Skip to comments.Terri Schiavo has passed away
Posted on 03/31/2005 6:55:11 AM PST by Eurotwit
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This will be my concluding comment on this thread. It addresses the element that is at once the most innocuous and least dispensable ingredient in the crafting of the sham "right-to-die" issue as which Terri's case was publicized. The element is people's habit of satisfying themselves with preconceptions. It is only because of this that the press is able to deceive with the facility that it does. I will once more use a poster's PM to me for illustration:
"Regardless of the many suspicions about the veracity of Michael's claim, and there is plenty of room for doubt, Judge Greer did accept it, since the other testimony did not have the weight Michael's did."
"...and there is plenty of room for doubt," but that doesn't count, obviously. Notice how arbitrarily the writer uses the concept "weight." What did Judge Greer have by way of testimony? On one hand there was Michael Schiavo's long forgotten and suddenly remembered anecdote. MS had not been married to Terri for very long at the time of the collapse. Moreover, witnesses testified that there was talk of a divorce. Testimony included that Terri had been urged to stay with friends and not to go home on the evening of her collapse. At the very least, MS's recollection of what Terri was supposed to have said has towering weaknesses. Moreover, in a criminal court it would not rise to the level of evidence. Yet in Judge Greer's guardianship court it was sufficiently clear and convincing to decide Terri's death on its merit.
A person intimate with MS gave sworn testimony that he repeatedly lamented over not knowing what to do because he and Terri had never discussed the possibility of either one of them being incapacitated. A co-worker of MS's confirmed this independently in other testimony. Terri's best friend swore to recalling Terri's having made a definitive statement about rejecting the ending of comatose person's lives. Terri had vehemently taken her friend to task for agreeing with the Quinlan decision. Terri's own family, who intimately knew her for all of her years of life, had never heard her express anything but a philosophy in support of preserving life.
Yet the poster's preconception leads to the odd claim that "the other testimony did not have the weight Michael's did."
No attempt to define what constitutes "weight," just an arbitrary assertion of its supposed existence. In the old South, there were cases where a black man was hanged by virtue of the "weight" of one white person's testimony. There could have been thirty black witnesses exonerating the defendant, but their testimony had "less weight." Judging by the respondent's glib use of the phrase, the public habit of lazy thinking has not progressed far since those days.
"This is the exact point of the issue where I made my conclusion, that all had proceeded according to law, IOW, properly, despite all the opposition."
That is quite revealing. From the precarious point that Michael Schiavo's demonstrably self-serving testimony had "more weight" than "all the opposition," the poster draws the "conclusion that all had proceeded according to law." Never mind that the law insists on rules of evidence that in a criminal proceeding would throw out MS's testimony as hearsay. Never mind that countless statutes can be shown to have been contravened. Never mind that the sumtotal of Michael Schiavo's actions shows them to be detrimental to Terri's needs and rights. It's "weight" that counts.
All was done according to law, in the respondent's uncritical thinking. No effort to define law as demanding adherence to specific statutes and canons. The respondent's formula is simple: It was done, therefore it was according to law. Citizens in Germany during the late 1930s and early 1940s expressed a similar confidence. Despite misgivings about the 24/7 billowing plumes of black smoke from tall brick stacks, they satisfied themselves with the notion that all had been "done according to law."
Was the good Germans' understanding based on examining the law? No. Was it based on their questioning how the law had been applied? No. Was it based on their testing the executioners' rationale? No. Was it based on their possession of evidence that the murdered persons had been afforded due process? No. A simple arbitrary assertion that "all was done according to law" satisfied the citizens of Nazi Germany.
"Nothing since then has caused me to change my mind."
Well, that must mean that all has been sufficiently demonstrated and resolved. At Nuremberg defendants were shown pictures of emaciated Jewish corpses stacked grotesquely against a backdrop of barbed wire. Some defendants found this insufficiently convincing to change their minds. Several are said to have taken to the noose with a final heil Hitler. Preconception is a far more potent agent than objective proof, it seems.
"There have been to many claim being refuted, Terri had plenty of exams to conclusively prove PVS being one of them, too much name calling, and, now, your very strange insulin story."
Too many claims being refuted? By whom and by virtue of what evidence? Michael Schiavo's saying that the claims are not true is refutation? Plenty of exams? What exams and by whom? Conclusive proof of PVS? In the absence of the minimal tests applied by neurologists for assessing the extent of brain damage? Where is the MRI scan? Where is the PET scan? Where is the interdisciplinary panel assessment of prognosis? The respondent, along with a large segment of the bleating sheople, simply relies on a few soundbites from the popular media that falsely cite an imaginary abundance of "exams." If it is in print or shows up on the TV screen, it must be true. Never mind the conflicting statements by 14 neurologists. The respondent had come to a "conclusion," and that settles it.
"... too much name calling, and, now, your very strange insulin story."
The citing of recorded instances is name-calling? The bone scan showing multiple fractures in Terri's body is "name-calling?" The fact the Michael Schiavo hid the records of this for ten years until they were accidentally discovered is "name-calling?" My "very strange insulin story" is not mine at all. It appears in the sworn affidavit of a nurse who risked her job security over it. It is supported by the sworn testimony of other caregivers who also risked their job security over it.
I am not going as far as to claim foul play because of the fact that three of the four nurses that gave sworn affidavits against Michael Schiavo met accidental deaths since then. That would indeed be name-calling. I am not claiming foul play because the one surviving nurse had to request police protection and a restraining order against being stalked by Michael Schiavo. That could indeed be viewed as name-calling even though the fact of it is verifiable. How does citing sworn affidavits accrue to name-calling though?
Does the respondent know why Judge Greer did not allow these sworn affidavits into evidence? Michael Schiavo protested! The nurses only said these things because they did not like Michael Schiavo. He had yelled at them once and they bore a grudge. To Judge Greer that was convincing evidence to exclude the sworn testimony by licensed professionals who had observed Terri daily for protracted periods! The respondent's preference for convenience perfectly portrays one of the main ingredients in public complacency: if it is "strange," it can't be true. Let's not bother with checking whether those things are actually in the record. Let's just settle the matter by labeling it name-calling. Presumably Scott Petersen is in prison now because of name-calling too. Perhaps all prisoners should be instantly released because they are clearly victims of name-calling.
"Please, TS. Just think about that one. Who the F would drop a needle that would show evidence that an attempt had been made on Terri's life? Ridiculous, my friend, and you damage the credibility of your argument by presenting it."
In the respondent's thinking, perpetrators never make careless mistakes. The whole science of criminal forensics is useless because there can never be telltale signs of criminal activity. Oh no, perpetrators are far too clever and perfect to make mistakes.
Let me give the respondent a few possibilities for how a relatively small insulin syringe could wind up being accidently dropped or overlooked: It could have fallen out of a pocket. It could have been accidentally covered by a sheet during repositioning a patient. The perpetrator might have used two, but only picked one of them back up. The perpetrator might have been interrupted. There might have been other medical equipment lying around and the perpetrator could have missed the presence of the syringe. The perpetrator might have felt so confident and invulnerable that he didn't feel compelled to take extraordinary precautions. Etc. However, it is "strange," and that settles it for the respondent. I have news for the trusting respondent. Stranger things have happened. Patients had to be re-opened because the surgeon had accidentally left a surgical instrument in the body that then showed up on an x-ray!
A nurse's sworn affidavit means nothing. Why? Because it is about something "strange," and can therefore not be factual. Here is advice to all who wish to successfully dupe the public: make its discovery appear "strange," and that will prove its impossibility. With this kind of mentality at large, is it any wonder that public officials manage to sell us one bill of goods after another and that corporations like ENRON manage to defraud people to the tune of billions? Just invoke the little word "strange," and you're safe.
"Ridiculous, my friend, and you damage the credibility of your argument by presenting it."
Yes, ridiculous indeed. Ridiculous to hope that pointing to something might actually make someone look it up in the record. No such luck. The respondent had already come to a "conclusion." Anything not in accord with that conclusion must be labeled "ridiculous." Claims contradicting the conclusion "damage the credibility" of the one making them and thereby prove the correctness of the conclusion. So much for the public's professed wish to "know," ostensibly evidenced by billions of dollars spent on newspapers and cable services. Reichspropagandaminister Josef Goebbels had it right: The people beg to be deceived.
"Having said that, I have enjoyed reading your commentary, but remain unchanged in my stance on the Schiavo matter."
Yes, I wrote my commentary with the intent of having it be "enjoyed." This is definitely about entertainment. What better topic to pick for amusing an audience than the hillariously funny story of a disabled woman's being denied every protection guaranteed her by the law. It reminds me of the Jew-jokes circulating during the time that Jewish bodies were being cremated at Dachau, Buchenwald and Auschwitz. People would comment on each other's new lamp shades asking whether they were genuine or only imitation Jewish skin. Hillarious.
Please note how deftly the respondent settles concerns by shifting the issue from the responsibility of judging by the record to glibly assessing the messenger's credibility. My credibility? What does that have to do with anything? Making this an issue is nothing but an excuse for ignoring the record. There are revisionists who to this day claim that no Jews were killed by the Nazis. What is their argument? They say that the people who tell such stories are simply not credible. Next to "too strange," "not credible" is a potent sedative for the public that blissfully prefers to be deceived.
I want to tag on an email with interesting information about a current case in Georgia. It appears that the presence of a Living Will (a matter of stated importance to the above respondent) does not seem to be an ironclad guarantee for a patient's wishes being honored. I have no direct information about this case, but there are telephone numbers that can be used for obtaining it.
From: The Family of Mae Magouirk
Subject: Family Seeking Help From BFT Bloggers and Media
April 6, 2005
Contact: Kenneth Mullinax Ph: 205-408-7598
Why is Hospice LaGrange, Ga. withholding nourishment?
Mae Magouirk is being withheld nourishment and fluids and the Provisions of her Living Will are not being honored at the Hospice-LaGrange, (1510 Vernon Street, LaGrange, Troup County, Georgia, (706-845-3905) a subsidiary of the LaGrange Hospital in LaGrange Georgia.
Her family is desperately seeking to save her life before she dies of malnourishment and dehydration.
Mae Magouirk IS NOT comatose and she IS NOT vegetative. She is not terminal!
Despite these facts the Hospice and Beth Gaddy (706-882-9124), a school teacher at LaGrange's Calloway Middle School and granddaughter of Mae Magouirk (who may have been mismanaging funds of the 85 yr-old woman) have been denying her proactive nourishment or fluids (via a nose administered feeding tube or fluids via an IV) since March 28 without prior legal consent; against the wishes of her Living Will and against the wishes of Mae Magouirk's closest living next of kin.
Mae Magouirk's next of kin are: Mr. A. B. McLeod (Her Brother 256-236-1331) and Mrs. Lonnie Ruth Mullinax (Her sister 205-408-7598) both of nearby Anniston, Alabama. Under Georgia law, unless a medical durable power of attorney is in place, your closest living next of kin are stipulated to make all medical decisions.
When Mae Magouirk's closest living next of kin lodged a complaint with Hospice LaGrange's in-house attorney Carol Todd (706-882-1411) last Thursday, March 31, Ms. Todd checked Mae Magouirk's case file and upon examination of both documents discovered that Beth Gaddy DID NOT have the durable medical power of attorney for Mae Magouirk and upon closer examination of Mae Magouirk's Living Will ascertained that fluids and nourishment were ONLY TO BE WITHHELD if she was either comatose or vegetative.
SHE IS IN NEITHER STATE!!!
Nor is Mae Magouirk terminally ill. Her local LaGrange, Ga. cardiologist, Dr. James Brennan (706-812-4308) and Dr. Raed Aqel, (205-934-9999) a highly acclaimed interventional cardiologist at the nationally renowned University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center have determined that Mae Magouirk's aortic dissection is contained and not presently life threatening.
Two weeks ago, Mae Magouirk's aorta had a dissection and she was hospitalized in the LaGrange Hospital in LaGrange, Ga. Her aortic problem was at first determined to be severe and she was admitted in the intensive care Unit.
Her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, a teacher at the Calloway Middle School in LaGrange, stated that she held Mae Magouirk's medical power of attorney and thus invoked said powers against the wishes of Mae Magouirk's closest living next of kin by having her moved to Hospice-LaGrange. While at Hospice-LaGrange, Beth Gaddy stated that her wishes were for no nourishment for Mae Magouirk v Probate Judge Donald Boyd (706) 883-1690)¦
Court CASE NUMBER: Estate 138-05
Attorney for saving Mae's life: Jack Kirby, Kirby & Roberts, (706) 884-2992
Correction to a section of my previous post. I collectively used the term "accidental death" in a sidenote about three people who had given affidavits. Only one of the three deceased healthcare workers I mentioned actually met with accidental death. The other two died in an untimely fashion from inconclusive causes. I don't have the references available, but that is what I remember having come across.
I should not have mentioned this, even in passing, but I cannot now eliminate it from the post. The anecdote was not offered as part of the list of Michael Schiavo's commissions and omissions in his guardianship of Terri anyway. Michael Schiavo's actions speak loudly enough without one's looking beyond his immediate involvement with Terri. Let the correction be noted though.
Page II of the Mae Magouirk email:
"Mae Magouirk is being starved to death!"
"Upon learning from Hospice-LaGrange that Mae Magouirk was being denied nourishment and fluids --
and upon being told by Carol Todd (Hospice LaGrange's in-house legal consul) that Beth Gaddy DID NOT HAVE THE PROPER LEGAL AUTHORITY to deny said nourishment --
AND that the denial of nourishment went against Mae Magouirk's Living Will, --
Mae's family (Mullinax/McLeod) ordered the immediate beginning of such nourishment/fluids for Mae to Hospice via Carol Todd."
"First Contact with Hospice on Thursday, March 31"
"Carol Todd told Mrs. Lonnie Ruth Mullinax (Mae Magouirk's sister) and Kenneth Mullinax (Mae Magouirk's nephew) via phone on Thursday, March 31 that Georgia Law stipulated that Mrs. Mullinax and her brother A. B. McLeod (Mae Magouirk's brother) were entitled to make any and all decisions for Mae Magouirk."
"Mrs. Mullinax immediately told Carol Todd to insert fluids via an IV and insert a feeding tube, via her nose."
"Carol Todd had the IV fluids started that evening but told the family that they would have to come to Hospice LaGrange to sign papers to have the feeding tube inserted and because of such, she believed that Mae Magouirk would no longer be a candidate for Hospice LaGrange."
"She was then told that Mae Magouirk's family concurred and the ONLY REASON Mae was at Hospice was because the LaGrange Hospital had failed to exercise due diligence in closely examining the power of attorney which Beth Gaddy said she had, as well as executing the provisions of Mae's Living Will to her preordained stipulations."
"Gaddy only had a financial power of attorney and did not have a medical power of attorney and Mae Magouirk's Living Will provided that a feeding tube and fluids SHOULD ONLY BE DISSCONTINUED IF Mae was comatose or in a vegetative state."
"She was and is in neither state."
"Attempt to rescue Mae on Friday denied by Probate Judge Donald Boyd"
"On Friday, April 1, when A. B. McLeod (brother) and Kenneth Mullinax (nephew) showed up to meet with Carol Todd --
and to arrange emergency air transport of Mae Magouirk to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center (One of the top cardiovascular centers in the USA) --
Hospice LaGrange stalled them --
while Beth Gaddy went before Troup County Georgia (LaGrange, Ga.) Probate Judge Donald W. Boyd --
(who DOES NOT hold a law degree) --
who granted Beth Gaddy emergency guardianship of Mae Magouirk, giving Beth Gaddy full and absolute authority."
"Thus, they COULD NOT MOVE HER FOR PROACTIVE MEDICAL CARE Friday because Beth Gaddy had Hospice stop them and then she had Mae's IV fluid tube pulled out."
"Beth Gaddy has repeatedly told Mr. McLeod, Mrs. Mullinax and Kenneth Mullinax that she feels they all should let Mae not eat and thus cause her to die because, and we quote
Beth Gaddy: "Grandmamma is old and I think it is time she went home to Jesus. She has glaucoma, and now this heart problem and who would want to live with disabilities like these?""
"As stipulated under Georgia Law, a hearing for an Emergency Guardianship, must be held within 3 days of its request --
and Mae Magouirk's hearing was held on this past Monday, April 4, before Troup County Georgia Probate Judge Donald Boyd who favors granting Beth Gaddy permanent guardianship --
and thus will seal Mae Magouirk's fate of allowing Beth Gaddy to starve her to death --
against the wishes of her Living Will --
and in full knowledge that Mae Magouirk is not terminal, not in a coma and is not in a vegetative state --
and that medical care at UAB Medical Center is awaiting her. Shiavo revisited!"
"Mae's present state and vital signs"
"Mae's blood pressure is good, averaging 140/82 with a pulse rate of 88."
"However, since admission to Hospice she has not been lucid but who would be since nourishment and fluids have been denied since March 28, 2005. Also adding to her confusion is that she is off her regular medicines and is on a dose of Adavan and Morphine."
"Without food or water her electrolytes and body chemistry is not within its proper parameters."
"If her condition is not given major public attention soon, she will die, not by divine cause but by the omission of assistance by man. WE MUST GET Mae moved to UAB Medical ASAP."
Probate Judge Donald Boyd (706) 883-1690)¦Court CASE NUMBER: Estate 138-05
Attorney for saving Mae's life: Jack Kirby, Kirby & Roberts, (706) 884-2992
I'm late getting back to this post of yours, sorry.
You had said "The hardest thing is to forgive yourself." True. But it's alot easier to move on once we commit to not doing the same thing again. We can't keep focused on the wrong way we handle situations. I'm sure alot here have had to deal with tough abortion or euthansic situations with relatives, and often made wrong choices. But we can only move on and decide to do right and promote right to help others.
We also have to remember, God forgives us. He paid for even our worst sins on the cross. Jesus didn't deserve that death, but He took our punishment in our place. We need to walk in His forgiveness, walk in that joy, that grace, that full acceptance, and help lead others into it as well!
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