Skip to comments.How the Schiavo Federal Court Case Might Have Been Won(Long article worth the read)
Posted on 03/28/2005 11:20:36 AM PST by fight_truth_decay
click here to read article
Is this a logical conclusion to what you said?
> Personally, I was appalled when I heard the nature of the
> complaint before a federal court.
i thought "what does congress need to do!? add a p.s. to the legislation laying exactly what to write in their court filings?"
this does not excuse the florida legislature for not doing something to stop the dehydration to death of a healthy person but i agree the federal gov did above and beyond what could be expected on such a state issue.
FL state courts: followed letter of the FL law w/o compassion
FL state legislature: failed
FL state executive: attempted to help (DCF), thwarted by FL courts
US legislature: tried to help
US courts: operated as expected
Schindler lawyers: FAILED
Schiavo lawyers: operated as expected
Doctors for Michael Schiavo have said that an MRI and PET are not necessary for Terri because PVS is primarily a clinical diagnosis, that is, one arrived at on the basis of examination of the patient, rather than by relying on tests. And the neurologists I have spoken to agree on the clinical nature of the diagnosis, while insisting that advanced tests nonetheless are a necessary part of it. But the star medical witness for Michael Schiavo, Dr. Ronald Cranford of the University of Minnesota, has repeatedly dismissed calls for MRI testing, and his opinion has prevailed.
Dr. Cranford was the principal medical witness brought in by Schiavo and Felos to support their position that Terri was PVS. Judge Greer was obviously impressed by Cranfords résumé: Cranford travels throughout the country testifying in cases involving PVS and brain impairment. He is widely recognized by courts as an expert in these issues, and in some circles is considered the expert on PVS. His clinical judgment has carried the day in many cases, so it is relevant to examine the manner in which he arrived at his judgment in Terris case. But before that, one needs to know a little about Cranfords background and perspective: Dr. Ronald Cranford is one of the most outspoken advocates of the right to die movement and of physician-assisted suicide in the U.S. today.
In published articles, including a 1997 op-ed in the MinneapolisSt. Paul Star Tribune, he has advocated the starvation of Alzheimers patients. He has described PVS patients as indistinguishable from other forms of animal life. He has said that PVS patients and others with brain impairment lack personhood and should have no constitutional rights. Perusing the case literature and articles surrounding the right to die and PVS, one will see Dr. Cranfords name surface again and again. In almost every case, he is the one claiming PVS, and advocating the cessation of nutrition and hydration.
No, that is not what I said. What I said is that, most glaringly in the federal action, the Schindler's attorneys drafted a very poor pleading which almost assured that they would not get the relief they were seeking.
I saw Jay Sekulow say this same thing - and it is correct - the Schindler's legal arguements were weak and they did not take advantage of the bill passed by congress. I saw Bob Schindler say that he was a "legal neophyte" so they were relying solely on their free legal advice.
I thought that several legal sources were being used - banding together so to speak to save Terri - but that was not the case.
I've maintained all along that this was a violation of her 14th Amendment due process rights, and especially so when there is evidence that she is being put to death on the faulty premise that she is in a PVS, based on 9-year old tests, after she has been denied new tests and diagnosed by competent neurologists as not being in a PVS.
While a judge has the ability to act sua sponte, it is not his job to act as effective counsel for a party, particularly one like the Schindlers who are quite able to retain competent counsel.
You nailed it dead on once again.
So, like Poohbah said, they threw the game on purpose. Where is the BAR in Florida on this?
If the Schindler's belive strongly enough that they received poor legal representation, they are free to file a suit against their attorneys.
Can you tell me why the empire journal is on FR's "banned" list of sources?
This effort was not about Terri at all; it was about injecting certain marginal persons and their even-more-marginal associates back into GOP politics.
Randall Terry has found his new role model: Gerry Adams.
But, PeanutbutterandJellybean, one has to try to understand what went wrong. It is not Monday Morning Quarterbacking..it is worth the full read of why this tragic outcome was "allowed" to happen.
Also know many of us have tried - phoned,faxed and emailed the President, Gov. Bush in an ongoing urgent manner with laws we thought might pertain-guardianship issues, the Cruzan case etc. And I might add, before you heard these same issues from the mainstream media (we mass e-mail them as well), reference to some of these "causes for consideration" by the powers that be. Don't sell us short for what you determine "Monday Morning Quarterbacking".
Also will found this comment on the "law board" to the above mentioned article posted:
I have heard reference made to the fact that Congress makes laws that deal with very individual issues all of the time. Probably many if not most of these are bits of "pork barrel" legislation thrown into a big bill. The most unusual aspect of the Congressional action was calling people back to Washington for the haste necessary to try to affect anything. That the bill was so narrow was likely as much due to the politics and need for a rapid timetable. I believe there was a version that was broader but in negotiations was thought to be too difficult to pass expeditiously, so when the Senate and House could agree on something that was it. Concerning appeal to emotion and addressing legislation to an individual person-(with reference to Ryan White)
His professional history and public views should have disqualified him as a credible witness from the word go.
I had not seen that. The pattern sounds all too familiar to me. The Schiavo case is similar to patterns in other county probate courts where the estate is fleeced, there are no accountings and the ward dies. But, this occurs in Florida where the opportunity for a "humane death industry" held great profit potential.
It almost sounds as if Campbell got the referral to act as the Schindler's attorney so that the Court would have someone representing the Schindlers who would go along--not raise too much of a fuss. She was probably flattered by, if not dependent upon, Shames for referrals and therefore would not confront him about conflicts, ex parte communications, etc. Shames obviously had his own agenda. After all, state court judges don't make that much money. And, the Schindlers attorney wasn't getting paid. So, she really did not want to anger the judge and stop the flow of referrals on which she would be paid by the county.
It also sounds like Clearwater was selected as the test ground for a strong right to die movement. Hospices are like the early abortion clinics. Florida was a perfect state to start this business as it has a large elderly and gay population. When the Schiavo case was being developed, the gay population was a death culture as the AIDS drugs were not as sophisticated. Also, health care reformers at the time advocated the reduction of life-prolonging measures for the elderly. Hospice was viewed as a benign alternative to hospital death. Politicians were lobbied and contributions flowed so that the legislative scheme of Florida was supportive. Hospice now had the potential to be a very profitable service. Michael Schiavo and the right to die movement intersected to their mutual profit.
The Schindlers seem like very decent people. It is very sad that this happened to their family. The practice of law is supposed to be about serving the client. What a pity.
This is the first time that I have seen anyone else pick up on the fact that the Mr. Schiavo is not just acting on his own, as the appeals court not only assumed but stated clearly. (And flip-flopped on that issue for the hospice, thus the court had their cake and ate it too as far as I am concerned.)
However, I don't attach blame as much to the Schindlers' lawyers as to the federal judges. In particular, I think Judge Whittemore was downright dilatory, from scheduling the first hearing many hours after the law was passed until his final night, when it took him an inordinate amount of time to produce his short opinion.
Relying on a death doctor to diagnose her with a cursory BS clinical visit is a f***ing travesty.
It should be made illegal.
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