Skip to comments.Terri Schiavo, Requiescat in Pacem
Posted on 03/24/2005 5:26:02 PM PST by Congressman Billybob
By the time you read this, Teresa Schiavo may be dead of starvation as required by Florida Judge George Greer. Thousands of people have produced millions of words on this subject. I should write nothing, unless I have more to offer than the MSM (mainstream media). I do.
Personal experience colors what I say. On 1 January 1994, my mother was taken to Mission Memorial Hospital in Asheville with serious injuries from an auto accident. Shed suffered both a heart attack and a stroke after the accident. She was in a coma, but still alive.
Seven years before, her life was saved in that same excellent hospital, by emergency surgery to repair an aorta aneurism. She spent a week in intensive care, and told both her sons that she did not want to be hooked up to tubes again. In 1994, my brother was in a different hospital after the accident; decisions on my mothers care rested on me alone.
Four different medical specialists were called in. I took their advice. I talked to all the grandchildren. Ultimately I made not just one decision, but a series of them, leading directly to my mothers death, four days later.
I have not yet steeled myself to write the complete history of those four days. Someday I should, because advances in medical care mean that many more Americans will face similar decisions about family members. I understand what Terri Schiavos family are going through except the extraordinary time those burdens have been on their shoulders and their hearts.
That said, what can I offer on this subject? For the best medical discussion, I recommend Charles Krauthammers excellent column this week. On the legal side, events now are a direct consequence of a legal failure seven years ago, and the arrogance of judges who cannot admit error and merely dispense with the case, rather than take the tougher path and decide it.
The attorneys for Terris family should have filed for her divorce from Michael Schiavo seven years ago. He was clearly guilty of adultery. She was clearly blameless. Im unaware of any divorce action brought by a next friend for a woman who cannot speak. But I am aware of divorces the other way husbands and wives who obtained divorces from spouses who were profoundly disabled, or in prison, or who had disappeared. Turnabout is fair play.
Had Michael been removed as the husband, he would not have been named, or continued, as her guardian. Therefore, what is happening now would not have occurred.
Then there are Michaels reasons for bias. He had three personal reasons at home (a wife and two children). He had hundreds of thousands of reasons in the bank (a million-dollar malpractice settlement). But Judge Greer also had reasons for bias.
In Florida, judges are subject to retention elections. In his last election, Judge Greer received substantial contributions from at least five lawyers who have represented Michael over the years. This is a matter of public records in Florida. None of the MSM have bothered to research and report on this.
Speaking of bias, ABC had its own mini-Rathergate this week. ABC touted a memo circulated among Republican Senators which sought to make political hay from Terri Schiavo. The memo is a fraud. It contains references any Senator or staffer would have known not to use concerning legislative business. It also lacks the standard cover sheet and initials of sender for all intraSenate memos. This fraud story was broken by www.Powerline.com; they have the details.
Like CBS, ABC rushed to broadcast with a forged document because it didnt ask competent experts whether it was false. ABC was in a rush (dare we say biased?) to attack the Republicans. The bias has continued in an ABC poll that misstates the facts of the Schiavo case to produce false results. A day after this memo was exposed as a fraud, Lanny Davis cited it as true on Fox News. Given Daviss history, that was predictable.
Lastly, on the Internet Ive seen a brain scan of Terri Schiavo She has a larger gap of fluid than in a normal brain. But Ive also seen the scan of a woman with a similar void who was given up for brain dead who recovered, and who corresponded with me and others and released her medical records, to present an alternative to the assumptions of experts.
What we have here is a gross failure of common sense and decency in state and federal courts. Terri Schiavo should be in the physical custody of her parents, who love her, not in the hands of her husband, who wants her dead. Her soul now and forever is in the hands of God.
About the Author: John Armor is a First Amendment attorney and author who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu
John / Billybob
You have quite a bit too offer, not the least being this statement.
Very well said. But your headline made my heart skip a beat.
Greer is not a state judge as other media have misstated. He is a county probate judgea step up from a town or village justice and has never had legal jurisdiction in the case as he violated state law and failed to qualify for office. He cannot claim to be a de facto judge as he has never held legal title to the judicial office. A public officer must first be a de jure officer or hold title before he can claim to be a de facto officer. In Greers case, by failing to qualify, he should not have even appeared on the ballot and was not legally elected.
And why is no one shouting this from the rooftops?
This whole thing should end with "Judge" Greer being disbarred and Michael Schiavo losing the settlement he got for taking care of Terri "until she dies."
Come on Governor Bush, this man isn't even a real Judge and any of his "rulings" are null and void.
As one true hero said: LET'S ROLL!
Wow, what a nice guy! Thanks for the link.
Thank you for your wisdom and may God always continue to Bless you.
Well, the next hours and days will tell the tale.
But if Gov. Bush does not take Terri into protective custody before she is murdered, then your image represents the reality of the situation.
Quite ironic, considering the season.
Well said. Thank you for posting. I hope that he does not deny them the time to spend with her in peace. He clearly does not have her best interest at heart.
And I suppose you know what's best for Terri, right? Check the mirror: I think you've turned into a nanny-state liberal.
I have emailed, written and made phone call to everyone I can think of about the Terri travesty.
It appears that she will be dead very soon now.
I have always been proud to be an American but now I am ashamed.
Upon learning of her death I will lower the flag outside my home, turn the union down then raise it again and fly it again for 24 hours.
After that I will never fly it again.....
Here is an innocent woman, given up on the altar of the secular death-culture, whose high-priest of the moment is an adulterer presumably ready to sign his name to a check in exchange for his 'story'
I can't help but feel that The Almighty is looking down on all of us, bereft. For the last few years
He has been placing Questions before each of us, to test us; such will be our fate on judgement day
God help us
Superb post, John. I'll pass it along to our allies in Cowboyland and the technology-challenged elders. You have much to offer.
Thank you for writing this. I was reduced to tears when I saw the woman yesterday arrested for trying to carry a cup of water to Terri.
I'm going to trust my gut on this one and say that this is wrong.
Should another court order the tube replaced and additional tests and/or therapy done, and should she improve even minimally, then Judge Greer and all others who agreed with his decisions are now looking at becoming social pariahs.
I have to look at this situation just like any profession where those in power protect their peers.
The last thing that Judge Greer wants is for her to awaken. His career would end quicker than you can imagine. It would also cast a large cloud over the entire judiciary. Why on earth would any higher court want to risk destroying their entire "we know best" gig on a bad decision by one man? If she awakens and says "feed me", the judiciary is finished as a credible entity.
Good writing. Do you have sources for the Krauthammer's column and the campaign contributions?
It's going to be just like the abortion debate. I wonder if this mess will be leaped on as stare decis (sp?), in future cases. Michael had a hell of a plan cooked up.
After all, the SCOTUS said, "Not it" when asked to rule. And the "Men in Black" are firmly entrenched.
Where is Gandalf when we really need him?
Thanks John. Nice post.
God have mercy on us...and may Jesus return soon.
The traditional 30 pieces of silver?
"And I suppose you know what's best for Terri, right? Check the mirror: I think you've turned into a nanny-state liberal."
With so much coverage and info available about Terri's case, yes-- naturally we all have our opinions. It wasn't said that the state be in charge of Terri, but her parents. HOW does that advocate a nanny-state? ??
I haven't flown my flag in 3 years, but I may fly it once more, for 24 hours, just like you. Then it too will never fly again.
I know that the best thing for Terri is to have her body in the hands of those who love her, and her soul in the hands of God. The second part is always true, or so I believe. The first part is obviously false as of this moment.
Thank you for posting. This was an article that offers much solance and wisdom.
What's a town or village justice? Do they exist in Florida?
Very well said, John.
Likewise I do not grieve so much for Terri. It is her family who need comfort and her tormentors who need one's prayers: for the judgment against them is terrible.
Greer puzzles me. I don't think he's doing this for money. His rulings are so partial and bizarre, it seems to me more and more suggestive that he is covering up a crime -- and is himself part of this crime. What the crime might be, I don't know. I'm just observing his increasingly frantic behavior and weird decisions. I can't see that "follow the money" can explain actions this desperate. Fwiw.
...and finding it.
"Upon learning of her death I will lower the flag outside my home, turn the union down then raise it again and fly it again for 24 hours. After that I will never fly it again....."
Please reconsider. Agreed at half-mast in mourning. But then, please RAISE it with a 'terrible resolve' to RESTORE AMERICA to being worthy of that FLAG. Let us all ensure that the evildoers take no more ground and that rather, we begin quickly re-taking our lost ground.
What I've come way with, in addition to your excellent point about the absence of common sense and decency that permeates this matter, is the sense of being exposed to an overwhelming amount of what is best summed up as sheer propaganda. The finances of Terri's care, the sinister origins of her injuries, the true actions of her husband throughout her care, the reality of her medical condition, the 'Real' expressed wishes of her regarding heroic measures to maintain life and on and on. What all of these subplots have in common is the virtual absence of clear, objective and factual supporting details or citations of source.
Instead we are treated to what appears to me to be a continuous stream of rumor, estimation, anecdotal information and raw speculation that masquerades as certifiable Truth and this inaccuracy and obfuscation has left me very, very upset.
I'm upset with the Judicial System for failing to gain control of this situation by conducting a true 'de novo' revue of this matter, ordering definitive tests by recognized and objective examiners and publishing these findings in the record. I'm upset with the Congress for wading in and basing much of their actions on incomplete and clearly disputed information. Finally, I'm upset that both sides of this issue (M Schiavo and the Shindlers) could not reach your common sense resolution of this matter, if for nothing more than their oft expressed love and caring for Terri Schiavo.
IMHO It is not surprising that people are seriously worked up - Both sides of the issue find support in the form of this baloney.
This seems to be a conflict of interest that should have caused Greer to recuse himself from the Schiavo case??? And it seems that it would make, if it can be proven, all of Greer's decisions regarding this case, null and void.
Regarding the MSM investigative reporting - I agree, it is almost non-existent. But, the MSM is not in charge of policing the errs of our system; they are reporters not cops. But there is an Attorney General in Florida?????
Knowing that she "wouldn't want to live that way," then it seems that Michael Schiavo had ample opportunity to act upon Terri's wish, at any time during 1990, but he did not. He let her live in suspended animation for almost 8 years before acting upon her wish.
In a "living will," should you set time frames for taking action? Are their time frames for such instances, where there is no "living will" but a family remember has Michael Schiavo's memory?
My friends, please ping this out if you deem it fit.
They are pariahs right now.
Every quarter of the Judiciary was petitioned on her behalf, every quarter denied her life, with the exception of the gentleman judge in the 11th circuit.
The speedy, sequential and cascading image of the stamp of death, death, death will not be forgotten.
It's part of the soul of the Country now due to the emotion involved. Nascent now, subdued in a short while, but it is an indelible mark.
You deathsquadders aren't going to convince many of us that this woman's rights aren't being violated, or that starving the helpless is allright. The govt. is derelect in their duty to protect this woman from the likes of you.
Well said, John. I've been close to having to make those kind of decisions twice in the last 10 years, and I'm sure it won't be long before I'll have to step into that very lonely void and say goodbye to my mother and father and I will do as they have asked.
I was only 18 when Roe v. Wade was decided by SCOTUS and I was utterly shocked. We were told that abortion would never be common. Lon Horiuchi, an FBI sniper engaged a target that violated all ROEs for snipers, killed a woman in the process, and got off for something that would have gotten me court-martialed. The Posse Comitatus Act supposedly precluded the use of the US military in an enforcement role within the United States, but active duty troops were at Ruby Ridge supporting the FBI and ATF, and we know how that turned out. That's just a few highlights - of many - in the last 30 years. Where will we be and what will we accept as commonplace in another 30?
ah yes. None of us want to be on tubes. The difference here is that this is not a terminal patient on tubes, merely a disabled woman who is tube fed for convenience...resource plus is six cans for 4 dollars, and she probably could swallow it by mouth if you gave her some thickener in it and slowly fed it to her.
But thirty years ago, when I worked at an institution for retarded adults, we were sued by the federal government for risking aspiration pneumonia because we fed them with a spoon.
And one neurologist-- Ronald Cranford, has said even spoon feeding a "vegetative" patient was extraordinary treatment and could be stopped.
The demonization of the disabled is increasing in recent years, see:
I suspect that in Europe, they will institute euthanasia in the next ten years as their elderly population starts bankrupting their society...ironically, it may be the devout Muslims in that continent that will stop this atrocity, not the few Christians left in that sad area...
Finally, yes I agree, none of us want to be disabled, dependent on others, and with a mind that is unable to properly think.
But if all of us have a path to tread before we die, and if you believe God is in control, then contemplate this: What if our disability is God's will? WOuld you accept it, or say, non servium? Believe me, I pray every day that me and mine would never fact such things, but you know I recently moved back to the Philippines so we won't have to face both the unwanted extraordinary treatment in modern hospitals,but also where the frail and elderly are still cared for at home and loved....
IN the US, many many family members leave jobs to care for their loved ones...we docs see this every day. But from the papers, one would not know it...
I am happy my elderly mom died at home, still of her own mind...I have seen many many terrible things. But when you know what is being read and taught, I am afraid...we are losing our moral vocabulary, the ability to recognize that even brain damaged humans are children of God....