Skip to comments.Terri's Fight - (Daily Thread/Updates) November 8 -10
Posted on 11/07/2003 7:54:47 PM PST by sweetliberty
Link to article on Michael Schiavo from hometown newspaper, information on death by starvation and dehydration, information on hospice eligibility and hospice and medicare/medicaid fraud, e-mail address for Judge Greer, transcript of Larry King Live interview with Michael Schiavo and George Felos, Terri's address at the hospice and the address for the foundation, to send cards for Terri's birthday (December 3), transcript of O'Reilly interview with Kate Adamson, e-mail addresses for Florida legislature, transcript of Abrams Report interview with George Felos and Pam Anderson, transcription of Terri's bone scan, legalese for dummies version of Gov. Bush's motion to dismiss Sciavo's suit against the Constitutionality of Terri's Law, link to FatherOfLiberty's research on HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy), links to ACLJ involvement in Schiavo case and Father Rob Johansen's daily update.
There are four other relevant posts that I want to highlight here in case anyone missed them or didn't get pinged. These are a general Terri thread troll alert, an especially thoughtful post about the sincere effort that FReepers are making in Terri's behalf, the Father's Love Letter , and remarks made by Jim Robinson on this issue and reposted here by lonevoice.
This thread serves as a place for posting all new general information and references, along with links following Terri's case, plus information on cable news and talk radio shows dealing with the issue, court cases and press releases. This is also the place to post contact information, prayers and general discussion.
If you have something that qualifies as BREAKING NEWS or FRONT PAGE NEWS, please post it on a separate thread in that category in order to give it maximum exposure and then post a link to the article/thread here so that it will be included in the next update of links. Also, if you post links to articles from original sources and there is also a thread on FR, please link to the FR thread. Many original links become corrupt over time and we want to be able to access the information at will.
There was a tremendous amount of information posted on the previous thread. For anyone who hasn't been following the daily threads, links to relevant posts and information from the previous thread are contained in the body of the present one. I have found that very helpful in trying to find something later. You people are doing a spectacular job of getting information out and also in helping to keep all of us updated here. What a great joint effort. This fight, to me, illustrates beautifully what Free Republic is about and what it means to be a FReeper. Way to go FRiends. Keep up the good work!
Pro-Life Group Questions 'Quality of Life' Premise in Schiavo Case
Judge Lets Parents Challenge Custody of Terri Schiavo
Dean blasts governor over Schiavo case
Husband Must Defend His Guardianship of Terri Schiavo
Judge Bans Terri Schiavo's Parents From Legal Battle
Dean 'Appalled' That Florida Lawmakers Saved Schiavo
A Woman's Life Versus an Inept Press (Nat Hentoff on Terri Schiavo
Terri Schiavo Case: Gov. Bush Asks To Meet New Guardian
Terri Schiavo Case: Creditable Witnesses & the 1st Guardian
Judge Rejects Bush Effort in Schiavo Case
Saving Terri's Life: What's Wrong with the "Right to Die" > by Rus Cooper Dowda
> > In 1990, Terri Schiavo's heart suddenly stopped. Before she could be > revived, her brain was damaged and she slipped into a comalike state. In > early October, the latest hearing began to determine the 38-year-old woman's > fate.
> > New Treatment is "Pointless"
> > Her parents and their doctors say Terri is responsive and deserves to live. > Her husband, who has just had a daughter by the woman to which he is now > engaged, wants Terri to die.
> > Terri received a $700,000 malpractice award in the early 1990s (doctors > hadn't done enough to diagnose the potassium deficiency that led to her > heart attack); husband Michael has been paying his legal fees out of it in > his fight to end her life. If she dies, as her husband (he has never filed > for divorce) he will receive whatever funds are left.
> > Michael Schiavo says Terri is brain dead. He wants to remove her feeding > tube and end her life. Her parents maintain that their daughter smiles, > turns her head, vocalizes and tracks with her eyes. They say she would > improve with treatment.
> > To date, the husband has refused to OK antibiotics or dental work - "Her > teeth are fine; she doesn't eat," he has said. She has not had physical, > occupational, recreational or speech therapy for years. She has not had a > mammogram or pap smear for four years. When a complete physical was ordered > for her in preparation for the current hearing, a urinary tract infection > was discovered.
> > The major issue involved in this round of the fight for her life is what is > meant by "new" treatment. The hubby says it means untried, pointless care. > The parents say they want the kind of care she hasn't gotten yet.
> > The husband's doctors maintain that she does not feel pain, yet have > prescribed pain medication for her - to make the nurses feel better, they > say. Terri's moaning and crying is only primitive brain stem activity, it's > said.
> > When she smiles at her mother coming in the room, it's just primitive stem > cell activity, say the doctors hired by Michael.
> > I attended the hearing in Clearwater, Florida to determine whether Terri > Schiavo should have her feeding tube removed. She is stable. She is not > terminally ill.
> > The hardest part of that first day was watching videos of Terri. "That could > have been me," I thought.
> > On one of the videos, a doctor asks Terri to open her eyes as widely as she > can. While she was doing this on tape, I looked around the courtroom. > Everybody in the courtroom was doing the same widening action ...including > the husband, his attorney, the sheriffs and the judge himself.
> > In the videotape of Terri, she is responding to doctors and family. > Sometimes she is responding to music. Frequently she can be seen clearly > responding to spoken requests to move parts of her body.
> > A snip of the tape was shown on Tampa's ABC-TV affiliate: At its end, the > news anchor said, "I guess it seems a matter of semantics, but it doesn't > look like a coma."
> > Cheap Sensationalism?
> > Throughout the hearing, Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, has been > trying to get doctors to agree that Terri is not "with it" enough to be > allowed to continue her life. One of the doctors seemed to consider message > boards a rare thing, and claimed to have never heard of the most famous > computerized message board user of all - Stephen Hawking. While examining > Terri's videotaped interaction with her mother, he had to be asked twice to > please look at his monitor, and to put his glasses back on so he could see > his screen clearly.
> > And Ronald Cranford, a Minnesota neurologist known for his involvement in > so-called "right-to-die" cases, seemed content to testify about the tapes > without having viewed them.
> > Watching his own videotaped exam of Terri, I heard him first declare the > woman could not hear him, and then giving her a series of very fast verbal > commands. I've had neurological exams myself, but have never experienced one > as physically brutal as the one I watched Terri received on Cranford's > videotape. He clumsily poked, prodded, thumped, shoved and pinched her - she > DID seem to pull away when he approached her, he testified. He thunked her > hard between the eyebrows. She moaned. That was not a pain response, > Cranford told the court.
> > On viewing a large photo of Terri and her mother joyously greeting, Cranford > maintained Terri could not be recognizing her mother. It was only an > "involuntary subcortical response," he said. The photo was "cheap > sensationalism," he insisted.
> > Should the court base its decision as to whether Terri lives or dies on a > nose count, asked Ms. Pat Anderson, attorney for Terri's parents, in her > closing argument. No; credibility of the medical experts who'd testified was > the key, she said.
> > Intellectual Disconnection
> > Yet none of those saying Terri should die had any patients like Terri, she > told the court, nor did they - by their own testimony - keep up on advances > in rehabilitation. Anderson reminded the court that Terri's current > attending physician has for years spent only spent ten minutes with her > every four months.
> > What about the "untried" therapies for Terri? Much of the therapy Terri's > parents want for her, Anderson said, has been standard therapy for a good > while - but somehow never for Terri.
> > The experts speaking against Terri, she said, practiced an "intellectual > disconnection" that filtered Terri's humanity through the sieve of what > people with such disabilities are not expected to be able to do. "Is it fair > or equitable to keep saying that we are not going to help you because 'you > have brain damage'?" she asked the court.
> > "Terri has shown us her spirit and tried as hard as she can under the > circumstances to say, 'I'M STILL HERE!'
> > After the hearing, I reflected. Those videotapes of Terri interacting with > her environment had been both good and sad to see. Physicians who current > treat people with disabilities like Terri - and everyone else in the > courtroom - can clearly see her voluntary responses - to balloons, pain and > humor. If you are fortunate enough to have a loving relationship with your > mother, then it is very easy to see the love that passes between mother and > adult child when Terri's mother enters the room.
> > The other side says that what we are seeing is merely an uncontrolled brain > stem reflex - that just coincidentally happens every time she sees her > mother.
> > Terri has never been given standard speech and communication therapy to > enable her to tell us what she thinks. Because of that, she has lost the > speech she is said to have had even after her injury. Now that same lack of > therapy is being used against her.
> > The judge will wait until Thanksgiving to announce whether Terri lives or > dies.
> > (Editor's Note: Judge George Greer of the 6th Judicial Circuit Court in > Clearwater, Fla., has just ruled that Terri "has no hope of recovery" and > that her feeding tube should therefore be removed on January 3. Attorneys > for Terri's parents plan to file a notice of appeal and a motion for a stay > of Greer's ruling pending the appeal.) > > Rus Cooper-Dowda is a minister and freelance writer in St. Petersburg, > Florida.
And who do we suppose filed the motion to do this and argued it in court? Would it perhaps be the very lawyer who billed for $380,000 of Terri's rehab money?
By Susan Brinkmann
"They're calling her the 'Iron Lady,'" said Mary Schindler said about her daughter, Terri Schindler-Schiavo, who narrowly escaped death last week when the Florida legislature voted to overturn a court order to withdraw the woman's feeding tube. "It's unbelievable how well she did throughout the ordeal," Mrs. Schindler said.
"Even the doctors were amazed at how hydrated she stayed. Her skin was so good. I honesty believe it was all the prayers. The people outside the hospice came from all over the country. They stayed here night and day." One could hear a remnant of the acute anxiety this mother must have felt during those six days when her helpless daughter was slowly starving to death.
"I'm just glad they're feeding her again," Mrs. Schindler said often during the conversation. "She looks good. Her face is filling out. I just hope she's okay." Thus far there seems to be no lasting damage from the forced starvation Terri endured for more than a week, but the family's battle for her life is far from over. "The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) jumped in on the other side over the weekend. This is not over by a long shot," Mrs. Schindler said.
"We need an investigation. There's just so much that we don't have answers for. We still don't know why Terri passed out that night. She didn't have a heart attack. Two doctors have said that -- one of ours and one of theirs. There's a reason why she passed out, and we've got to find out."
This is only one of many questions that have never been answered in this case.
Why did Michael Schiavo keep his wife's medical records sealed for 10 years? Why did he refuse to allow her even the most minor rehabilitation, even though he won tens of thousands of dollars in a medical malpractice lawsuit that was supposed to be used for exactly this purpose?
These suspicions were only reinforced during the six-day long starvation, when Michael Schiavo ordered his wife's body cremated immediately after her death and denied the family access to their dying daughter.
He even refused to allow a priest to give her the last rites. Such cold-hearted behavior has not endeared him to the American public and forced him to make an appearance on CNN's Larry King Live to help bolster his image.
During the interview, Schiavo repeatedly accused the Schindlers of wanting money and that by pulling his wife's feeding tube, he was only following her wishes, something that he admits no one can prove because she left no living will.
CNN ran the video of Terri interacting with her mother several times during the show and even Larry King appeared less than convinced that she was in a persistent vegetative state.
Schiavo and his attorney, George Felos, insisted the tape was four hours long and was edited to show only those moments when Terri appeared to respond. However, the credibility of this argument was completely destroyed when Larry King offered to independently videotape Terri and was turned down flat.
Felos, a right-to-die, activist who has handled almost a dozen euthanasia cases in the last 10 years, proceeded to read from the reports of several doctors who believed Terri was in a vegetative state.
What he never told the viewing public was that there is an equally long list of notable doctors who disagree with the diagnosis that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state.
In fact, the medical profession itself admits this state is commonly misdiagnosed.
In a study published in the June 1991 Archives of Neurology, it was found that of 84 patients with a firm diagnosis of PVS, 58 percent recovered consciousness within three years.
Some patients who recovered said they were aware and emotionally responsive to everything going on around them, even though they were unable to communicate.
Several doctors appeared with the Schindler family in an Oct. 24 press conference, one of whom, Dr. William Hammesfahr, is a nationally recognized expert on PVS and a Nobel prize nominee.
He said that Terri's eyes were clearly able to fixate on her family and that she tried to follow simple voice commands from her parents. "She looks at you, she can follow commands," Hammesfahr said during the press conference. "This is a case about a judicial system making an error."
Felos and Schiavo have paid little or no attention to any facts that are unsupportive of their position and have remained determined to end Terri's life.
In fact, when the Florida state legislature issued the Oct. 21 order to reinsert Terri's feeding tube, the first thing Schiavo and Felos did was file a motion with Circuit Court Judge George Greer to ask for an injunction to overturn the order.
Greer refused on technical grounds, and Felos refiled with State Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird, who also refused it.
Felos now has five days to file additional arguments in a revised petition to overturn the order.
These last-minute efforts to halt the feeding caused confusion at Woodside Hospice, where Terri was staying. An executive order from the governor's office was received by both fax and official delivery, yet hospice workers claimed there was no medical staff available to reinsert the tube.
Terri was then rushed by ambulance to Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, where the medical staff again refused to comply, but this time they made their reasons known because they had been threatened with litigation by Michael Schiavo's attorneys if any medical care was given to Terri.
The hospital had to be repeatedly told that they must either comply with the governor's order or risk losing their funding. At 9:30 p.m., approximately four hours after the order was issued, Terri Schiavo began to be rehydrated. Michael Schiavo at first refused visitation to Terri's family, not allowing them to see her until the following day. By then, he had clandestinely removed her from the hospital and returned her to the hospice.
This occurred only hours after the Schindlers' attorney, Pat Anderson, expressed fears that Michael would remove Terri from the hospital before her condition was medically stabilized, something he has done in the past.
Anderson was not surprised when she heard he had done exactly that. "She should be in intensive care at the hospital," Anderson told LifeSite news, "but the fact is, Michael's her guardian, and if he withdraws his consent for them to treat her, there's nothing they can do. Their hands are tied. This tells you a lot about him."
She pointed out that it was precisely this kind of behavior that makes the appointment of a new legal guardian so crucial. "We've got to have a guardian ad litem to put a stop to that kind of high jinks because [Michael's] primary objective is to kill her."
"Terri's Bill," the legislation passed by the Florida legislature, included instructions for the court to appoint a guardian ad litem for Terri who would oversee legal matters in the case. The appointment has to be acceptable to both Schiavo and the Schindlers. Thus far, the two sides have not agreed, which allows the court to appoint its choice, Dr. Jay Wolfson, a professor of health and law at Stetson University in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Schindlers oppose him because he has already made his opinions known about the Terri Schiavo case.
Her medical care, however, remains in the hands of Michael Schiavo, a man who has consistently denied her rehabilitation for 13 years.
October 23, 2003
Catholic Standard & Times
Still, it is best not to flame them because we should always err on the side of caution. Once or twice a century, one of them might wake up and see the light.
"Rev. Rus Cooper-Dowda, a minister, journalist, and free-lance writer in the St. Petersburg area, takes this case personally as well as politically.
"In 1985, my situation was much like Terri's. The hospital staff and my (ex) husband had written me off as being as good as dead, as someone who would never regain any kind of 'meaningful' function. Since then, I've earned a Master's degree and had a son. Having a son would have surprised them, too, since those same physicians had earlier pronounced me sterile."
Ending Life Support: Who Decides?
Aired May 30, 2001 - 15:00 ET
JEFF ECKERT, ATTORNEY FOR SCHINDLER FAMILY: Well, I need to say something about what Mr. Felos said. First of all, she's not on artificial life support. She's not comatose. She's not TVS (ph). She's alert, cognitive and responds to those she knows and cares about.
He talks about going to trial. She had no attorney to represent her. He says these allegations that have come forward after and since we've gotten in this case in the last month, they're not allegations. They're sworn testimony found in the court file. He says they took depositions and disputed that. They took one deposition. The deposition of the witness supported our position that there was no such discussion between Michael Schiavo and his client, and he has not taken depositions as though there are more than one. She is on no tubes, not feeding. She is not artificial.
The court had nobody to dispute her situation with respect to an attorney to cross-examine him. And the appellate court relied upon the record as it was. It's always his mantra, Mr. Schiavo's and Mr. Felos', to carry out Terri's wishes. That's baloney. His client and he want to say to Michael Schiavo and discuss -- Michael Schiavo and Terri discuss starving his client to death or dehydrating her into convulsions. That's preposterous.
Michael was under the care of a psychiatrist and attacked Suzanne, Terri's sister at one point.
Everything goes back to that night, said Bob Schindler, the father of the 39-year-old Archbishop Wood graduate, Terri Schindler-Schiavo, who suffered a severe brain injury in her Florida home in late February 1990.
Her husband, Michael, made an hour-long appearance on Larry King Live on Monday, Oct. 27, giving his side of a very controversial story why he has been trying to have his wifes feeding tube removed.
Michael Schiavo told Larry King it all began in the middle of the night of Feb. 25, 1990, when he heard a loud thud in the hall and found Terri lying unconscious. Schiavo claimed that he called Terris brother Bobby, who lived in the same apartment complex, who told him to call 911. When Bobby arrived, Michael claimed that he was holding Terri in his arms.
Thats what he said, but thats not true, Bob Schindler said. Michael called me and said he couldnt wake her up. I told Michael to call 911 right away, and then I called Bobby, my son, and told him to get over there right away to see what was going on. He was the one who was there before the rescue squad came in.
Bobby said he found Terri laying face down in the hallway with her hands clutched to her throat and her breathing was gurgling. Michael was sitting on the couch and was frantic.
Several times during the show, Schiavo told Larry King that Bob Schindler tried to get money from him. According to Schindler, the money he wanted was what Schiavo promised to pay for his daughters continued therapy.
According to printed reports, when the Schindler family learned of an experimental procedure in California that involved stimulating the brain with electrodes, they raised the necessary money and flew Terri out.
Although it was unsuccessful, they were united in their determination to explore every possible treatment.
It was a government grant of some kind, Schindler said, and part of the deal was that she was to have therapy after the operation.
Her therapy was to continue at the Shands Medical Center at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
In 1991, when Terri returned to Florida, she had progressed enough to be able to speak. Her medical records indicate that she was able to say things like stop that and other words. In spite of the progress, Schiavo wanted to wait until after he received the award money from his pending malpractice suit.
He promised that once the malpractice money came in, he would get her the therapy. Thats what he was pleading in front of the malpractice jury, that he needed all this money to take care of her. They awarded him the money and we were all ecstatic because Terri could continue the therapy.
In 1992 Schiavo won a malpractice suit against Terris gynecologist for failing to administer tests that might have detected her potassium imbalance. Combined with another medical suit settlement, $700,000 was deposited into a trust fund for Terri, and $300,000 for Michael. As Terris guardian, Michael was the only one that had access to the money.
At first, Schiavo kind of avoided us, and every time I did have an opportunity to see him or talk to him, I would ask when he was going to get her into the rehab program. Hed always say, Well talk about it later.
When I finally confronted him, I said, OK, were going to talk about it right now, not later. I said You made a commitment to Terri and our family that you were going to get Terri this state-of-the art therapy. Now, when are you going to do that?
Thats when he went insane. He started screaming, Im her husband! I make all the decisions! You have nothing to say. There were some books in the room and he started throwing them against the wall. Then he charged after me, but my wife jumped in between us. He ran out of the room and said, Youll never see Terri again. Ill never permit you to see her again. Im calling my attorney. Thats the last time we really had any conversation with Michael.
Michael gets violent. He tried to attack Suzanne (Terris sister) prior to this incident. He went after our Suzanne the same way he came after me, Schindler said, but he jumped in between. Michael was seeing a psychiatrist named Dr. Caplan at the time and I called up the doctor and explained what happened. The doctor said, The next time he does that, call the police immediately. He can be dangerous. ... He has a violent temper.
This behavior corroborates the story of Terris brother, Bobby, and friend, Jackie Rhoades. They claimed that on the day of Terris collapse, she and Michael fought so badly that they both feared for her safety.
Schiavo vehemently denied these claims on Larry King and said there was no evidence of injuries to support Schindlers allegations that he tried to strangle Terri that night.
No, they didnt find marks, Schindler said. They found bruises. Thats in her medical records, which we didnt see for 10 years. One of our doctors told the court about the injury during the 2000 trial. Schiavos court appointed doctor also admitted that a neck problem showed up on her medical records.
Terri also had a broken femur on the night of her admission to the hospital and bone scans were done in the early days of Terris therapy, according to Schindler.
Thats when they found all these fractures, he said. The radiologist said the screen just lit up from all the injuries. A neurological radiologist looked at the bone scan. Somebody worked her over good is how he put it.
According to the Schindlers, it seems deliberate that the courts have overlooked so much evidence. For instance, the courts continue to maintain that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state based on a report by Schiavos chief medical witness, Dr. Ronald Cranford, who only saw Terri for about 45 minutes. Dr. Hammesfahr, a well-known neurologist, spent more than four and a half hours with Terri and believes she is not in a persistent vegetative state.
George Felos, Schiavos attorney, petitioned the court to have Richard Pierce, a former court-appointed guardian ad litem replaced, and it was allowed.
This weekend the court appointed a new guardian at litem, Dr. Jay Wolfson, a professor of health and law at Stetson University. Hes opposed to Governor Bushs action and has said so openly in the newspapers, Schindler said. That should be enough to disqualify him, but it hasnt, and this frightens me.
Schiavo repeatedly insisted on Larry King that he loves Terri and wants to respect her wishes not to be kept alive by artificial means. He claimed two other people could corroborate this evidence. What he didnt say was that those two people happened to be his own brother and sister-in-law.
Felos brought in the brother and sister-in-law at the very last minute, within a week or two of the trial, Schindler said. We never had an opportunity to do a deposition on them. Felos blindsided us.
In spite of Governor Bushs heroic actions, the battle to save Terris life is far from over. Its very possible that Terris Bill will be overturned, Schindler admits. Its just a temporary thing in the eyes of our attorney. If it doesnt hold up, were back where we started from.
But they havent given up hope. Shes still tired and weak from the ordeal, Schindler said after seeing his daughter on Sunday, Nov. 2. She hasnt recovered yet. I was teasing her today, like I always do, threatening to kiss her, and she was coming back at me. She doesnt use her vocal chords, but she was giving me a get out of my face kind of thing. Theres so much life in her. Its just a matter of getting her proper therapy.
November 6, 2003
Catholic Standard and Times
I'm still inclined to think that some of this information is buried in Pennsylvania (an old high school girlfriend or something)? Someone also suggested awhile back that THAT may have been what prompted the move to Florida and NOT Terri's parents moving there as is generally supposed. It is pure speculation at this point, mind you, but certainly worth looking into in greater depth.
Pinging a few more diligent researchers on this. (I'm sure I missed a few).
See also Becki Snow's blogspot here (more about alleged hospice conflict of interest, details)
Some of the links just above no longer work.
I have tried, throughout the day, to figure out how to get court documents/info. from PA....I cannot. There's nothing I can find (like I did for FL). I had the same similar problem in getting any Court records/info., and obits/marriages/deaths for my geneology project---in that case, I'd have to go the PA Historical Society....I'm not sure what else to do as far as researching obits or other info out of PA.
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