March 25, 2005
Terri Schiavo's lessons for us
It seems strangely fitting if Terri were to die today. It is both Good Friday, the Christian observance of the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus as He was crucified, and also the holiday of Purim, that ends at sundown today and is the Jewish observance of the Jewish people of ancient Persia being saved from extermination due to the courage of Esther, who risked her life to approach the king and plead for her people. As I stepped back to think back over all the writings and discussions I observed and participated in this last week or so I wanted to distill out what I have learned and I feel both these holidays allow for appropriate perspective.
First, as a disclaimer in order to be perfectly clear, I am not making the comparison of Terri to Jesus Christ. Rather I am looking at the public reaction towards Jesus the Man and looking at the public reaction to Terri the woman. Similarly, in looking at Terri through the perspective of Purim, I'm not putting Terri in Esther's shoes.
Throughout the last week, the rhetoric grew ever more heated and some of the salient points of Terri's plight were lost in the personal emotions of the arguers. Many of those desperate to save Terri savaged Michael Schiavo while those invested in Terri's death savaged Terri herself.
I myself began my first post on Terri divorced from commenting on Michael or even commenting on Terri's condition. I still maintain my original position that when there is a dispute over a non-terminal person who has left no written instructions over their care, the Law should err on the side of life. Period. I recognize that judge Greer was allowed the leeway by Florida law to discern Terri's wishes by what she allegedly told others. I don't dispute that as the only trier of fact in this case, Greer had the legal right to find as he did. I'm not a conspiracy monger. I don't attribute nefarious motives to Greer. However, I believe he made a wrong decision. And judges, who are still, like us all, human beings, can be just as emotionally vested in protecting their conclusions as anyone else. Sometimes, though, that emotional investment can profoundly affect others.
Let me move beyond the immediate facts of the case to the reactions we've seen this past week.
Jesus was not a particularly popular man. He had His friends and followers but He certainly made a lot of enemies of those who felt He threatened the status quo. Even on His way to the crucifixion He was confronted with a mob composed not just of weeping followers besides themselves because they were forbidden to help but by a larger crowd of mocking and jeering people who were taking no small measure of delight in His suffering and death. And much of the cruelty was directed towards His supporters, too.
Terri has polarized the public into similar reactions. I've been disheartened by the sneering tones directed at her not only within the blogsphere but by members of the so-called MSM who really should know better. Peter Jennings has been unable to contain himself this last week and each time he has approached this story has made clear his disgust he even has to report on it. Maureen Dowd plumbed new depths of taunting tastelessness by referring on air to supporters of Terri as "Republicans pulling a 'Weekend at Bernies'" There's been an almost capering, gleeful tone to those that trash Terri as a "vegetable" or "animated corpse" or any number of vicious and cruel imagery I've had the misfortune to run across. And as Terri's imposed death comes about such nastiness gets directed at Terri's supporters, too. The intellectuals at DU have referred us, one and all, as "fascists." Of course, read the DU for any length of time and one does have to wonder is there anyone outside of the DU they do not consider fascists?
This is not to say the rhetoric from some who support life for Terri is less flaming, even if one doesn't find it in the MSM. Charles Johnson refers to some of the hate mail he has received due to his ambivalence on this matter. Even if it were moby hate mail, it points to the extreme emotions this case has engendered.
Esther fasted for three days in order to prepare herself for what she knew could be her own death for approaching the king unsummoned. She knew, though, not to approach the king would mean the extermination of her people at the hands of Haman. Haman had basically annoyed the king with tales of the Jewish people's unsuitability as subjects. As threatening lesser beings, why should they be tolerated to even live? The king did not order the exterimination, he merely refused to review Haman's case and told him to do whatever he wanted. Esther was successful with her appeal and the holiday is a celebration of life.
Terri seems to represent some sort of threat to the well-being of the people who are animated to see her die. I've been unable to pinpoint what kind of threat, mostly because they themselves are unwilling or unable to articulate it in a logical, dispassionate manner. It's like asking Haman what is it about the Jews merely living that threatens you? and having him babble about their "differences" when you really suspect it's much baser and darker a motivation.
Terri is not much different than tens of thousands of other Americans who are profoundly disabled in one manner or another. Many of us have been personally touched by the struggles of these differently abled people. But we don't dismiss their basic humanity. Through accident or birth life at a different state of being then ours occurs, but it is still life and still human life and deserves our respect and protection as the default position of the law absent specific context. Unfortunately, there are some people who don't look at the disabled and see a human being, they look at the disabled and see an embarrassment.
Merely go to the mall sometime (a great venue for peoplewatching) and observe people's reactions to the profoundly disabled. It could be a field trip for a group of cognitively disabled adults enjoying the stimulating sights, sounds and colors of the mall. Watching others react to these adults is fascinating. Some seem embarrassed by the disabled, trying to look everywhere but at them. Some will smile and wave in response to the open smiles and waves of the disabled. And some will throw glances of barely disguised disgust at the backs of the disabled as they pass.
I believe it is the last demographic of people who produce the George Felos's and Dr. Ronald Cranfords of the world. They are sincere in their belief that the profoundly disabled are not truly human and therefore should not suffer to live if other abled people so decide. Cranford, in the Robert Wendland case, was quite clear that even as Wendland was not vegetative and could minimally speak and interact with his environment, his right to his own life was forfeit. The decision to put him to death should not his own.
We've come a long way from the Quinlan case of the late 70's which was a case about brain death and being removed from life support as most people define it (which does not include mere food and water, though the Cranford clan does semantically argue if one is too disabled to feed oneself, even spoon feeding is "artificial life support").
And as we move towards an ever larger senior demographic, with all the attendant health concerns of dementia, stroke and ALS, the concerns on how we, as a society, view these differently-abled human beings' rights will take on increased urgency. The Law many times lags behind technology and medicine and the ethical questions raised with the advances. Of the many important lessons Terri has taught us recently about ourselves as society and as individuals, the most important may be the catching the "ear of the king", our collective conscience, to really address and consider and legislate to define and protect the rights of the differently abled rather than just leaving their fate at the hands of the Hamans of our society.
UPDATE 1:42 pm As a friend so gently reminds me, we are all the sum total of our experiences and cannot be truly objective. I confess I’ve wrestled with posting the details of my personal experiences in this regard, in no small part due to the hate directed at me over this issue. However, if you are interested in what motivates my concerns, you’ll find it over the jump.
My maternal grandfather was hooked on making home movies. About 1958 he bought a Bell& Howell camera and every holiday/birthday/family gathering he’d be cranking that steel-gray chuck of metal and lenses and directing us “Look at me! Smile! Wave!” Viewing these silent testaments to middle class life of the late 50’s – 70’s one would have a hard time grasping that all was not Pleasantville.
There were four of us cousins that figured large in the early years of family movies. There was me, the oldest, my cousin Kathie (four months younger), my sister Val (two and a half years younger than me) and Kathie’s sister Debbie (about Val’s age). Four bouncing little girls (though, I looked slightly out of place, being the only brunette in a gaggle of blondes). There is one short segment I remember so well when I view it. We were at my aunt and uncle’s home and grandpa catches the scene of us in the bedroom Kathie and Debbie shared, all piled into Kathie’s bed giggling, hiding our heads underneath the blankets then out again to laugh at the camera. What is just outside of the camera is Debbie’s bed across the room. Debbie’s bed -- enclosed with an oxygen tent.
Debbie was born with cystic fibrosis. A large word that made no sense to young me other than Debbie couldn’t play as long or as hard as the rest of us. It meant, too, at meal times Debbie had to eat along with her meals a whole handful of pills, some so large I stared in awe as she swallowed them and didn’t choke. It meant that her playtime was interrupted on a regular basis when she had to sit in her bedroom and breathe into this noisy machine filled with medicine, a clamp on her nose that left little swirly marks for an hour or so later. It meant her being laid over her mother or father’s lap and having her back pounded on and pounded on until she sat up to cough up whatever had been dislodged by the pounding. But for young me, outside of that she was just my cousin who had a great smile and a funny laugh and was fun to play with.
I was 13 when I attended my first funeral and I can still see Debbie, dressed all in pink with her pale blonde hair brushed just so laying on the white silk of her small pink casket.
Through the years as I have related stories about my cousin I’ve always been taken aback by the few people who express the sentiment “Oh, that’s so sad. How sad for your family. Too bad she didn’t die as an infant and have spared you all.” I’ve never known how to react. Part of me wants to grab them and shake and say “What do you mean, spare us? Spare us of Debbie’s smile? Her laughter? Her love?” The other part of me says “Just walk away, they really don’t know what they are saying.”
Well, that latter part of me is almost gone because I no longer believe such people are ignorant of what they are saying.
Maybe my experience with Debbie contributed to how I acted through the travails of junior and senior high. I found myself in comfortable friendships with the “outcasts.” I didn’t aspire to be a member of any one of the “popular” cliques. I reveled in my theatre geekdom.
As an adult, I’ve never been quiet in the face of bullying of the weaker members of our society. And as an adult, I’m concerned in yet other very personal ways.
My sister-in-law is a cognitively disabled person. She’s high functioning, somewhere around a young adolescent level, and lives fairly independently with her boyfriend of many years (who is both similarly cognitively disabled plus physically disabled) in their own tiny apartment. They have family members and a social worker that watch over them. Their needs and their joys are simple and they travel all over their city via mass transit. They harm no one by their existence and bring the joy to their families as Debbie brought to mine all those years ago.
Then there is my husband’s late uncle and aunt, who through a great many years adopted, loved and raised quite a number of profoundly disabled (both cognitively and physically) children. Some of them were very low functioning. But they still deserved the dignity of a family that loved them and wanted them and the enjoyment of whatever simple grace and happiness could be found in just the act of living each day with the sun on their face or the loving touch of a mom and dad.
In addition, I remember standing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after the twins were born almost six weeks premature. Nikolas was all of 2 lbs 14 oz and he looked like a little old man lying inside that plastic box. He couldn’t feed himself by suckling and had a feeding tube through his nose and his only manner of communication was faint crying and wiggles. But oh, he knew his surroundings! The nurses were always testing his blood levels and it got so each time they held his tiny foot and started wiping the heel with a alcohol pad he’d start wailing and trying to yank his foot away. He knew what was going on.
All of my experiences came into play when I finally examined Terri’s plight. On one hand we as a society have made great strides to accommodate and support the disabled among us. Most of us look with admiration at accomplishment of just living by Steven Hawking or the late Christopher Reed. Yet, the darker side of our society has moved from the reasonable position of allowing people to define the treatment they get in extraordinary circumstances, to one where the definition of what constitutes “personhood” continually slides farther from the context of the terminal or brain dead to encompass those with minimal cognitively or physically ability. It is startling to me that their rights are shifting that they are allowed the right to choose death but not allowed to choose life for themselves. The choice of life is not theirs by right, but their guardians right to dispose.
I look at my sister-in-law, I remember my cousin, I think of all the people I have known throughout the years and I fear for them. I fear for a portion of the family of man being stripped of their membership because others don’t view them as true human beings.
Some may indeed view my fear overblown, but I look at Europe and how so many people here embrace Europe's ethos towards “saving” others from “suffering” and I believe I have every right to worry.
Posted by Darleen at March 25, 2005 08:08 AM
Thank you for presenting the facts without prejudice. It should be used as an opinion piece in the MSM, but they would not want to let their readers actually see this, as they might dare to think of the inescapable implications one can draw as to where we are going, as a society which prides itself on being based on the Judeo-Christian principles. Ironic that Good Friday and Easter Sunday should coincide with Purim this year, where there are indeed parallels...usually Easter and Passover fall at about the same time, and this is unusual....and it becomes ever clearer that Terri Schiavo will taken home, to Heaven, all too soon. Also, there is no Queen Esther or Mordechai to help...and the Maureen Dowds are surely the Hamens of today, or worse.
I recall that in a country called Germany there was a 'leader' who slowly but surely decided that anyone who was less than perfect had to be gotten rid of, and that theory became the base of what evolved into the Shoah, where my ancestors became a number,forever lost, and the lives of my grandmothers zt'l were never the same. In the eyes of h***** it was was a way of forever ridding the world of the Jews, who he so detested, but were the perfect scapegoat for a country that was in a critic that may have brought on a civil war..but he found a way to calm the masses...kill the Jews!
Why on earth can there not be tests ordered by the Court, tests that have never been done, that would show exactly what her medical status is, and if there are indeed procedures and therapies that would, if her custody was given to her loving parents, be used, to give her the quality of life she has so long been deprived of.We have, in the US, some of the very best specialists in the world. Now Terri lies dying in the alleged 'hospice' that her 'husband's attorney is an owner of...and is known as an espouser and advocate of euthanasia, receiving no care, and her parents and siblings, when allowed to visit, have policemen guarding them so that they cannot even hold her and comfort her as she lays ther dying? They are there at the orders of her 'husband'. I have a feeling that many people are now making sure that their end of life wishes are being drawn up by a lawyer. I cannot buy the idea that a healthy young woman, in her twenties, newly married, would verbally express a verbal DNR, etc.
The 'husband's making sure that she be cremated instantly upon her excrutiating death, which goes against her wishes as a devout Catholic are, to me, very telling.I am not as kind as you in regard to his behaviour.
Thank you again. I would love to see this posted by you on LGF. I cannot bring myself to read the 2 threads, though, as what was posted on other unrelated ones was more than enough.
May you and your family have a beautiful Easter weekend!
Posted by: Lois at March 25, 2005 01:05 PM
It's nice coming to a place where I don'thave to battle tooth and nail with people. The other day, you must have typed your little fingers to the bone!
Posted by: julie at March 25, 2005 07:27 PM
Well, while I side on the "Let her go" side of the argument, it is mostly based on what I've heard of her wishes previous in regards to being "kept alive".
As I've heard more and more about this, it became clear that this isn't about Mrs. Shiavo - This is a brawl between her husband and her family. It's one that we've managed to drag our entire Govt. into.
What scares me, and yet gives me comfort. That everyone in the upper echelons of the Govt., sensing a big 'ol "Publicity Op" has attempted to influence this. So far, it's been handled appropriately. This sad, three-ring circus is nice for the people who like to flame (Hell, I'm one, but not in this case). But really just distracts from the fact that, whichever side you were on, if it were you, this is a hellish decision to have to make, from EITHER side.
On one side, you have what really seems to be pointless hope. You are arguing to force someone to stay "alive". Hoping a miracle will happen.
On the other side, you are arguing to let someone die, worrying that they are "trapped" where they are, not able to go on to whatever comes after death, but unable to participate, and if the current diagnostics are correct, to even OBSERVE life around you, a hell I would wish on very few.
Both of the positions suck.
My visceral reaction is let her die. As I'm in the second camp. Hell, I'd volunteer to do it, as I would consider it pure mercy. We have a word for keeping someone alive in physical or mental pain, it's called torture. Whether intended or not.
Part of me WANTS to say, "well, if she's NOT in pain, what's the harm in the hope?" And to be honest, if you could tell me, she's DAID, her soul has flown wherever it goes. She's gone. In some ways, I'd be fine with leaving the body pumping. what's the harm to her? She's gone.
But the harm to her family? Is false hope worse than no hope? IS there no hope? I know I sure as hell don't know. I sure as hell know I'm not in the position to have to make this decision, and for THAT...I'm very glad.
Last thing Darleen, as you may note, I don't agree with you, I don't think, in this, but don't let the cranks rule what you do, once we start doing that, then we're all worse off, as a species and a culture.
Posted by: W. Ian Blanton at March 25, 2005 08:21 PM
LOL. I do type like a maniac sometime.
BTW...identical twin grandsons, Nikolas and Sean, now 2 1/2 years old.
Posted by: Darleen at March 25, 2005 10:46 PM
Very well said Julie! I really am trying hard to remain calm and rational about all this, but there are so many maddening red herrings being thrown into this case that it makes it very tempting to just scream that by far the majority of courts, judges, doctors, and the American people DISAGREE with you so just STOP it already!!! Every time another possible "issue" comes up, it has more and more the feel of "throw as much crap on the wall as possible and see how much sticks", as we find out the serious flaws in the details. I'm also tired of being called part of the "Culture of Death", but I am not going to start calling them the "Culture of Torture" for it. I hope this is over quickly, most of all for her sake, but also for the sake of us all. Every day it continues it is only further adding to the hatred of the culture war.
Posted by: Erik Grow at March 26, 2005 07:10 AM
Erik, you're a jackass.
Posted by: julie at March 26, 2005 04:04 PM
some more jewish reflections on purim and the schiavo case
Posted by: sultan knish at March 26, 2005 08:04 PM
I am one of those people who embrace the concept of euthanasia. I think Holland has it right in saving those from suffering. As I wrote earlier this week, after surviving a concentration camp with my father, my elegant grandmother developed cancer in her late 40s. Her body was ravaged by the disease, she had numerous surgeries, myriad parts of her body were removed, and countless treatments. When she was 54, they found it had spread to her bones, it was incredibly painful and she was tired. Tired of fighting, tired of the pain, so knowing her boys were married off and well-loved, she wrote them all letters asking that they return to Holland and spend what would be her last three weeks by her side. They did. They, and their wives, had a wonderful healing visit, filled with big laughs, and quite a few tears. Then, on the night that she chose, they held her and loved her as she received, a legal lethal injection, and took her last breaths. She died with great dignity surrounded by the boys she loved.
This happens every day across the United States with the collusion of doctors who "accidentally" leave stints in so that morphine can be injected more easily, or who tell the care-taker what combination of drugs would be lethal. I know of at least three people who died this way.
Euthanasia is not a unchecked randomly applied epidemic in Holland. There are systems in place, there is a protocol, but mostly there is humanity.
I never met my grandmother, but since I can remember I have been told about how generous she was, I was told about her strength and dignity. So it was fitting that was also the way in which she died. It is what I would want for my own parents, given the same situation.
Posted by: Mieke at March 26, 2005 10:32 PM
"... represent some sort of threat to the well-being of the people who are animated to see her die..."
The ACLU-Left is AFRAID that Bush and the religious right are coming to take them to a country where you have to be a Christian, and where AshKKKroft is Torquemada.
It is an irrational fear, but real to them.
Anything REPEAT ANYTHING that they can twist into that worldview - THEY DO! Blood for Oil" BusHitler! JINSA!
GET THIS: the Left believes SIMULTANEOUSLY that Bush is controlled by Jerry Falwell, Ariel Sharon and the House of Saud.
Imagine how smart that dumbsmirkingchimp must REALLY be if he can keep those three happy!
The act of Congress signed into law was BIPARTISAN, but that did not stop the Left - or the MSM they dominate - from coloring it as another invasion of privacy by the religious right - WHICH THE LEFT BELIVES IS EVERY BIT AS DANGEROUS AS ALQAEDA!
And this IS the BOTTOMLINE - the ROOT CASUE of their irrational hysteria:
(are you sitting down?)
The Left blames 9/11 - (that shattering horrific day that the WORLD CHANGED for EVERYONE) - well the Left blames it on "religious fundamentalism" and they lump all devout believers together: a Christian fundamentalist is as dangerous as a Jewish settler or an Islamic suicide bomber.
It is this MORAL EQUIVALENCE based in FEAR and tempered by YEARS of inculcation in post-modernist moral relativism that has made the Left's irrational fear of Bush -- aka BDS / Bush Derangement Syndrome - so RAMPANT.
So whatever he does, it must be bad because he's a BELIEVER and believers are fundamentalists and fundamentalists are fanatics and fanatics are terrorists (according to their twisted logic/illogic).
The brightest RED-LINE for the Left is "abortion rights" because it's so fundamental to their COUNTER-CULTURE (anti-west/anti-tradition) worldview. But anything else that threatens to roll back their amoral/morally relativist view is threatening.
And total PRIVACY - in the bedroom (whether it's the bed you make love in or the bed you die in) - is PARAMOUNT to them. Privacy to them is inextricably tied to moral relativism: whatever two people agree to between themselves is okay. Whether it is sado-masochistic sex, or EUTHANASIA.
And all of the FEAR that the Leftists feel has been compounded by the collapse of their meme: the USSR fell; India and China abandoned command economies and adopted free markets and are THRIVING.
Even as democracy experiences a new birth ALL OVER THE WORLD the Left seems unhappy: rooting for the insurgents and whispering their secret hopes to each other that "of course Lebanon and Iraq will fail."
Those of us who agree with you on Terri and the courts believe in the sanctity of Life and the inalienability of the Human Soul. These concepts are alien to the Left. To them consciousness is merely concomitant with nerve cell activity. They Left are MATERIALISTS. And Terri is something they just want to dispose of.
What is sweeping the world today is not MATERIALISM but the indominatable HUMAN SPIRIT.
the world is flooding with democracy and freedom -and soon it will grow with the prosperity and creativity that ONLY freedom foments!
And though there are still some tyrants around - and judges - who may hold back the flood waters a while... they really have no more than a finger in the dam.
And the dam will burst. And wash us over. And clean us. And sustain us. And make our land fertile and green. YES: one day SOON, we will all be free.
Posted by: reliapundit at March 26, 2005 11:03 PM
You are arguing a case that's not even in this court right now.
What I've been discussing, as you can see above, is the deliberate killing of NON-terminal, NON-dying, NON-brain dead people when their wishes are UNKNOWN and UNKNOWABLE. That's just about as far as you can get from an adult who clearly expresses their wishes (in writing), and is TERMINALLY ill, in pain and actively dying.
I don't want the default position of the law to be DEATH, but LIFE. I don't want to see a continued march toward as ethos that holds certain people as "less than human" and that their lives are forfeit because they are "inconvenient." Can we not learn from the "Euthanasia Program" of Nazi Germany that had the cooperation of countless doctors and nurses who combed convalescent hospitals and institutions for the mentally handicapped to rid society of the "less than perfect?"
What harm to anyone is the simple life of a severely autistic child?
Posted by: Darleen at March 26, 2005 11:16 PM
But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.
[That should scare 'em. lol!]
Posted by: julie at March 26, 2005 11:31 PM
Darleen, well written and obviously well thought out! You did, in spite of trying not to, infer a similarity to Terri to Jesus and Terri to Esther which seems farfetched.
You did lace your piece with "alleged 'hospice'" and "so-called 'MSM'" which smacks of bias. Hospice care is end of life care. People who have a chance of doing better are rarely placed in hospice care. What about the MSM is not Main Stream, or Media?
Posted by: Inconseq at March 27, 2005 12:20 AM
I offer sympathy to you in regard to those in your life who you wrote about above, in terms of various medical struggles, but it's important to note that none of the situations you've experienced parallel Terry Schiavo's situation, and it's the difference between Ms. Schiavo's situation and those you write about that are important to note - the most accurate medical opinion, based on thorough testing and observation, despite claims to the contrary, confirm that Terry is in an irreversible persistent vegetative state, and that is where this discussion should focus. People can come to differing conclusions as to the nature of PVS as a life they or their family members would wish to continue living in, but it's important to discuss the situation accurately. There are thousands of people across this country who are in PVS and are allowed to die with more dignity than is currently afforded to Terry, so it's also important to consider this situation in it's specific and larger dimensions.
Posted by: sarah at March 27, 2005 06:15 AM
And I think the discussion should focus on why we allow someone to be killed based on the factual findings of one person applying the lowest burden of proof the legal system allows. And affording the victim with so few procedural safeguards they they are frankly nonexistent.
Posted by: julie at March 27, 2005 08:21 AM
I realize the medical situations are not the same, but the idea that for some that a particular definition of "personhood" must be met or the person's life is no longer their own by right scares me in the face of people like Dr. Ronald Cranford who keep shoving that threshold further and further away from the original arguments. Look into the case of Robert Wendland sometime and find a man who was not PVS. Cranford grudingly had to admit it -- Wendland could interact with people, identify color pegs and operated a wheelchair with a joy stick -- yet Cranford still testified for the wife's position of removing Wendlands feeding tube because his existance was a burden and his "family should be able to move on."
I am appalled by an ethos that decides who is allowed the right to their own life by way of their CONVENIENCE to others.
Posted by: Darleen at March 27, 2005 08:23 AM
Would you mind going back and reading my piece? I never used the phrase "alleged hospice" and I explained on what basis I was citing the Christian and Jewish holidays.
Posted by: Darleen at March 27, 2005 08:26 AM
"Now Terri lies dying in the alleged 'hospice' that her 'husband's attorney is an owner of...and is known as an espouser and advocate of euthanasia" - Lois
Sorry Darleen, jumped the gun on that. I skimmed to find the rest of the update and I guess read Lois's comment instead.
Posted by: Inconseq at March 27, 2005 09:13 AM
I misunderstood what you meant when you alluded to Europe, I thought you meant legalized euthanasia but you were talking about Hitler's program. Got it.
Posted by: Mieke at March 27, 2005 05:44 PM
I don't know why the simple facts of the case are lost on the pro-life people. Namely, Terri wanted to be let go.
That's it. End o story. If Terri wanted to live, you wouldn't see us opposing it.
So get rid of the distractions.
This isn't about her husband's claim that she didn't want to live in this state. The courts have found him credible. In fact two other people have confirmed these are her wishes.
This isn't about the money. The ad litem for the court indicated that not only was the money not in her husband's control but that it was meticulously accounted for.
This isn't about her husband giving her sub-standard care. Again, the ad litem report (a person with fidelity only to Terri) indicates the home where Terri was kept regarded him as a sort of Nazi because he demanded such good care. It is also noted she has never, in 14 years, had a bedsore thanks to his care.
This isn't about her husand being conflicted. Terri's father testified that he felt Michael should move on, he's been through enough.
This IS about personal choice. Religion, at it's very core, is about imposing your values on others. Don't agree? Read your history. Start with Zinn.
PS: I don't see a PEEP on your site about DeLay pulling the plug on his father. A nod and a wink when it's your side being a hypocrite?
How political of you. How Christ-like of you.
Posted by: Jason at March 28, 2005 01:47 PM
I linked to the Delay fallacy and commented on it in that other venue.
There's no parallel.
And my whole point of all of my writings is that we DO NOT KNOW TERRI'S WISHES.
Yes, Greer made, in Joe Lieberman's terminology, his "best guess" about Terri's wishes, but the fact remains is that we do not know.
How the Law should treat such an unknown in a situation where there is a dispute about the care of a PROFOUNDLY DISABLED woman (not brain dead, not terminal, not dying) is the issue here. I've made it quite clear that is and has been the issue I've argued from the beginning. I've made NO "religious" arguments, though I guess you feel it makes it a neat and tidy counter argument to jump and down and screech "watch out! a Crister! watch out!"
No documentary evidence of Terri's wishes. Period. How do we then protect her rights?
Ah! Even Barney Frank has done a 180 as of Sunday.
Posted by: Darleen at March 28, 2005 03:22 PM
I'm sorry if it makes some people feel bad, but people die. Lets face it, she is being kept alive by artificial means.
The trend is toward keeping people alive longer and longer, and the potential cost is infinite. Am I the only one that sees a link between how we keep dying people alive and the tremendous cost of health care in this country?
Cut to the chase: its about money, and we simply can't afford to keep dead people alive. We have to set an example, and we have to limit cost.
Posted by: Lawrence Isaac at March 28, 2005 04:35 PM
You wrote (in italics):
And my whole point of all of my writings is that we DO NOT KNOW TERRI'S WISHES.
Oh really? You would if you checked. From the court documents directly, we find Greer's words:
Michael Schiavo testified as to a few discussions he had with his wife concerning life support. The Guardian Ad Litem felt that this testimony standing alone would not rise to clear and convincing evidence of her intent. The court is not required to rule on this issue since it does have the benefit of the testimony of his brother and sister-in-law. As with the witness called by the Respondents, the court had the testimony of the brother and sister-in-law transcribed so that the court would not be hamstrung by relying upon its notes. The court has reviewed the testimony of Scott Schiavo and Joan Schiavo and finds nothing contained therein to be unreliable. The court notes that neither of these witnesses appeared to have shaded his or her testimony or even attempt to exclude unfavorable comments or points regarding those discussions. They were not impeached on cross-examination. Argument is made as to why they waited so long to step forward, but their explanations are worthy of belief.
Also the statements she made in the presence of Scott Schiavo at the funeral luncheon for his grandmother that "if I ever go like that just let me go. Don't leave me there. I don't want to be kept alive on a machine." and to Joan Schiavo following a television movie in which a man following an accident was in a coma to the effect that she wanted it stated in her will that she would want the tubes and everything taken out if that ever happened to her are likewise reflective of this intent. The court specifically finds that these statements are Terri Schiavo's oral declarations concerning her intention as to what she would want done under the present circumstances and the testimony regarding such oral declarations is reliable, is creditable and rises to the level of clear and convincing evidence to this court.
So you see, Darleen, we do know what Terri's wishes were. Saying we don't and then putting a great big "fact" stamp on it really doesn't cut it, nor does throwing in sentences that consist solely of the word "period." This is what you get when you trust politicians to tell you the truth.
Go ahead. You can say it. "I was wrong." Actually, I'll be surprised if you even let this post stay up. You're looking REALLY foolish at this point.
Do you get your news from Fox and O'Reilly? I ask because you're both peddling the same lies. Viz:
GROSS: And all that was decided by the Florida courts here and affirmed in every court that it was heard in was that she expressed her will. So --
O'REILLY: But how do we know that other than the word of one man?
GROSS: It wasn't the word of one man. You haven't read the trial transcript. There were many, many witnesses. And 11 courts, including six federal courts, reviewed the procedure and found the process was fair.
O'REILLY: Counselor -- counselor, name one human being outside of Michael Schiavo who testified that Terri Schiavo directly said I don't want any life support.
GROSS: What you're suggesting --
O'REILLY: Counselor, name one human being.
GROSS: OK. There were others, Bill.
GROSS: Bill, I tell --
O'REILLY: Who? You read the court transcript. Who?
GROSS: Yes, yes. I want you to hear my answer.
O'REILLY: There weren't any others.
[March 22 edition of The O'Reilly Factor]
On to your religious red herring:
I've made NO "religious" arguments, though I guess you feel it makes it a neat and tidy counter argument to jump and down and screech "watch out! a Crister! watch out!"
Many of the things I brought up were arguments you did not raise but were meant to fill in potholes that the media seems to have wrong. You seem to be kind of big on believing them without doing any homework. So why did you fixate on the religious one? Trying to hide in a religious persecution theme?
Speaking of hiding, the politicians in this case have tried -- badly -- to turn this in to an issue of morality. Specifically, DeLay is trying to associate himself with anything that isn't an ethics charge. He's been cited four times so far this century which is kind of funny since there have only been five handed out this century.
In fact Terri Schiavo IS an ethics issue and the lines seem to be drawn between those who believe their ethics should trump Terri's, namely god-based ethics vs. personal choice. Sound familir (cough:abortion:cough). If Terri wanted to stay alive and she had the funds to do it, so be it. Do you actually that anybody would support her tube being removed if she wanted to live and could afford to?
Finally, on the DeLay/Schiavo parallel, the salient facts.
Both people suffered accidents.
Both people did not wish to be 'kept alive' by machines.
...uh, that's about it. DeLay & Company keep referencing that it's only food and water that's being withheld, which is different from other types of machines and they "believe the American people know the difference too." I sure don't. Why does it matter that the machine is providing you with food or blood?
DeLay chose to honor the wishes of his relative on the subject of efforts taken to postpone death. It is 100% hypocritical for him to interfere with Mr. Schiavo in his attempt to do precisely the same thing.
On a little aside, remember the bruhaha about ephedra? Remember what made it come to a head? That baseball pitcher who died after taking some. Fact is, I read the autopsy. He showed up to camp overweight, finishing less than half his exercises, hadn't eaten for two days and he was wearing extra layers of clothes in an effort to shed weight. He died of heat stroke. Ephedra causes no rise in body temperature. It was all bullsh*t.
Same with WMD. And the same with Terri.
Stop being a sheep. Don't take their translations for gospel. Read it yourself.
Posted by: Jason at March 29, 2005 01:38 PM
[about Terri's wishes] Oh really? You would if you checked. From the court documents directly, we find Greer's words:
Exactly. Not Terri's words, Greer's words.
Of course, when Greer puts on his black robes, he becomes infallible and omniscient. All of the other high priests said so, and they're infallible with their magic black robes as well.
Let us all bow down before them and chant their gospel. "O LIVING DOCUMENTS THAT ONCE WERE DEAD, GRANT US OUR RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND TO THE DEATH OF WHICH IT SPEAKS! LET US PUT ASIDE THE RIGHTS TO LIBERTY AND LIFE, FOR THOSE WERE CAST INTO THE VOID FOREVERMORE WHEN THE DOCUMENTS BECAME ALIVE AND SPOKE TO US!"
Bleat and run to the slaughter, little lamb Jason.
KING: Do you understand how they feel?
M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want...
It's a good thing for Mike that Greer can't say or write "perjury" and "Michael Schiavo" in the same sentence.
Both people did not wish to be 'kept alive' by machines.
Okay, fine. Explain why Greer and his court dictated that food and water cannot be given to her by mouth. Since when did spoons and cups become artificial life support?
Oh wait, here comes the bleating from Jason again - "She might aspirate the oral sustenance." Yes, and what, choke to death? You mean she might DIE? What's the difference between that and death from dehydration? Dead is dead! Only someone who has completely shut their brain off could argue otherwise.
Wait a minute, if you've shut your brain off, and spoons and cups are artificial life support...
Posted by: Sue Dohnim at March 30, 2005 08:22 AM
Oh really? You would if you checked. From the court documents directly, we find Greer's words...
Sue Dohnim replied:
Exactly. Not Terri's words, Greer's words.
You're ...arguing that our legal system cannot (or should not) be able to reach a conclusion based on witness testimony? If so, I'm going to have a BALL with you.
Even Michael slipped up and admitted he doesn't know what Terri's wishes were
I've read the source, your quote definitely appears to be in-context, and I will wholeheartedly agree that his statement warrants some eyebrows being raised. But something we can all understand is occasionally saying something that has the exact opposite meaning of what we intended.
Think this is so impossible? Then I suggest you read the parent's own comments. From the ad litem report:
"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."
But the parents sought to clear this up.
"Of the Schindlers, there has evolved the unfortunate and inaccurate perception that they will "keep Theresa alive at any and all costs" even if that were to result in her limbs being amputated and additional, complex surgical and medical interventions being performed, and even if Theresa had expressly indicated her intention not to be so maintained. During the course of the GAL's investigation, the Schindlers allow that this is not accurate, and that they never intended to imply a gruesome maintenance of Theresa at all costs."
Ok, so ...Terri's parents didn't mean precisely what they said?
You try being under the media spotlight for a few years then under the media spotlight for 24 hours a day for a month and see if some weird **** doesn't come out of your mouth too.
I agree that Michael's statement is more than a little disconcerting and should be looked at. It isn't that hard to admit that the other side has a valid point. Our political system would probably be a lot more sane if it was the rule rather than the exception.
Okay, fine. Explain why Greer and his court dictated that food and water cannot be given to her by mouth. Since when did spoons and cups become artificial life support?
Because ...that's what the courts found Terri's wishes to be? It all comes down to that, doesn't it? Everything else is a diversion.
If nine judges can look at this and agree that the witness testimony regarding Terri's wishes were to die, then I support that decision because it's her body. What I'm telling you is that the only way you can undermine my support of Michael is to undermine my faith in the judge's conclusion on what her wishes were.
Posted by: Jason at March 30, 2005 12:55 PM
What I'm telling you is that the only way you can undermine my support of Michael is to undermine my faith in the judge's conclusion on what her wishes were.
I think I've found the problem. The law is your faith. See my mention of the black-robed high priests and chanting to them above.
You, for all intents and purposes, have no morality. You do not know right from wrong or good from evil. You only know that if it is legal, then you may do it.
You are one of the men without chests.
I sincerely hope that you are a rare specimen in your generation. If not, I fear for us as a nation, as a world, and as a species.
Posted by: Sue Dohnim at April 1, 2005 10:53 AM
Follow the money to the murder of Terri Schiavo and see what it is really about..
March 25, 2005
Cast of Characters in the Schiavo Case
The following is a compilation of the cast of characters related to the Schiavo case.
(Note: This is a work in progress. Items will be added as more information is gathered. To assist with the case of Terri Schiavo and to help the Schindlers with their continuing efforts, information provided here may be freely used with the condition that Myopic Zeal is credited with the compilation. This is a compilation taken from public records, news accounts, and information provided from a variety of other sources. If you have additional, credible information regarding a cast of characters please communicate with us.)
Disclaimer: This compilation is not intended to imply anything. It is an effort to compile a cast of characters as might be related to the Terri Schiavo case and their relationships as well as events possibly related to the cast. While deemed to be reliable to the best of our knowledge, as with any legal proceeding all information below should be double checked and verified.
Michael Schiavo, husband of Terri Schiavo and a Florida registered
respiratory therapist and registerd nurse (RN license RN9164785) He was issued his nursing license January 18th, 2000 and its expiration is April 30, 2005 (link via Daily Inklings).
Living with another woman (Jodi Centonze) who is not his wife and
has two children by this woman.
Hired by Sheriff Everett Rice to work in the Inmates Medical Care
Division of the Pinellas County Jail around October 11th, 2004
Listed as a director, Jerger & Centonze Insurance Agency, Inc., 2002; an inactive corp.
Admitted under oath on two occasions that Terri Schiavo did not have bulimia according to Attorney Patricia Anderson.
Jodi Centonze, girlfriend (sometimes called fiancee) of Michael Schiavo and mother of his two children.
Owns the address which is registered as the address of Jerger & Centonze Insurance Agency, Inc.
Mother is Eleanor Centonze.
Eleanor Centonze, mother of Michael Schiavo’s girlfriend.
Employed under Rice in the civil division of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s
Dept. from 1979 until 1999.
Died in 2004
John Centonze, brother of Michael Schiavo’s girlfriend.
He has done some media announcements about Terri’s condition for Michael Schiavo.
Trudy Capone, former girlfriend of Michael Schiavo although claims they were not romantically involved.
Indicates Michael had no idea what Terri wanted regarding a situation of incapacity.
Her affidavit is found here and is very compelling.
Cindy Shook Brashers, former girlfriend of Michael Schiavo.
Referenced in Trudy Capone’s affidavit.
Indicated Michael Schiavo said he had no idea what Terri would have wanted if in an incapacitated condition.
Indicated she was very afraid of Michael Schiavo.
The key portion of her deposition is here.
George J. Felos, lawyer, hired by Michael Schiavo to be his attorney in mid-1997.
Felos & Felos, 595 Main St., Dunedin, FL 34698. Fax (727) 736-1402
Felos is a euthanasia advocate and prominent right-to-die attorney.
Past Chairman of Board of Directors for The Hospice of the Florida
Held board position from at least Feb. 13, 1997 to roughtly April 26, 2001.
Founding member of the National Legal Advisors Committee on Choice
Graduated from BU School of Law
Author, “Litigation as Spiritual Practice” (Blue Dolphin
Publishing, 2002) and creator of the Continuing Education Course (and article by the same name) called Meditation for Lawyers.
Admitted on Fox television’s Fox & Friends, April 1, 2005, that he has addressed the Hemlock Society, renamed the Choice in Dying Society, a pro-euthanasia group.
Jon R. Thogmartin, M.D. District Chief Medical Examiner, Pinellas County, FL
According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, “The mission of the Medical Examiner’s office is to fulfill the needs outlined in F.S. 406, to be of service to families of the deceased, and local government agencies. In short, our mission is to determine the cause and manner of death under certain circumstances. This mission requires the utmost objectivity irrespective of personal beliefs or emotional attachment to the circumstances of any particular case.”
Started the job in 2000.
“His major fields of interest are wound ballistics, firearms, infant deaths, child abuse, asphyxia, and forensic toxicology. ”
“Thogmartin has also done his share of teaching. In Texas, beginning in 1984, he was a teaching assistant at Southern Methodist in the Department of Chemistry, and at the University of Health Science Center at San Antonio in the Departments of Cellular and Structural Biology and Pathology. More recently, in Miami, at the Dade County Medical Examiner Office and IACP Seminar, he taught a course on Strangulation and Other Compressions. “
Noel Palma, M.D., Deputy Chief Medical Examiner
Susan Ignacio, M.D., Associate Medical Examiner
Chris Wilson, M.D., Associate Medical Examiner
Daniel Schultz, M.D., Associate Medical Examiner
William A. Pellan, Director of Investigations
Reta Newman, M.A., Director of PCFL
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN senior medical correspondent.
Interviewed on March 29 and March 30, 2005 on Aaron Brown and Larry King. Was asked to comment on the brain scans of Terri Schiavo which they showed next to a scan of a normal brain. Inspite of leading questions, Gupta reiterated several times and made a point of emphasizing that no definitive state can be determined from an autopsy of the brain. Gupta stated several times that he had seen cases where the brain scan looked similar to Terri’s and the person was very functional. He had seen other scans that looked almost normal and the patient was without any function.
The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, Inc, 300 E. Bay Drive, Largo, FL 33770.
Assets approximately $25.5 million, revenues approx. $8 million, expenses approx. $6 million.
Files as a 501(c)(03) tax exempt organization.
Website: www.thehospice.org (based on the treatment Terri Schiavo has received under the care of this hospice organization, caution and reasonable skepticism are advised when reading this site.)
Operates Woodside Hospice where Terri Schiavo was moved by Michael Schiavo and George Felos without authorization nor proper certification as to terminal illness.
According to the Hospice:
“Woodside, a community-supported hospice house, provides around-the-clock care in a home-like setting for patients who are unable to remain in other living arrangements. Hospice Villas Woodside permit patients and families independent living with professional help close at hand.”
Re: nursing homes
“The Hospice works in partnership with local nursing homes to meet the needs of residents nearing the end of life.”
Subject of two lawsuits regarding breach of confidentiality with medical records by its for-profit subsidiary, Suncoast Solutions in 2002-03.
Mary Labyak, Executive Director and President, The Hospice of the
Florida Suncoast which oversees Woodside Hospice.
Current board member of the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.
Board member of Partnership for Caring (a direct offspring of the
Euthanasia Society of America).
Board member of National Hospice Foundation
National Director and Treasurer of National Hospice and Palliative
Care Organization (NHPCO)
Dr. Ronald Cranford, M.D. is the neurologist hired by Michael Schiavo.
Cranford is a renowned euthanasia advocate referring to
himself as “Dr. Humane Death.”
Authored a section in “Intended Death: The Ethics of Assisted
Suicide and Euthanasia”. His section addresses the issue of “the
physician’s role in killing and the intentional withdrawal of
treatment.” (WND article)
Cranford examined Terri Schiavo one time for 45 minutes. It was his testimony and medical opinion on which Judge Greer based his entire “finding of fact”.
Admitted on CNN, March 30, 2005 that he had misdiagnosed at least one case of “permanent vegetative state” (PVS) in the case of Sergeant Mack in 1979 or 1980. He was never asked if there were others.
Cranford has been involved in numerous PVS cases as an advocate for death. Some of these are very suspect (In the case of Nancy Cruzan for example, she did not even require a feeding tube but Cranford said she should be starved insisting that food and water were considered medical treatment.) Cranford is hardly an objective medical consultant and is used frequently as a pro-death advocate. You can find it all here along with some doctors who have called the medical behavior in this case “criminal”.
Dr. Peter D. Bambakidis, M.D., Neurosurgeon, Cleveland, Ohio
Hired by Michael Schiavo team to evaluate Terri Schiavo and her records.
Admitted under oath before Judge Greer that Terri Schiavo did not have a heart attack. That testimony is found here.
Gus Michael Bilirakis, Florida State Representative, 1998-2000 and
Board member of The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.
Co-sponsor of Florida Bill HB 2131 with addition to Section
765.101 ( beginning on line 28 of page 14 of the linked pdf file)
Note: Section 765.101 of this bill added the following language, “(10) ‘Life-prolonging procedure’ means any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention, including artificially provided sustenance and hydration, (meaning food and water…ed.) which sustains, restores, or supplants a spontaneous vital function.” (12) “Persistent vegetative state” means a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:
(a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind.
(b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.
Member of Elder Care and Long Term Care committee in House, the
committee that introduced HB 2131.
Was a campaign contributor to Judge George Greer.
Barbara Sheen Todd, Pinellas County commissioner during time Judge
George Greer was a commissioner in Pinellas County.
Board member of The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.
Judge John C. Lenderman, Florida Circuit Court Judge. Pinellas
County Judicial Bldg., St. Petersburg, Fl
Brother of Martha Lenderman
Appointed judge by Governor in 1992, reelected unopposed to
Hospice of the Florida Suncoast Advisory Board member, 2000
One of four family certified judges in Florida.
Outstanding Service Award in Educating the Public and Restoring Public Trust and Confidence in the legal System, Florida Bar, 2002.
Jurist of the Year, 1997, awarded by the American Academy of MatrimonialFlorida Chapter
Martha Lenderman, Board member of the Hospice of the Florida
Suncoast since 1996.
Past chairman of the board of the Hospice.
Board of directors of the U. of South Florida Collaborative for
Children, Families, and Communities.
Principal, Lenderman & Associates.
Lost in a bid for State Representative (Dem.) in 1998.
Former state child welfare administrator.
Board member, 2005, Area Agency on Aging, Pasco & Pinellas
counties, Pres. 2003.
Consultant to the Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at
least during 2001.
Dept. of Health & Rehabilitative Services (HRS) program
supervisor, at least during 1989.
Was called to testify as a health and human services consultant by
the attorney general’s office in 2005 in Holli Bodner hearing on
suspension of Bodner’s psychiatrist license. Lenderman testified on
behalf of Bodner.
Lenderman & Associates provided services to Pinellas County
commissioners regarding Mental Health and Substance Abuse funding in
1999 and 2000
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Alpert, federal attorney
Suing the Hospice of Florida Suncoast for patient brokering.
US Dept. of HHS is currently trying to collect $14.8 million from Suncoast Hospice owed to HHS since 1997.
Carla Sauer Iyer, R.N. employed at Palm Gardens of Largo
Convalescent Center from April of 1995 to July 1996 while Terri
Schiavo was a patient there.
Duties included floor nurse supervisor.
Carla’s affidavit is found here, dismissed by Greer as “incredible, to say the least.”
Carolyn Adams, known as “Andy” Adams, LPN at Palm Garden Convalescent Center.
Had disproportionate number of patients die on her shift according
to affidavit of Carla Iyer.
Was very friendly with Michael Schiavo when working at Palm
Heidi Law, Certified Nurse Assitant
Worked at Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center from March, 1997 to mid-summer 1997.
Took care of Terri Schiavo.
Testified orders for rehabilitation were given for Terri Schiavo but that Michael stopped them.
Her affidavit is here:
C. Johnson, LPN at Sabal Gardens nursing home, Largo, FL.
Took care of Terri Schiavo.
Affidavit indicates Michael Schiavo went against doctor’s orders and refused to allow any rehabilitation for Terri.
Affidavit is found here: http://www.terrisfight.net/
Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center, 10500 Starkey Rd., Largo, Florida 33777. (727) 397-8166
Terri Schiavo was a resident there until March 2000.
Part of a chain owned by Florida Convalescent Centers, Inc., 2033 Main St., Suite 300, Sarasota, FL 34237
Everett Rice, former Pinellas County Sheriff, 1988-2004
Became Florida State Representative, District 54 in Nov. 2004
Endorsed Judge George Greer for reelection in campaign ads.
Former board member The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast
Hired Michael Schiavo while Schiavo’s guardianship proceedings were in the courtroom of his long time friend Judge George Greer.
Judge George W. Greer, Sixth Circuit Court Judge for Pinellas
County, elected unopposed in 1992.
Circuit Court, Pinellas County, Probate Division, 315 Court St., Room 484, Clearwater, FL 33756 Fax (727) 464-5471
Friend of Everett Rice, former sheriff of Pinellas County, FL
Former Commissioner of Pinellas County, 1984-1992
Became Terri Schiavo’s caretaker and fact finder under Florida law
(meaning advocate and judge). This would appear to be a conflict.
Judge Greer’s bio is curiously missing from those listed on the sixth circuit website, www.jud6.org.
Repeatedly refused to consider documented evidence of physical abuse.
Patricia Anderson, attorney for the Schindlers.
Filed affidavit saying that [Everett] Rice had told her that he and [Judge George] Greer had discussed the Schiavo case at a ball game the night previous .
Filed motion requesting Greer recuse himself.
When bone scans of Terri Schiavo appeared in 2002 (having been suppressed since 1991 when they were taken) Judge Greer prevented Anderson from investigating the implications of the scan, saying they were irrelevant. The bone scans indicated severe trauma that occured no more than 18 months prior to the date of the scans. (See Dr. William Walker.)
Said on Sean Hannity interview, March 31, 2005 that EMT report on night of Terri Schiavo incident listed it as suspicious and on that basis the sheriff’s department was called to the scene by the EMT. No investigation ever occured. The person who wrote the report has left the area. Another EMT refuses to talk according to Anderson.
In same interview, Anderson said that the bone scans were requested after Terri continually expressed pain during attempts to give her physical therapy. Among the injuries discovered were a broken back near the neck, broken leg bones, broken ribs, and fractures.
Pamela Campbell, attorney.
Represented the Schindlers pro bono (free) in 2000.
Was allegedly requested to take the Schindler’s case by the attorney who represented Michael Schiavo in the malpractice lawsuit (Woodworth) in 1998.
Has serious conflicts of interest, potential ethics violations, and her apparent incompetence in the case is highly suspect. Her “mistake” might well have sealed the fate of Terri Schiavo. Find it all here.
Jackie Rhodes, close friend of Terri Schiavo.
Testified at trial on January 6, 2000
A portion of that testimony is found here.
Dr. Victor Gambone, MD, CMD, Terri Schiavo’s attending physician
His name appeared on a paper stating Terri was PVS (permanent
vegetative state) but it was never signed by him. This was apparently
a fraudulent document.
During a 2002 medical evidentiary hearing, Dr. Victor Gambone
testified that he certified Terri as terminally ill so that she could
be placed in Woodside Hospice. When questioned under oath why, he said
it was because Michael told him to do so.
However, it states on the certificate that it is a verbal
certification, no signature. This would explain comment above. Must
be signed to be valid.
Testified before Judge Greer that Terri Schiavo was not PVS and
was aware of her surroundings.
Greer had asked Gambone to do an evaluation, but rejected his
Gambone reportedly worked for George Felos at Woodside Hospice.
Current president, Florida Medical Directors Association.
Bernie McCabe, elected State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial
District in 1992. Office in Clearwater, FL. Covers Pinellas County.
This is the same district as Judge Greer.
Responsibilities include investigating abuse charges.
Refused to investigate various potential felony charges against
Michael Schiavo in 2003 under statute 825.103.
Has repeatedly refused to intervene in the allegations of the abuse of Terri Schiavo.
McCabe has allegedly been involved in numerous ‘refuse to investigate’ cases. See Mel Sembler.
Dr. Michael Baden, New York forensic pathologist.
Former chief medical examiner for the City of New York
Co-director of the Medicolegal Investigation Unit of the New York
Reversed his view of Terri Schiavo’s condition after examining her
bone scans. Those injuries could have happened, Baden continued, from
“some kind of trauma. The trauma could be from an auto accident, the
trauma could be from a fall, or the trauma could be from some kind of
beating that she obtained from somebody somewhere. It’s something that
should have been investigated in 1991 . . . and maybe [it was] by
police at that time.” (Emphasis added). Source, The Village Voice,
Nov. 14, 2003
Dr. William Campbell Walker, Doctor who did the original bone scan
and the evaluation completed on Mar.5, 1991.
Walker wrote, “This patient has a history of trauma. The presumption is that the other areas of trauma also relate to previous trauma.”
Walker’s deposition is here…http://www.hospicepatients.org/dr-walker-t-schiavo-bone-scan-deposition.txt
Walker indicates in his deposition that trauma injuries had occurred.
Dr. Joel S. Prawer, the doctor Michael Schiavo sued.
The doctor was exonerated of wrongdoing but settled at the insistence of his insurance company.
Dr. Prawer turned over all his records relating the case to the Department of Health. They reviewed his case and found him innocent of wrongdoing and malpractice. Subsequent to this finding all records relating to this case were destroyed by the Dept. of Health (DOH).
Mitchell Turner, a Florida Dept. of Children and Families investigator.
Reported alleged felony abuse, neglect, and exploitation of Terri Schiavo. This report was the conclusion of a 60 Day investigation in Nov. and Dec. 2001.
The report was suppressed by the Department’s legal division.
Dr. Stanton Tripodis, enlisted by Michael Schiavo to provide services for Terri.
Has five previous malpractice suits against him.
Case no. 97007946C1 filed 11-25-97
Case no. 94003739C1 filed 6-27-94
Case no. 95000873C1 filed 2-14-95
Case no. 96001434C1 filed 3-6-96
Case no. 98002289C1 filed 4-7-98
Jerger & Centonze Insurance Agency, Inc., 2807 Marrie Ct.,
Agency possibly purchased as part of The Jerger Co., Inc., Pinellas Park,
FL by Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp. for $40 million, 1999.
Michael R. Schiavo listed as a director in 2002, with same address as above.
Corp. listed as inactive.
This address is listed as owned by Jodi A. Centonze in Pinellas County appraisers records.
Note: Richard M. Jerger, Jr., stockholder in Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp, sold 2902 shares of stock in July,2001 for $102,933… put this in the ‘for what it’s worth’ department.
Senator Jim King, originally upheld the passage of “Terri’s Law.” (S 12 E)
Board member of Woodside Hospice
Received campaign contributions from Richard M. Jerger, Jr., of Jerger & Centonze Insurance. (Mr. Jerger lived in a different district).
Called his support of Terri’s Law “The Terri Schiavo vote that I made was probably one of the worst votes that I’ve ever done”
Bishop Robert N. Lynch, Terri’s Catholic bishop.
According to the Catholic Advocate and others, The legal counsel for both the St. Petersburg and Venice Diocese is DiVito and Higham. Allegedly, Joseph DiVito is a personal friend of Bishop Lynch. The law firm contributed $500 to the re-election campaign of Judge Greer.
Issued a statement criticized by other Catholic organizations.
UPDATE: If you haven’t seen Title of Liberty’s work in making a graphical representation of many of these connections, check it out.
Posted by Taste of Liberty | 7:33 am |
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what some may say, is an effort to destroy the star witness. We point you to the “Cast of Characters” so you can see the web of people and […]
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o cared for Terri Schiavo at Palm Gardens of Largo Convalescent Center in Largo, Fl. (See Cast of Characters.) Law took care of Terri Schiavo from March […]
Pingback by Myopic Zeal :: Judge Greer… Incompetent or Worse! CNA Heidi Law Speaks Out. — March 26, 2005 @ 1:17 pm
n, and posted a cast of characters and the confusing tangled web of connection they weave, here. And on a related note, Thoughtomation asks some interest […]
Pingback by Myopic Zeal :: Corruption, Conflict of Interest in Schiavo Case — March 27, 2005 @ 1:47 pm
okmark it if you like. To help you get started with your research let me refer you to the Cast of Characters which you may also want to bookmark since it […]
Pingback by Myopic Zeal :: What Was the Motive of Judge Greer? — March 27, 2005 @ 9:48 pm
Cast of characters
Myopic Zeal has done a tremendous amount of research into who each of the cast of characters in Terri’s case are (thanks for the trackback, Myopic Zeal!) Please visit Myopic Zeal :: Cast of Characters in the Schiavo Case to read the entire list–agai…
Posted by: Devaughan at April 4, 2005 12:57 PM