that time. You may despise Michael’s commitment, what he is doing here, you may even think it murder. I can accept that, it’s a perfectly valid moral position. It has even had the Pope’s blessing. But it is not the law, not in Florida. Don’t like it? agitate to change the law.

Posted by: james at March 24, 2005 03:02 AM


The "legal" fact may not be the medical fact.

Terri is not brain dead and the exact nature of her "PVS" is very much in medical dispute. With Greer refusing reevaluation according to modern medical standards towards PVS it is the equivalent of a trial judge refusing retesting of physical evidence with new forensic techniques in a death penalty case. Ironically, the same people who are anxious to see Terri "put down" by starvation/dehydration would take to the streets if a death row inmate was denied due process in the same way Terri has.

I hope who ever the company who is carrying the large life insurance policy on Terri with Mike as beneficiary invalidates it because Terri was killed, rather than dieing a natural death.

Posted by: Darleen at March 24, 2005 06:01 AM

"Terri is not brain dead and the exact nature of her 'PVS' is very much in medical dispute"

No, Darleen, it isn't very much in medical dispute. The only ones disputing it are those who have not conducted any thorough medical examination of her, including this latest Cheshire guy who is a Christian bioethicist first. He has n;t spent any significant amount of time with Mrs. Schiavo, and therefore his claim of "minimal consciousness" has about as much scientific legitimacy as a preacher's.

Posted by: Brad at March 24, 2005 09:24 AM

All of which goes to show how reasonable and important it is for Congress to investigate this case. It falls clearly under Congress'es power to enforce the constitutional requirement that life not be deprived without due process of law. Does leaving the life-termination decision entirely up to an estranged husband adequately represent his wife's interest in the legal process of determining whether she should die?

This case looks like a can of worms. It is perfectly appropriate for Congress to investigate it--hauling all the nurses and doctors and judges in to testify--to see just what the truth is here, and whether the case indicates that legislation is needed to make sure that patients interests are properly represented. Florida's Judge Greer ignored Congresses subpoena of Schiavo, and the federal courts have refused to obey Congress'es law calling for a new investigation. There may be consititutional problems with that law, but Terri must obviously be kept alive while those issue are being decided. There is no constitutional problem with the subpoena. Judge Greer apparently does not want the truth out, and is willing to risk going to jail to keep it suppressed. He shows a guilty conscience, like a suspect fleeing a crime, which is all the more reason to have a thorough investigation.

I'm with Ann Coulter. It is part of our Constitutional design that the courts, being the weakest branch, must not defy the legitimate powers of the other branches if they want to be obeyed. The judicial branch has in this case defied the legititmate powers of Congress and it is now incumbent on the legislative and exutive branches to execute their will in spite of the judiciary's contrary rulings. This is how the system is SUPPOSED to work. Otherwise the judiciary is an unchecked power. Right now, they are just acting as a bunch of criminals. Since the executive is not acting, Congress should appeal directly to the Supreme Court for enforcement of its subpoena.

Posted by: Alec Rawls at March 24, 2005 01:30 PM

Excuse me, Alec,

Exactly where in the Constitution is the Judiciary called the "weakest branch"?

Posted by: Brad at March 24, 2005 01:51 PM

"Legal Fact" vs "Medical Fact"?? The Legal fact is informed by the medical fact. Elsewhere you quoted that is only 43% sensitive dependent on the time spent with the patient. You mentioned Cranford spent 45 minutes with Ms. Schiavo. The missing data is what is the average time a neurologist takes to make a diagnosis? Is Cranford above average or below? And by how far? What is the standard deviation on your data? Why aren't you curious about these questions yourself?

It's a stab in the dark but I'm guessing most neurologists spend a whole lot less than 45 minutes per patient.

Posted by: Inconseq at March 24, 2005 03:04 PM

The judiciary is described as the "weakest branch" by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 78:

"[The judiciary] may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.

This simple view of the matter suggests several important consequences. It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks."

If you doubt the authoritativeness of the Federalist Papers, note that 78 was used by Chief Justice Marshall to establish the principle of judicial review.

Hamilton was cognizant of the danger of the courts usurping legislative power but dismissed it on the grounds that there is nothing to be done about it! "The courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise WILL instead of JUDGMENT, the consequence would equally be the substitution of their pleasure to that of the legislative body. The observation, if it prove any thing, would prove that there ought to be no judges distinct from that body."

This there-is-nothing-to-be-done-about-it attitude only makes sense when backed up by the observation that "from the natural feebleness of the judiciary, it is in continual jeopardy of being overpowered, awed, or influenced by its co-ordinate branches." It is the court's continual jeopardy, its liability to being overpowered, that keeps it in check. If that jeopardy ceases to exist--if the other branches just accept it when the courts defy the legitimate powers of Congress and the executive--then the courts become a tyrannical power.

This has been happening since the New Deal, and exactly as Hamilton warned. Liberty is only safe "so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive." But in the New Deal, the Court became a lacky. Its job is to uphold the master servant relation between the people and their representatives: "the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents." But in the New Deal, our representatives were unwilling to be constrained by the Constitution. To get around the system of limited enumerated powers, FDR tried to expand and pack the Court, which knuckled under to the pressure. Thus was the Court empowered to write a new Constitution. The plan was that if the Court ever substituted its will for the people's, it would be checked by superior power of the other branches, but in the New Deal, the other branches encouraged the Court to throw over the Constitution. The other branches gave up their power to check the Court in exchange for the Court delivering them the unconstitutional power they craved.

This is the deal-with-the-devil that needs to be undone. The Schiavo case is only the merest symptom. Restoring limited powers will at this point require constitutional amendments. But we can start by reaffirming the founding understanding that the courts are, by design, the weakest branch of government, intended to be deterred from usurping power by being in constant jeopardy from the more powerful branches of government. That jeopardy has to be real for the system to function. That means, at the least that, if we reach the present extreme, where the courts are flat out defying the legitimate powers of Congress, they must not be obeyed.

Posted by: Alec Rawls at March 24, 2005 07:23 PM

Just FYI, on the "Nobel Nominated" Dr. - Apparently, he actually wasn't. I mean, unless you consider someone unqualified simply writing to the Nobel Committee to say they think he SHOULD be. FOX News apparently mistakenly attributed that he was a Nobel nominee.

For an additional "Fun Fact" - Nominated for a Pulitzer may mean that the person nominated THEMSELVES, as there are no rules against it. So it means basically Bupkis :)

OTOH, Nobel Nominations are a bit more stringent. :):


Posted by: W. Ian Blanton at March 25, 2005 08:37 PM

I have GREAT difficulty believing this SORRY! Even if Michael did want her to 'die', I'm sure he would be smarter than to make it so obvious., thus putting it a 'light' of a questionable motive. NO ONE is that DUMB, if they are truely 'evil incarnate'.

Posted by: Heidi Long at March 28, 2005 11:13 AM

I am amazed that anyone would even consider this "Nurse"s claims!

So Terri (without a cerebral cortex, and having an utterly destroyed brain) was saying "Mommy" and "Help Me"?? Yeahhh! (And only in front of this "nurse") And Michael Schiavo was saying things like "Is the bitch dead yet?" and shooting her up with isulin in front of this nurse???!!! Ok!!

Not only that, no one else heard Terri speak, or Michael say these things except her!

And the entire hospital staff, caregivers, every nurse and doctor, state judges, police, and even the entire Schindler family were all covering up for Michael Schiavo??????

This is so incredibly far fetched, clearly impossible, and nonsensical that to even consider this as possibly true means you have to be a complete, and total, imbecile!

Posted by: Baboonhead at April 3, 2005 03:57 PM

It seems like people who are so eager to promote euthanasia will not even in the face of such obvious clues be willing to even consider the possibility that this is not about right to die, but rather a domestic violence case carried out to it's gruesome end. Michael Schiavo exhibits all the way through, his need to control Terri. The main things I would challenge anyone who needs to dispute and deny facts any length are:

1) back in 1991-1993 Schiavo told several different UNRELATED persons that he had NO IDEA what Terri's wishes would be. For ex. in 1992-1993 he dated Cindy Shook. She asked him how Terri would feel about being in that condition. Michael's answer "how the hell would I know? We never talked about stuff like that, we were in our 20's" He also asked during that same time period a nurse at a facility multiple times what he should do, as he didn't know what Terri would want. IT WASN'T UNTIL 1998 THAT HE SUDDENLY REMEMBERS TERRI WOULD WANT TO DIE

2) Why would he, if he was such a loving husband, treat Terri in a way that even comatose patients are not- ie denying her any basic dental care for last 10 years, not allowing her blinds to be opend in her room for past 12 years, not allowing Terri who loved animals to have a dog brought to her room, not allow her own parents to see her many times--- were these also 'Terri's wishes??'

3) why did Terri have her hands up by her neck when she collapsed, in a posture that people who have been strangled have???

4) Why would Judge Greer deny and quash ANY positive testimony for Terri?? A friend of hers testified that in 1982, she and Terri watched the Karen Ann Quinlan movie, and that Terri had told her she didn't agree that Karen was taken off the respirator. She told her friend "where there's life, there's hope". Judge Greer admitted this seemed believable, but that ended up not admitting it b/c HE mistaknly thought QUinlan had died in 1976. When lawyers later brought up his mistake to him, that this was CRUCIAL to what Terri's wishes would be, he dismissed it, apparently not able to admit his own error.

5) Why did Greer base his decision Terri was in a PVS NOT on Florida state law's definition of same. He defined it according to a pro euthanasia doctor, Dr. Cranford. Actually, in the beginning, Cranford had alluded that Terri wasn't in a PVS, that she had responded to his requests and directions appropritately.

6) Why if Michael was so concerned with 'Terri's wishes' not allow her things that would have definately been her wishes?? Denying her to take communion with her family on night before Easter??? What is this?? CHina?? How is it that a husband can overrule his wife's constitutional, civil and religious rights. I'm sorry, but Terri Schiavo was not the property of Michael- last time I checked this was not saudi Arabia.

7) This also is not a partisan or religious issue, but as Jesse Jackson said a civil right issue. Anyone with any compassion should see that.

8) Lastly, from the horses mouth himself. On March 18 Larry King interviewed Schiavo. At the end of their talk, King asks Larry plaintively "can you see how her family feels?" (seeming to sense his total lack of human sympathy to parents who are suffering) Michael responds "Yes I do. But this is not about them. It's about Terri's wishes. NOBODY KNEW WHAT TERRI WANTED. It's what we wanted"---- whoops, what was that Michael??? Nobody knew what Terri wanted?? This is what you had truthfully said to people way back in 1991.

Posted by: Denise at April 6, 2005 05:12 PM