March 24, 2005

The Final Word? Not.


The Supreme Court has just refused to interfere in the Schiavo case, for the fifth time. The whole thing, part and parcel, goes back to Florida, where Jeb Bush has promised to do "everything in his power" to keep Terri alive, and the case lands back on the desk of Judge Greer.

Twenty court rulings have sided with Michael Schiavo over the last seven years. The Florida Department of Children and Families under Governor Jeb Bush now has a doctor who, on petitioned examination of Terri's medical records (but not Terri herself) says that Terri is not in a persistent vegetative state, but is, instead, in a state of minimal consciousness, very different from PVS. Additionally, the Florida DCF is alleging thirty counts of abuse and or neglect against Mike Schiavo, in light of what the Schindler's lawyer calls "shocking new developments". Schiavo himself has, as of yet, no comment.

God, what a mess. I can honestly say that I have no idea who's telling the truth in this situation. Does the husband want to murder his wife? Is he an evil prick? Are the parents simply emotionally overwrought and clinging, against the patient's wishes, to the damaged shell of a being who wanted to be at one with her Maker a long time ago?

I'm happily, easily asserting that I don't know.

UPDATED: Governor of Florida Jeb Bush has filed a request to take custody of Terri Schiavo.

And, another note - what the hell is it with Florida and the courts, man?

Posted by Queenie at March 24, 2005 10:37 AM

I think that the fact that they "suddenly" found a doctor claiming a different dx, and abuse is bogus as hell. If there was abuse involved, it would have been reported much, much sooner, by any number of caregivers where she's been at.

Posted by: helllonwheeels at March 24, 2005 12:25 PM

Hellonwheels, several caregivers DID report abuse Years ago, and they were fired from their positions for doing so. In THREE separate facilities. Judge Greer refused to allow thier affidavits as testimony, but did allow M.S's simply stating that "his wife wouldn't want to live" as the basis for his findings.

The foremost expert (a Nobel Prize nominee) in the field of brain trauma has spent a total of over ten hours in direct contact with Terri, and many more hours reviewing the medical records, and he states that Terri is in a state more akin to Cerebral Palsy than PVS, and that even at this late date could significantly improve with the proper rehabilitative care.

Michael Schiavo has refused to allow any diagnostic tests that could put to rest just WHAT state Terri is in. To base a diagnosis of PVS simply on an x-ray SHOULD have raised warning flags in the court, but It seems that Judge Greer is following his own agenda.

At the VERY least, there are far too many unanswered questions to condemn an innocent woman to such a horrible form of death.

Posted by: delftsman3 at March 24, 2005 02:19 PM


You're right, I think. There have been serious questions raised that have not been answered. One has to wonder why the one judge refuses to let the records out.

One thing I do know, when it comes to the legal system, a judge will develope tunnel vision like no other. If the process was fair and legally sound, nothing else matters. It's one of the reasons that you have so many convicted criminals that have been proven innocent but a judge will refuse to act because they had a "fair" trial.

Posted by: Daniel at March 24, 2005 03:49 PM

I found this report by a Guardian Ad Litem (appointed by Gov. Bush after signing "Terri's Law" in 2003) very -- VERY -- enlightening.

I haven't gotten to his conclusion, yet, but he describes, in great detail, the case history.

Wolfson Report.PDF

In fact, Matt of Abstract Appeal has a very informative site regarding this case; he appears to be as impartial as he can be.

Posted by: Margi at March 24, 2005 04:14 PM

Margi, excellent recommendation. The Wolfson report is one of the main documents that helped me form my opinion on the matter, and continues to help me drown out the persistent rumor and urban legend with reference to the case that the GAL refers to as "a toxic cloud".

There is NO evidence that Michael tried to kill Theresa. There is NO evidence that she has been refused care. There is NO evidence that we have a "crooked" judge. Mike Schiavo hasn't touched money in trust for Theresa's care. A lot of this shitstorm is simply that - a lot of shit.

I think if more people would read the report of an independent, disinterested party, it would lay a lot of this to rest.

I hate to think of that poor girl starving to death, whether she's conscious of it or not. But, like I keep saying, the fact that this is the only legal option is a completely different discussion.

Posted by: Queenie at March 24, 2005 04:51 PM

Strangely, I have zero interest in this story, at least insofar as the ethics involved. I would think, if she were cognitive, though, she would be screaming "Kill me!" Know I would.

Other than that I think starvation by dehydration is barbaric. Poppies will make her sleep...

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