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The Guardian (Terri Schiavo Alert!)
Daily Standard ^ | November 4, 2003 | Wesley J. Smith

Posted on 11/05/2003 4:31:40 PM PST by NYer

THE TERRI SCHIAVO CASE continues to take dramatic twists and turns. Even as Michael Schiavo attempts to have Terri's Law declared unconstitutional, pursuant to the law's requirements, a judge has appointed a guardian ad litem--Professor Jay Wolfson, of the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida in Tampa--to represent Terri's interests.

There has been some confusion as to whether Wolfson replaces Terri's quasi-estranged husband Michael Schiavo as guardian of Terri's person. (I use the term "quasi-estranged" because Schiavo effectively shattered the sanctity their marriage years ago by entering a committed relationship with another woman and starting a family with her.) He does not. Wolfson's sole responsibilities are to determine whether Terri should be allowed a swallow test, whether she should be provided rehabilitation, and to write a report with his recommendations about these matters--all within 30 days. In the meantime, Schiavo remains fully in control over Terri' life and care (or the lack thereof)--with the exception that he cannot, for now, remove her tube-supplied food and water.

A little known but interesting facet of this case is that Wolfson is not the first guardian ad litem appointed to represent Terri's interests. When Schiavo first petitioned the court for permission to dehydrate his wife in 1998, he properly admitted that he had two significant conflicts of interest: He was likely to want to remarry and if Terri died, he would inherit the more than $700,000 then on deposit in her trust account. (For those who have not followed this case, Terri received the money in a medical malpractice lawsuit.)

Because of these conflicts of interest, the Probate Court appointed Richard L. Pearse Jr. of Clearwater, Florida, as Terri's guardian ad litem and instructed him to investigate the matter and report back with a recommendation. Pearse filed his report with the court on December 28, 1998 urging that the court deny the petition to remove Terri's food and water.

Considering that the Pearse's report was written long before the Schiavo case became an international cause celebre, it makes interesting reading. The guardian ad litem supported Schiavo's position on some points and the Schindlers on others. The following are its pertinent portions:

*Pearse unambiguously accepted the diagnosis that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) based on the opinions of two doctors, one who treated her and one who consulted on the case. This diagnoses was--and remains-- disputed by Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. Indeed, subsequent to Pearse's report, the Schindlers energetically attempted to garner evidence that she is conscious. To some degree, they have succeeded: Four board certified neurologists, two board certified internists, one neuro-psychologist, and two speech pathologists have testified in person or by affidavit that Terri is not PVS. These opinions were reinforced by the affidavits of three nurses who cared for Terri in the mid-1990s and who claim to have observed her being interactive. Moreover, millions have viewed videos of Terri and been shocked by the extent to which she appears to aware and awake. (The courts have ruled consistently that Terri is PVS.)

*Pearse claimed that Terri has muscle contractures despite receiving "regular physical therapy." He may have assumed that she received such care--it is routine for bedridden patients, after all. Yet, according to Patricia Anderson, the Schindler's attorney, there are no entries indicating that PT was ever performed in Terri's chart after 1992. Indeed, in 1998, when a new doctor urged Schiavo to approve an evaluation of Terri so that a plan of physical therapy could be developed, he refused to permit it.

*Pearse confirmed the charge by the Schindlers that once the medical malpractice money was in the bank, Schiavo began to refuse medical treatment for Terri, writing:

After February 1993, Mr. Schiavo's attitude concerning treatment for the ward apparently changed. Early in 1994, for example, he refused to consent to treat an infection from which the ward was then suffering and ordered that she not be resuscitated in the event of cardiac arrest. The nursing home where she resided at that time sought to intervene, which ultimately led the ward's husband to reverse his decision and authorize antibiotic treatment.

Perhaps because of the intervention by the home, Schiavo soon moved Terri to a different nursing facility.

*Schiavo admitted to the guardian ad litem that he had at least "two romantic involvements" after Terri's collapse. "It is apparent to me," Pearse wrote the court, "that he has reached a point that he has no hope of the ward's recovery and wants to get on with his own life." (To say the least. At the time of Pearse's investigation, Schiavo was already living with the woman who would become the mother of his children.)

*Contrary to Schiavo's allegation on Larry King last week that the Schindlers "really basically didn't have any care with Terri," Pearse painted a vivid picture of parents worried deeply about the quality of care their daughter was receiving and profoundly committed to remaining involved in her life:

From the time of the ward's accident, the ward's parents have been vitally interested in her welfare . . . After the falling out between the ward's parents and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Schindler pursued removal litigation in an effort to have Mr. Schiavo removed as their daughter's guardian and to have themselves appointed guardians of her person . . . They have also pursued litigation against him to gain access to medical and financial information concerning the ward which was withheld by the ward's husband, with only partial success. They express extreme frustration with the current situation in which they have virtually no input into the decision making process concerning their own daughter. The ward's parents visit her regularly but at times when they won't have to confront Mr. Schiavo.

Moreover, rather than the Schindlers not being interested in seeing Terri, as was asserted on Larry King, Pearse noted that it was Schiavo who "has isolated the ward from her parents."

*As of April 4, 1998, Terri's trust fund held $713,828.85. "Thus," wrote Pearse, "Mr. Schiavo will realize a substantial and fairly immediate financial gain if his application for withdrawal of life support [tube-supplied food and water] is granted." (Schiavo now claims that there is only $50,000 left in the account, the bulk of the money having gone to pay his attorneys.)

*At the time of the report, only Schiavo claimed that Terri would not wish to be kept alive if severely incapacitated. "However," Pearse opined, "his credibility is necessarily adversely affected by the obvious financial benefit to him of being the ward's sole heir at law in the event of her death while still married to him. Her death also permits him to get on with his own life." (Subsequent to the filing of the report, and perhaps in response to it, Schiavo's brother and sister-in-law came forward to claim Terri made similar statements in their presence. In this regard it is worth noting that no member of Terri's family, or any of her friends, recall her ever making any such statements to them.)

*Pearse concluded, "Given the inherent problems already mentioned, together with the fact that the ward has been maintained the life support measures sought to be withdrawn for the past 8 years, it is the recommendation of the guardian ad litem that the petition for removal be denied."

UNFORTUNATELY, Pearse's opinion held scant sway with the court. After filing his report, he requested further court instructions to authorize him to continue to represent Terri as guardian ad litem. Schiavo's attorney, George Felos objected, and attempted to have Pearse removed for bias. This attempt failed but after his report was received, Pearse was discharged from participating any further in the case. And despite Schiavo's continuing conflicts of interest--which only deepened on the personal level as he sired children--no other guardian ad litem was ever appointed to represent Terri during the years of litigation, proceedings that culminated in an October 15, 2003 court order requiring Terri Schiavo to be deprived of all water and food toward the end that she dehydrate to death.

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and an attorney for the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. His current book is the updated and revised "Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder."


TOPICS: Canada; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: adlitem; courts; euthanasia; schiavo; schindler; terri; terrischiavo; tslist
*Pearse confirmed the charge by the Schindlers that once the medical malpractice money was in the bank, Schiavo began to refuse medical treatment for Terri.
1 posted on 11/05/2003 4:31:41 PM PST by NYer
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To: luv2lurkhere; Budge; floriduh voter; summer; Coleus; amom; ruoflaw; submarine; cpforlife.org; ...
UNFORTUNATELY, Pearse's opinion held scant sway with the court

TERRI SCHIAVO PING! – let me know if you want on/off this ping list


2 posted on 11/05/2003 4:33:45 PM PST by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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To: NYer
Greer is between a rock and a hard place ... he has ignored the cliamed conflicts of interest over a decade now, yet he has just rejected Felos's request that the Schindler's accusations of MS's unfit status as guardian be ruled upon. Perhaps the judge has found his way out of this quagmire ... find on the facts that MS is an unfit guardian and remove his claims, thus dumping the entire case in Demer's lap.
3 posted on 11/05/2003 4:42:08 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: NYer
have you seen this?????

Round #1 Judge votes FOR Terri.
Just got off the phone with Bay9 News asking them to pleae put Jusge Geerres runling on the internet because a lot of people outside of Florida are interested in this case today. I spoke with a nice young woman in the newsroom and she said they will have it on the internet in about an hour.

She read me what the AP Reporters posted jsut 10 minutes ago, and then she also explained it to me.

The Schindlers, Terri's parents have a case open to dismiss, HINO (Husband In Name Only) Michael as Terri's legal guardian. HINO's lawyers brought a motion before Judge Geere to Dismiss the parents lawsuite.

Today the jusdge said, "Michael, no way am I going to dismiss their lawsuite, furthermore you need to come back into court and answer two of their claims. Tell the court #1 how you have provided good medical care for her, #2 why you don't have a conflict of interest because you are fooling around with another woman."

I'll find the AP Wire and post it here. Just wanted to get this good news out ASAP. The newsroom person, and she was more the rporter or supervisor type, not a secretary type, responded very positivly to me when I said that in this country we can't go around starving peopel to death that the first amendment to the constituition says we ALL have the right to LIFE, Liberty and teh pursuit of happiness. LIFE is the #1 inalianable right we have. I mentioned what midwext state I am form and she seemed very much in agreement with me. she said, "I hear ya" especially when I said what a turd her husband is. I didn't bend her ear to much, but I did let he know that they have to provide the news on the internet and that this is NOT jsut a Florida issue. ;The whole country is watching. More after I find the AP wire

77 posted on 11/05/2003 4:55 PM EST by Lone Voice in the hinterlands
4 posted on 11/05/2003 4:42:39 PM PST by tutstar
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To: NYer
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1015587/posts

thread with article...
5 posted on 11/05/2003 4:43:46 PM PST by tutstar
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To: All
Please freep this poll for Terri:

http://www.wftv.com/news/2614426/detail.html
6 posted on 11/05/2003 4:44:31 PM PST by 4Godsoloved..Hegave (Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:)
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To: NYer
Looks like its gonna be CYA with Greer, and the end to this madness is in sight.

Greer is guilty of gross misconduct all thru this.

He elected or appointed?
7 posted on 11/05/2003 4:48:15 PM PST by Stopislamnow (It will be too late when we're all dead. And the way our government is going, it'll be soon.)
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To: tutstar
Thank you!! SweetLiberty has posted that thread. She is managing ALL of the Terri Schiavo threads ... excellent news!
8 posted on 11/05/2003 4:49:45 PM PST by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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To: NYer
:(
9 posted on 11/05/2003 4:50:12 PM PST by JustPiper (18 out of 19 HiJacker's had State issued Driver's License's !!!)
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To: tutstar
hehehe, I have a parakeet named tootster.
10 posted on 11/05/2003 4:55:18 PM PST by meanie monster (hooked on phonics werked for me.)
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To: Stopislamnow
Elected-sort of.
Up for a retention vote next year.
I sincerely hope he is thrown out of power.
One rational judgement does not mitigate his abysmal past rulings in this case.
11 posted on 11/05/2003 4:59:16 PM PST by sarasmom (Pray for TerriSchiavo. Everything I post is my opinion, unless otherwise stipulated.)
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To: meanie monster
LOL is it blonde??????
12 posted on 11/05/2003 5:01:38 PM PST by tutstar
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To: sarasmom
Elected-sort of

emphasis on the "SORT-OF"
13 posted on 11/05/2003 5:02:43 PM PST by tutstar
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To: NYer
She is managing ALL of the Terri Schiavo threads ... excellent news!


yes, I know and I'm so glad she took it upon herself...I was getting lost in so many threads, and even trying to find info I posted was getting to be a monumental task....

I just wanted to make sure you saw Greer's task for Michael...would love to have seen that boy's face.
14 posted on 11/05/2003 5:05:31 PM PST by tutstar
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To: NYer
I wish some wealthy philanthropist would dangle a million bucks in front of Schiavo's face, just to see how quickly he would give up his precious cause in return for it.
15 posted on 11/05/2003 5:56:06 PM PST by Agnes Heep
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To: tutstar
How do I find where she is managing all the threads?
I get lost a lot.
16 posted on 11/05/2003 6:08:41 PM PST by yesnettv (We need to decide to save Terri's life. I did.)
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To: MHGinTN
Perhaps the judge has found his way out of this quagmire ... find on the facts that MS is an unfit guardian and remove his claims, thus dumping the entire case in Demer's lap.

I'd think the easiest course of action would be to dismiss Michael as guardian on the basis of his lewd and lacivious behavior with Jodi. He could do so without having to contradict any of his earlier findings. Any "privacy" issues regarding Michael's lewd and lacivious behavior would have gone out the window when he talked about them on national television.

17 posted on 11/05/2003 6:11:12 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: tutstar
He is blue, hehehe, He is tooting away on his swing at this moment.
18 posted on 11/05/2003 6:12:10 PM PST by meanie monster (hooked on phonics werked for me.)
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To: yesnettv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1015038/posts

this is the new thread.....reply to post 1 and ask sweetliberty to add you to the ping list....then you'll be found and not lost...LOL
19 posted on 11/05/2003 7:26:45 PM PST by tutstar
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To: NYer
Oh my gosh! WHY, doesn't some news person publish this account and show the complete disregard of this report by judge Greer?!
20 posted on 11/05/2003 7:38:37 PM PST by tuckrdout (grant Terri Schindler Schiavo's wish: DIVORCE from Michael!)
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To: tutstar
Please freep this poll for Terri:

http://www.wftv.com/news/2614426/detail.html


Just did it and we're up - - 56%. Freepers, let's get this number up over 60% within the next hour, OK?

A huge BUMP for Terri and her family!
21 posted on 11/05/2003 9:30:01 PM PST by slym
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To: Stopislamnow
"Greer is guilty of gross misconduct all thru this.

Yes he is. The man is legally blind. No kidding. He can not read the briefs, nor see the video of Terri reacting! In this case, I believe his handicap has prevented him from being fair. He is all about trying to cover up his failings. He thinks more of his own reputation than this poor girl's life.

22 posted on 11/05/2003 9:30:17 PM PST by tuckrdout (grant Terri Schindler Schiavo's wish: DIVORCE from Michael!)
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To: slym
slym i just did it too

Yes 494 41%
No 679 56%
Not sure 31 3%

http://www.wftv.com/news/2614426/detail.html
23 posted on 11/05/2003 10:12:03 PM PST by Chocolate Rose
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To: yesnettv; sweetliberty
How do I find where she is managing all the threads?

Freepmail SweetLiberty to have her add your name to her ping list. Here is where she gathers all of the daily threads.

TERRI SCHIAVO DAILY THREAD

24 posted on 11/05/2003 11:18:27 PM PST by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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To: NYer
Thanks for the Ping!
25 posted on 11/06/2003 1:04:17 PM PST by ruoflaw
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To: NYer
Right, and Michael Evil has long ago gotten on with his life.

He should release his perverted hold on Terri so that she may get on with hers.
26 posted on 11/07/2003 2:47:46 PM PST by freekitty
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