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Schiavo tapes: snippets, then not much
St Pete Times ^ | Nov 10, 2003 | Stephen Nohlgren

Posted on 11/10/2003 12:29:02 PM PST by george wythe

She seems to smile at her mother's voice. Her eyes follow a shiny balloon. Asked to open her eyes, she arches her eyebrows as far as they will go.

These and other fleeting images posted on the Internet have turned the heart-wrenching case of Terri Schiavo into a constitutional showdown.

But such moments that suggest awareness - culled from four hours of medical examinations that were videotaped in the summer of 2002 - are rare compared to the times when Schiavo lies in bed, slack-jawed and seemingly unresponsive, her limbs stiff, her eyes vacant, her hands curled in tight contractions.

The St. Petersburg Times reviewed all four hours of tapes, which now are public record in the Pinellas County Courthouse. Over and over, Robert and Mary Schindler beg their daughter to demonstrate any sign of consciousness. They have contended for more than a decade that she smiles and laughs in direct response to their conversation. They have told the court that her eyes follow them around the room.

These tests, these videos, offered a chance to show the judge firsthand.

"It's Mommy. Look this way," Mrs. Schindler urges at one point. "Can you say, "No, no, no' like you did before? No, no, no?"

"Terri, Terri, Terri. Can you look over here, sweetheart?"

Here and there, their daughter's glances and moans seem to coincide with what's being asked of her and might lead one to conclude that she responds. But more often than not, the parents' entreaties fall flat.

A judge who viewed all four hours concluded that Terri Schiavo exists in a hopeless vegetative state and ordered that her feeding tube be removed, as her husband requested. Appellate judges, who also saw all four hours, agreed.

Still, there's no denying the haunting power of a few, select moments. They seem to suggest that Schiavo - brain-damaged as she is - retains some shred of awareness and will. They are so disconcerting the Florida Legislature took one look at the snippets, overturned those judicial rulings and empowered the governor to put Schiavo back on the feeding tube.

Yes, the mother's words do seem to prompt what seems like a smile from Terri. Not just once, but twice. Her eyes do follow a balloon on three separate occasions, surprising even a doctor selected by her husband, Michael Schiavo.

But mostly, the Schindlers conduct one-sided conversations with Terri. They speak of family vacations, barbecues and newborn relatives. They profess to spot nuances in their daughter's face that aren't readily apparent to an outsider's eye.

At one point her father gets gruff while trying unsuccessfully to get her to follow a Disney-character balloon. "Come here, Terri, no more fooling around. No more fooling around with your Dad."

He pokes her in the forehead to make sure she's awake. "No more fooling around with your Dad. Listen to me. You see the balloon? You see Mickey?"

Later, he apologizes, telling her others have admonished him for his tone. "I'm not going to lecture you anymore. I was scolded. No more lectures. You do as you please."

Neither the father's gruff admonition nor his soothing apology seem to elicit any reaction from his daughter.

These ministrations are painfully poignant, right down to the music from a portable radio/cassette player.

From the movie Titanic: "Near, far, wherever you are. ... my heart will go on and on."

From James Bond: "Live and let die. Live and let die."Medical uncertainties

Theresa Maria Schiavo's brain suffered terrible trauma 13 years ago, when her potassium levels dropped so low her heart stopped beating.

For a few years, her family and husband, Michael, worked toward recovery. Then, he changed his mind. It was hopeless, he contended. She would not have wanted to live like this.

Years of litigation culminated with testimony last November by the five doctors who did the videotaped exams - two picked by the Schindlers, two by Michael Schiavo and one by Circuit Judge George Greer, who oversees the case.

The two Schindler doctors said Terri Schiavo, now 39, shows awareness and might be helped by treatment. The other three doctors said she lives in a persistent vegetative state, with no hope of recovery. Greer and an appellate court agreed that her feeding tube should be removed. In October, the tube came out; Terri was expected to die within a few weeks.

Then, the Schindlers posted six segments of the videotaped exams, totaling 4 minutes and 20 seconds, at www.terrisfight.org The clips were seen by thousands of people, including members of Florida's Legislature. With two days of debate, the Legislature passed "Terri's Law" and Gov. Jeb Bush ordered her feeding tube reinserted. She had lived six days without nourishment.

"I said, wait a minute, that's not my definition of somebody in a comatose situation," said Rep. Frank Attkisson, R-Kissimmee, after viewing the Web clips.

Such lay references to "comas" demonstrate the vexing nature of determining vegetative states. Comatose people's eyes are closed, but if their thinking functions remain, those people can be better off than people in true vegetative states.

Vegetative people may seem alert if their involuntary functions remain intact. They may blink, sleep, wake up, make sounds and flinch. They even may laugh, shed tears and utter random words. But the brain sections that control thought are gone. Most doctors agree that such patients have little or no awareness of self and surroundings, and will never improve.

Patricia Anderson, lawyer for the Schindlers, noted in court that doctors sometimes err. Some people tagged with the vegetative label later come out of it, including one patient who emerged after 22 months. His doctor? Minnesota neurologist Ronald Cranford, who testified that Terri Schiavo is a hopeless case.

Cranford acknowledged that misdiagnosis, saying he lacked the benefit of a brain CAT scan. Schiavo has undergone multiple scans, he said, and they show a decimated cerebral cortex, the thin brain coating that controls higher functions.

Radiologist William Maxfield, chosen by the Schindlers, testified that Schiavo's cerebral scans show improvement, but none of the other doctors supported him.

The Schindlers couldn't make their case with scans, or blood tests, or X-rays. They needed their daughter to perform. Her life depended on the doctors' exams and what four hours of video - taken as a whole - really show.What about that balloon?

"Hi. It's Mommy. Hi baby, how are you?"

Mary Schindler enters the hospice room and breaks the silence that surrounds her daughter. She kisses Terri, strokes her face and fluffs her pillow. Terri's face seems to brighten. Her blinking slows. She seems to stare at her mother. Her mouth opens, as if smiling.

Is this the "pure love" of a disabled soul, as Anderson contends? Has that familiar voice and tender breath on cheek pierced through Schiavo's shroud?

Probably so, the two Schindler doctors testified.

No way, said the two doctors picked by Michael Schiavo and the doctor picked by the judge.

"This is a reflex response," testified University of Florida neurologist Melvin Greer, not related to the judge. "The muscles of the facial area will react to sensory and auditory stimulation."

In court, the doubters contended that Dr. Cranford elicited a similar reaction when he touched and talked to Schiavo much like her mother had.

The videotape seems less conclusive. Schiavo makes a smile-like expression with Cranford, but it is less pronounced than the two incidents with her mother.

In another scene, not posted on the Web, Robert Schindler reminds his daughter of her "lazy eye" syndrome and how, when she was a girl, she would annoy her mother by purposely lolling her eye around.

Schiavo makes a sound a lay person might interpret as a laugh. Her noises get louder and louder until they exceed any other sound she makes during all four hours.

"You sound like an air raid siren," her father says. "Are you trying to tell me something?"

She also seems to laugh, after a 45-second delay, when her mother plays loud piano music next to her ear. On another occasion, she seems to laugh at no apparent stimulus.

"What you see," said lawyer Anderson, "is a human spirit very nearly crushed by the most unimaginable circumstances saying, "Here I am. Here I am. I like that balloon. I love my mother. I like piano music.' "

George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney, scoffed at the notion that a father's reminiscing prompted conscious laughter.

"If Terri has the ability to comprehend language and supposedly laugh and respond to the context of what she heard, then why doesn't Terri laugh when you say, "Terri, please laugh.' If she has the ability to comprehend language, why can't she follow a simple command" like blinking her eyes.

What about that balloon? The tapes indicate that her eyes followed it three times and failed to follow it twice. Cleveland neurologist Peter Bambakidis, appointed by the court to examine Terri, said the retina connects with regions of the brain that control involuntary reflexes. Her eyes follow things, he said, but she has no awareness of what she is seeing.

The single most dramatic moment occurred when William Hammesfahr, a Clearwater neurologist picked by the Schindlers, asked Schiavo to open her eyes.

At first, her eyelids barely flutter. She slowly turns her head toward Hammesfahr, gradually opening her eyes. Then her eyebrows lift into an exaggerated arch - the kind of face a cartoonist might draw to show astonishment.

A lay person could easily conclude that she somehow tapped into a latent reservoir of cognition, even if just for a second. Hammesfahr and her parents bubble with excitement.

"Good job!" the doctor exults. "Good job, young lady!"

But she never pulls it off again, or anything remotely like it. For nearly an hour, her parents and the doctor tell her to open her eyes, close her eyes, look this way, look that way - with little apparent response.

Judge Greer counted.

"By the court's count, (Hammesfahr) gave 105 commands to Terri Schiavo and, at his direction, Mrs. Schindler gave an additional six commands," Greer wrote. "He asked her 61 questions and Mrs. Schindler ... asked her an additional 11 questions. The court saw few actions that could be considered responsive to either those commands or those questions."


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: schiavo; schindler; terri; terrischiavo

1 posted on 11/10/2003 12:29:02 PM PST by george wythe
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To: george wythe
For whatever reason, liberals want this woman to die.
2 posted on 11/10/2003 12:32:58 PM PST by linear
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To: george wythe
If the clips are indeed misleading, Michael Schiavo has no one to blame but himself for the public's impressions. Nothing was stopping him from letting an independent party tape and publicize a long uninterrupted attempt by Terri's parents to spark responses from her. And if her parents truly believe she shows signs of response when stimulated like this, theu they'd have been happy to cooperate, so the whole world would know.
3 posted on 11/10/2003 12:51:11 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: linear
It seems the husband wants it. He got around a million dollars for her rehab, then remembered she didn't want to live. Nothin has been spent on rehab.
4 posted on 11/10/2003 12:56:49 PM PST by pickyourpoison
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To: george wythe
Irrelevant. If she were lying there completely oblivious to any stimuli, it'd still be wrong to starve her to death.
5 posted on 11/10/2003 1:07:12 PM PST by Sloth ("I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" -- Jacobim Mugatu, 'Zoolander')
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To: linear
I sat in the court room while they were playing some of the tapes for Greer. At the time I thought he was just just uninterested because he was looking away. Then I heard later on the is legally blind!
6 posted on 11/10/2003 1:17:30 PM PST by lilypad
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To: george wythe
"If Terri has the ability to comprehend language and supposedly laugh and respond to the context of what she heard, then why doesn't Terri laugh when you say, "Terri, please laugh.'

It is easier for me to laugh if I have found something to be funny. For someone to tell me to laugh, most often, I cannot force a convincing sounding laugh.

7 posted on 11/10/2003 2:20:34 PM PST by trussell (PRAYER WORKS!!)
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To: trussell; Ragtime Cowgirl; floriduh voter; EternalVigilance; kimmie7; Robert Drobot; pc93; lakey; ..
Ping
8 posted on 11/10/2003 2:21:53 PM PST by trussell (PRAYER WORKS!!)
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To: george wythe
It doesn't matter. I wacthed a woman on O'Reilly last week. She responded intermittently to her husband by blinking when she was diagnosed as PVS.

The Dr's did not believe her husband and ordered her feeding tube removed. The woman knew what they were talking about, knew what they were going to do and according to her the pain from the removal of food and water was excruciating. Torture was her exact word.

Her husband threatened everybody he could find with law suits and he eventually got the g-tube reinserted.

Last week on O'Reilly the woman told her own story. Think about it.

9 posted on 11/10/2003 2:25:09 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: george wythe
"This is a reflex response," testified University of Florida neurologist Melvin Greer, not related to the judge. "The muscles of the facial area will react to sensory and auditory stimulation."

A brain will also respond to stimuli, unless it's dead. Mr. Schiavo has deliberately kept therapeutic stimulation, even on the most basic level, from Terri for over a decade.

10 posted on 11/10/2003 2:33:01 PM PST by skr (Pro-life from cradle to grave)
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To: george wythe
Judge Greer counted.

"By the court's count, (Hammesfahr) gave 105 commands to Terri Schiavo and, at his direction, Mrs. Schindler gave an additional six commands," Greer wrote. "He asked her 61 questions and Mrs. Schindler ... asked her an additional 11 questions. The court saw few actions that could be considered responsive to either those commands or those questions."

Comments:

Florida Law says PVS is NO cognitve behaviour of ANY kind. Even the Judge acknowledges that she had a few actions that were!

FS765.101 Definitions; (11) "Living will" or "declaration" means: (a) A witnessed document in writing, voluntarily executed by the principal in accordance with s. 765.302; or (b) A witnessed oral statement made by the principal expressing the principal's instructions concerning life-prolonging procedures.

(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.

That's a) and b). Not or. She is not unconscious and showed a few voluntary or cognitive behaviours according to Judge Greer. That's not the same as NONE of ANY KIND>per the statute. In order to KILL her. Oh yeah, to *allow* her to die.

---

Key: ,. = etc.

The Terri Schindler Life Ribbon Campaign acts as a beacon pointing to Terri's plight. It also acts as lighthouse and gateway to others who already Realize and stand as Witness to Terri's inherent right to life and rehabilitation,. It is apparent that Michael Schiavo, George Felos, Deborah Bushnell and Co. must be bound by laws in order to be forced out of Terri's life. Let us continue to spread the word and take actions,. for Terri.

Juan Schoch
e-mail: pc93@bellsouth.net

Join the Terri Schindler Life Ribbon Campaign
Join the Terri Schindler Life Ribbon Campaign!

11 posted on 11/10/2003 3:05:00 PM PST by pc93 (Please visit http://bellsouthpwp.net/p/c/pc93/terri_schindler_life_ribbon_campaign.htm)
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To: Sloth
"Irrelevant. If she were lying there completely oblivious to any stimuli, it'd still be wrong to starve her to death."

Exactly!!
12 posted on 11/10/2003 5:25:22 PM PST by windchime
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To: trussell; jwalsh07
Hi, that's right. Her brother says he elicits a response from her -- lol, knowing brothers, he sure can.

Another factor -- Kate Adamson (the woman mentioned in post #9) said she was exhausted after blinking just a time or two in attempt to communicate her awareness. It's not as if it can be done totally "on command".



13 posted on 11/10/2003 6:06:24 PM PST by cyn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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To: lilypad
THANK YOU for being there, and for being here.
14 posted on 11/10/2003 6:07:05 PM PST by cyn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
If the clips are indeed misleading, Michael Schiavo has no one to blame but himself for the public's impressions.

You mind telling me who's going to sit around while a four-hour-long video streams across the World Wide Wait?

15 posted on 11/10/2003 6:09:16 PM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Major Vic Deakins, USAF)
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To: jwalsh07; floriduh voter; pc93
YIKES -- just caught the very end of the MSNBC Abrams report about Terri. Caught last comments by Janie Weintraub. She's pro-death ['the courts have ruled, that's it, Terri should be allowed to die with dignity'] and firmly (somewhat angrily) stated that "we can't change the rules of the game" . We'll try to tape it when repeats at 2.

We know that is what Terri is in the "right to die" movement, just a pawn in their game.
16 posted on 11/10/2003 6:18:18 PM PST by cyn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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To: linear
That would be this woman:

Terri is capable of the same things she was capable of in the early 90's.
She was in a wheelchair then (upper photo, trip to mall salon) -- she should be in a wheelchair NOW.

For Terri . . .may angels seen and unseen continue to guard, protect, and strengthen you.

17 posted on 11/10/2003 6:25:21 PM PST by cyn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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To: trussell
Thanks for the ping.
18 posted on 11/10/2003 8:55:35 PM PST by lakey
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To: pc93; lilypad
Terri should be no worse today, at least, than she was in 6/90 to 3/91, when these reports were made:

These are EXCERPTS -- please see PDF for original from friends of Terri website. Thanks to FL engineer, who found this!

Reports ‘transcribed’ to FreeRepublic

Physical Examination -- 6 - 27 - 90

*patient is awake, eyes are open
*easily startled to her name or when bedrail fell down

*significant amount of tone in the head and neck.
*severe hypertonicity of all four extremities; plantar flexor contractures, some shoulder limitation
*"again, tone is quite significant in all four extremities and difficult to achieve range of motion of the left hip and knee while she is in a supine position."
*she does give eye contact to family members
*she will close her eyes to any threatening response around her face and blink appropriately
*no verbal output during this exam but it has been reported by husband and other family members and therapists over at College Harbor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Treatment Plan Review from Mediplex rehab, Bradenton, 1/29/91

*Vocalizing when prone in P.T. [physical therapy]
*Occasionally will say "STOP" to nursing during procedures.

*to TR [recreation?] groups. More relaxed to therapists voice, touch (habituation)

Thanks again to FL engineer, who found the PDF & posted it to FR. There's a lot of info posted here; may it be used to return Terri to her family.

19 posted on 11/10/2003 9:13:20 PM PST by cyn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
http://freerepublic.com/focus/news/1018981/posts?page=14 (which also has link to original sound file)

This is an interesting interview -- I do not believe this former girlfriend from '93 or so could be making this part up about Michael's reports of his visits to Terri: "as soon as he got near the door, her head was already looking at the door, but that she would recognize his voice......and she would start crying when he got ready to leave."

Michael knows he has to hide the truth about Terri, which means he has to hide TERRI. She should be out in a wheelchair like she was in the picture above. That's just normal treatment for someone in her condition -- get her up in a chair! get her out! SHEESH!

20 posted on 11/10/2003 9:49:04 PM PST by cyn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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To: cyn
On a similar note and directed at Felos the soon to be ____ (hint rhymes with melon):

Terri Schiavo has more to lose than Bush does if the stay remains in place, Felos said. It is a matter of her rights being ``violated on a daily basis'' versus Bush ``having to defend the case on its merits even though the sheriff did not knock on his door and serve him with a summons.''

This story can be found at:
http://news.tbo.com/news/MGAX2JBHVMD.html

Felos: What about Terri's other 14 retained rights in 744.3215(1) ? Let's talk about those, BIG MOUTH !!!!

and in regards to the people who say Terri has no brain or cortex.. the brain can regenerate and also remaps so here you are:

Please look to Dr. Maxfield's testimony refuting the earlier "no brain" testimony of Dr. Barnhill.

Dr. Maxfield trained at Baylor and Johns Hopkins. Worked at Hopkins and Oschner Foundation and head of radiology dept at LSU. 49 years as a radiologist. "Invented medicine," as we say.

He testified that Terri has brain tissue in all major structures of her brain. Says the most severe damage is in her occipital region and probably her eyesight is affected. Says it is possible for her to retain memories, as she still has tissue in that part of her brain.

And finally....he detects a change FOR THE BETTER between her 96 and 02 CT scans, which he attributes to the body's natural tendency to heal itself.

Thus sayeth Dr. Maxfield, the most qualified of all 6 docs to read those scans.

anon..

Now this is what I sent to Jeb, his lawyers and other people and I'm going to be sending to more:

----- Original Message -----
From: "pc93" pc93@bellsouth.net
To: jeb@myflorida.com; ;
;
; "melissa b geralds"
;
; ;
;
; "pc93" ;
; ; "Fay Franklin"
; Larry.King.Live3@turner.com; ontherecord@foxnews.com; fernanr@eog.state.fl.us;
raquel.rodriguez@myflorida.com>
calamac@eog.state.fl.us;
bob.marshall@trincomm.org;
speakerbyrd@myfloridahouse.com;
sebesta.jim.web@flsenate.gov; lee.tom.web@flsenate.gov;
drawdy.ann.so9@flsenate.gov; me@glennbeck.com;
; hannity@foxnews.com; rush@eibnet.com; foxfeedback@foxnews.com; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 12:18 PM Subject: Terri deserves even more than 10 years of rehab. It's her inherent right. Fw: [helpterri] Responding to 4 hour tape
All,

Terri should be given the amount of time and even more that she was denied rehab. 10 years of intensive rehab. How's that for fair? Terri deserves nothing less. I will be sending this to many fax machines in Washington, D.C. Terri is being denied rehabilitation right now and that is against the ADA and even the State of Florida laws. Now who is going to continue to step up for Terri and demand that she gets the rehabilitation pronto? Who is going to yank Michael/Felos and Co. forever out of Terri's life? This needs to have been done yesterday. Wolfson has connections to the Hospice of Suncoast Florida and you are going to tell me that he is supposed to be independent? Demers is in on this. The 2nd DCA opinions were written by an insurance adjuster with an (need I say obvious) interest in seeing Terri dead. It's time to save Terri from the bloody muck heap.

Sincerely,

Juan Schoch

http://bellsouthpwp.net/p/c/pc93/terri_schindler_life_ribbon_campaign.htm

----- Original Message -----

From: "Pamela"
To:
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 11:31 AM
Subject: [helpterri] Responding to 4 hour tape

I would simply say from common sense that everyone has to train their minds to do things, especially after an accident. Those who have severe lege injuries and learn to walk again don't learn to walk by laying idle, they learn to walk by continued repetitive actions on a daily basis. Those people who are learning to walk again have to think about each step they take. Even myself, having a severe disability in my leg, I have to think and concentrate on each step. If my mind gets tired, I can fall very easily.

In Terri's case, she has to think pretty hard to make her mind figure out what is being asked of her, then her mind has to consciously figure out how to transfer the request into action. Terri, open your eyes. "Ok, what does open eyes mean? Where are my eyes? How do I send a signal to my eyes. Ohh, there, that must be my eyes, I'll see if it is....ooohhh, that is my eyes, look, I can move my eyebrows too! Wow, that was mentally exhausting." What I'm saying is that Terri has been allowed to lay in bed like a vegitable, her mind hasn't been stimulated as it should have been, her muscles have not been stimulated as they should have been. Mike denied her all of that by not letting her have pictures and things in her room, not letting the nurses stimulate her, no range of motion, not speech therapy, etc. If she is slow to respond or can't respond at times, it is because that is what Mike made of her by denying her the therapy we all need. If we didn't stimulate our brains on a daily basis, we would soon be covered in dust.

The bottom line, Terri's condition has deteriorated because Mike has neglected his dutis to assure propper care and rehabilitation. We admit, Terri is slow to respond and may not respond at times. Just like an infant you are trying to teach to say Mommy, somedays something like the word may come out and then you can go for days, weeks months before ever hearing it again. We work with our children daily, by teaching a word we repeart it over and over on a daily basis as we talk to our children. Terri needs this same kind of repitition in order to be able to learn and teach her mind again. Mike has allowed Terri's mind to go dormant....lets give Terri treatment for 3 months and aggressive therapy and then retape her for 4 hours. That's fair enough, she has gone for 10 years without this and this is the result, so let's do a study here, let's give her just 3 months of attensive therapy and tape again for 4 hours and see if we have a difference. Doesn't Terri deserve just 3 more months to prove she is there? It's been 13 years, what harm is 3 more months? To deny Terri that oppertunity it to admit that you are afraid that she will make some improvement. We don't do that in which we fear.

21 posted on 11/11/2003 9:36:40 AM PST by pc93 (Please visit http://bellsouthpwp.net/p/c/pc93/terri_schindler_life_ribbon_campaign.htm)
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