Skip to comments.Terri's husband isn't the enemy, guardian says
Posted on 03/19/2005 9:18:52 AM PST by EveningStar
click here to read article
God help me if anyone tries to keep me alive in that condition. And God help them, I might add. What nobody wants to talk about is WHY the rift between Michael and the Schindlers, who actually lived together for the first four years of so. Do you want to know why? MONEY. The Schindlers were mad they didn't get any.
If you will read my post to you about this matter carefully, you will see that I said at the end of the article there is a web site named where you can read court testimony.
This article was posted in February. At that time, the web site mentioned worked. This morning I could not get the web site to work. Perhaps you can.
yeah, so much for till death do us part...
or maybe he wants her to die so he can marry his new quasi-wife!
Boy, that's for sure!
Indeed. Thanks for injecting some sanity into this discussion, Howlin, Peach, et al.
TAMPA, Fla. - (KRT) - Two dark scenarios haunt Jay Wolfson even now, a year and a half after his brief appointment to be a neutral arbiter, a guardian, an unbiased observer, the one man asked by the state of Florida to stand in Terri Schiavo's shoes.
One is that the severely brain-damaged woman is in a terrible lightless place, aware of nothing but a yawning, endless hopelessness.
The other is that even though he never elicited a response from her, despite all the pleading and cajoling he did at her bedside, that he might have missed some subtle, nearly invisible signs that she was somewhere in there, aware.
"Imagine not having hope and being aware that's all you had was no hope. The horror. It's like not being, but knowing that you're not," said Wolfson recently in his Tampa-area office. "That's one thing. The other is, what if she's knocking on a door somewhere and I was walking through all the wrong corridors and I missed it. What if?"
Wolfson was appointed by a Florida court in the fall of 2003 to be Schiavo's guardian ad litem, or guardian at law, to deduce Schiavo's best interests and represent neither her husband nor her parents but Terri Schiavo herself.
This makes Wolfson one of the very few people to have spent extended time with Schiavo and gauged her level of awareness without having a vested interest at stake.
In the end, after long hours at Schiavo's bedside and after poring over 30,000 pages of legal documents, Wolfson concluded that Schiavo was indeed in a permanent vegetative state.
It wasn't the conclusion he'd hoped to make.
"You want to weigh in on life as opposed to death," Wolfson said. "You want some way to elicit a response."
Wolfson was appointed Schiavo's guardian after the Florida Legislature passed "Terri's Law" in 2003, a move that allowed doctors to reinsert her feeding tube, despite a judge's ruling that it should be removed. The law has since been struck down as unconstitutional.
Wolfson, who has a law degree and a PhD and is a distinguished service professor of public health and medicine at the University of South Florida, was asked to decide whether Schiavo's feeding tube should be removed and whether more tests should be done to assess her ability to swallow.
He scoured 13 years' worth of legal documents and extensively interviewed Schiavo's husband, Michael, and her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. His time with Schiavo was spent trying to determine whether she was aware of and interactive with the world.
At first, walking into Schiavo's room, he was struck by her presence, even though he knew in advance that she drifted between wakefulness and sleep.
"She's a person, like you or I, and the first disconcerting part is that she's awake," said Wolfson.
When awake, Schiavo's eyes rolled about the room. She made random noises that sounded like groaning or the start of a laugh or cry.
But court documents said Schiavo's cerebral cortex, where reason and emotions are housed, had degenerated to fluid. So Wolfson set about trying to determine whether Schiavo's noises and jerks were merely reflexive or if they indicated something more.
He played Elton John CDs for her, and Bach and Mozart and music from the late 1980s, when she was in her 20s, prior to her collapse. He held her hands, squeezing them, and stroked her hair and face.
He put his face close to hers and tried to make eye contact, pleading desperately, trying to will her into giving him any kind of sign.
"I would beg her, `Please, Terri, help me,'" he said. "You want to believe there's some connection. You hope she's going to sit up and bed and say, `Hey, I'm really here, but don't tell anybody.' Or, `I'm really here, tell everybody!'"
But Schiavo never made eye contact. When Wolfson visited her when her parents were there, she never made eye contact with them either, he said. And for all of Wolfson's pleadings and coaxing, he never got what he most wanted: a sign.
"I felt like there was something distinctive about whoever Terri is," said Wolfson. "But I was not clear that it was there, inside the vessel."
Wolfson was dismayed to learn Friday that Barbara Weller, an attorney for the Schindlers, claimed that Schiavo tried to speak. "Terri does not speak," he said. "To claim otherwise reduces her to a fiction."
One thing Wolfson never doubted was that for all their intense, mutual antagonism, both Michael Schiavo and Terri's parents love and adore her.
She was cared for incredibly well, Wolfson said. Her hair was always combed, and after 15 years of being incapacitated, she never developed a bedsore. In fact, Wolfson said until about seven years ago, Michael Schiavo had Terry's makeup and hair done regularly, and her clothes changed every day - to the point that hospice staff protested that he was being overly demanding about her care.
Also, Wolfson concluded, Schiavo would never have tolerated the enormous, "omnipresent" acrimony between her husband and parents.
In the 38-page report he wrote afterwards, Wolfson said the best decision for Schiavo could be made only if both sides agreed to fresh, independent medical testing. If the new testing showed she couldn't swallow on her own and that Schiavo had no hope for improvement, then the feeding tube should be pulled.
Both parties were on the verge of agreeing to these new conditions, Wolfson said, but once the Florida Supreme Court struck down Terri's Law his efforts were moot.
Wolfson still refuses to give his personal opinion on whether Terri's feeding tube should or should not have been pulled.
But he will say, as a parent of three sons, that after doing everything one can, sometimes the time comes to let go.
"When it evolves beyond that person into issues that are other people's issues or are broader issues, it becomes less objectifiable," said Wolfson. "It's hard to be objective anyway. This is the kind of thing you don't wish on anybody."
Care to elaborate?
NOT proven. No one KNOWS what happened to Terri. NOT EVEN YOU!
Banner on FNC says Senate to reconvene at 5:00 to discuss Terri. Don't know if that's today?
I certainly take issue with the term kill, but if you must use it, use it with more class.
Last I heard, there was about 50k left in the trust. Terry is on the indigent care list at the hospice and that means the state is already beginning to front her medical care.
Michael Shiavo has very likely preplanned all the funeral costs, just as I would have, and have in my own case.
Other than that, I have no clue what you are trying to say....
The funeral will somehow tell us what???????????
There have been many before her. We are moving into a utilitarian society. Those who brought out the PVS diagnosis and began slapping it on severely disabled people right and left, some of whom were using wheelchairs ( and were still condemned by a court to deliberate dehydration because they also used a feeding tube), are now speaking of new things.
They are speaking of less disabled people, conscious and alert people, and how their quality of life is so low that they, too, should be "allowed to choose the right to die".
They are talking about depression as a legitimate reason to die.
They are talking about children in the ICU at Boston Childrens being taken to the OR and having their organs harvested while they are still alive, and then dying on the table. Children with chronic pulmonary diseases or children who are brain damaged.
They are talking about using people like Terri for medical experiments instead of animals.
These are all ominous signs which should be of great concern for all Americans. This is about a lot more than Terri.
Nice story...but it has nothing to do with this case.
It will have to reach an extreme level to beat what I was called a few weeks ago on a Condi Rice thread :-)
Some freepers have said that only Michael was told about Terri's comments that she never wanted to be kept alive with machines and tubes. Yet court testimony indicates her best friend, Joan, also heard Terri say that.
Do you have a link?
Joan, who is also Michael's brother's wife. They allowed Michael's side of the family's testimony, but no one else's.
Didn't Terri have a guardian ad litum (sp?) appointed who made the decisions about doctors?
That's what they are talking about..... a 5PM meeting..... Hmmmmmmmm.... normally honor the Jewish faith by not meeting on Sat. their holy day....
I agree about the precedent; it's a chilling case on many, many levels.
I'd call your little comment rude.
Pot meet kettle.
And btw, those of us who kept away from these threads because we heard they were like visting the pits of hell (and boy, was that on the mark with the oozing hate and vitriol from the evident "regulars) are entitled to drop in any time we please, so you can drop the listing of who has been a regular poster on this topic and who hasn't.
Some of us have decided to comment and we will.
Not sure, but I think the ad litem (sp?) is Judge Greer.
We try. Thanks for noticing.
They are allowed in the case of saving a life.
It most certainly does. I'm amazed that you can't see it! This isn't just about medical issues, this is also about a husband who has abandoned his vow to his wife. WAKE UP!
No, all the hearsay is on his side. There is no PROOF. It is a he said, she can't say.
You're not alone. I only first saw one of these things with my own eyes yesterday.
What a nest of vipers, claiming they are life-valuing Christians. One would never guess by their hateful words and attacks.
I also find it amusing that you insist on telling me I don't know how Terri died, when everyone on your side pretty much insists that Michael killed her, strangled her, beat her, whatever.
Gee, I can't wait until I am in Terri's condition and my loving, caring husband of five months, goes on TV and discusses my gynecological exam in detail!
He's sure swell!!!
A very well written and cogent post indeed.
And the doctor who was being SUED, was later cleared of ALL CHARGES. That means the CHARGES WERE BASELESS. That means the bulimia was MADE UP OUT OF THIN AIR.
Do you have a link of that? I would love to read it. Thanks!
You know what? The medical profession are just people. More people die from Dr. mistakes than anything else apparently. At least, that's what the media tells you. They also save a hundred times more. The woman had a heart attack. That is not disputed.
Terri's husband isn't JUST the enemy. He's also the antichrist IMHO or at least one of the incarnations of him.
Yes I saw that. Post 179. It was an interesting article. Only Schiavos family told the truth. And I have a bridge for sale.
I thought that a doctor, an impartial doctor, was assigned to Terri to determine what is best for her.
My husband has executive power (I'm not sure that's the term and he's golfing right now) over his aunt who is mentally ill, 93, blind and confined to bed for 15 years.
The doctors wanted to insert a stomach tube years ago and we did not want that. But we also stood to benefit financially when she died and didn't want any complications from a decision we made, so we had the court assign a doctor to her case to make the decision.
I don't think Judge Greer is who I was thinking of.
Terri will be cremated. Her cremation has already been paid for out of her trust fund.
Didn't the medical professionals get sued because they didn't determine her bulimic status?
One of my few :-)
I believe you are right.
Horsepucky! (All due respect.)
Really? They are forced to watch her 24/7 until she's dead?
That's right. Those people killed Terri. Not her husband. Are you going to try and tell me that I killed my sister? Just remember, if the medical field hadn't made a mistake, Terri wouldn't be on life support for her so called money hungry husband to take her off of it.
The 'state' says she is a veggie, the state appoints a guardian and the state pronounces a death sentence cause they can.
So state guardians await us. Did this Wolfson ever ask for an MRI or CAT scan? What good was he as her guardian if he never did?
That could be the Joan. Maybe she's married and I didn't know she was the sil.
Especially when the estrangement between the parents and the husband ocurred after Terri won a large settlement. THe parents wanted half and the husband said no. Then the legal fireworks started. It really is all about money and not Terri.
That's it. WOlfson is her guardian ad litum. Thanks for pointing that out.
Not a medical doctor, but from what I can gather her condition is pretty rare. Usually the brain stem is damaged (which causes brain death) but in her case, it was not severely compromised as the rest of her cortex was.
The stem contains the necessary hardwiring for autonomic functions like breathing and temperature regulation, but it cannot be taught to do anything more, that I am aware of.
No, she is not brain dead. If she were, this would not the issue it is, but she has no hope of regaining anything, and will conceivably carry on like she is for some time to come.
I don't believe I have ever heard of someone in this state who has never had a bed sore, and that indicates her care is exceptionally good.
I have only come in to contact with a case like this on one other occasion. It was a stroke victim. He passed within eighteen months, and I suspect the situation was much the same without a family squabble and courts.
Another freeper pointed out that Wolfson is the name of Terri's guardian ad litum.
Why would the parents believe they were entitled to half?
Uh oh...you started it now. But I truly believe that was the start of it and then some it was personal between the husband and parents and then it just got all out of control. But there's no doubt about it that the parents wanted their share of the money. Thank you for backing me up on that. I'm thinking about starting a new thread with that little ditty, but I'm afraid I'll be stoned to death by the pro-lifers!!!
To Michaels brother, William.