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Schiavo judge's other 'right-to-die' case
World Net Daily ^ | March 24, 2005

Posted on 04/07/2005 8:16:31 AM PDT by amdgmary

Judge George Greer, the Florida county jurist at the center of the Terri Schiavo case, ruled against a woman who was fighting to keep her husband alive in 2000.

While Greer has ruled consistently with husband Michael Schiavo, who seeks to terminate his wife's life by depriving of her of food and water, the parallel case suggests the judge may have a predisposition to removal of any life-support devices rather than an inclination toward the legal guardian.

The 2000 case heard by Greer involved the life of St. Petersburg lawyer Blair Clark, a University of South Florida professor. After suffering a heart attack Sept. 9, 2000, his children, who stood to inherit much of his estate, claimed they wanted to honor his wishes to remove him from a ventilator and feeding tube and allow him to die. His wife, Ping, however, believed his condition could improve with therapy and claimed only one month later treatments had not been given enough time.

Unlike Terri Schiavo, Blair Clark, 58, had a living will, which stated: "If the situation should arise in which there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from severe physical or mental disability, I request that I be allowed to die and that life-prolonging procedures not be provided."

However, his wife believed there was still a reasonable expectation of recovery.

"His living will did not say, 'Don't save me, just let me die,'" his wife pleaded. "They want to kill Blair and I don't know why. I want to ask, 'What's the rush?' I'm the only one who wants to save him. Every time I say yes, they say no. I had to go to court to give him blood."

But on Oct. 24, 2000, Greer ruled in favor of the children and against the wishes of the wife, ordering all mechanical ventilation and intravenous nutrition stopped.

Ping Clark, of Chinese descent, argued that four days of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture treatments had showed promise. She asked only for 30 more days of ventilator support and treatments.

Clark relied heavily on the opinion of neurologists, some of whom claimed Clark's chances of recovery were no greater than one in a thousand.

"If you love somebody, one in 1,000 is a chance worth taking, argued Dennis Rogers, Ping Clark's attorney.

After the ruling, Clark's wife was distraught and couldn't bear to visit the hospital to watch him die.

"I cannot see him die," she cried. "I know how much he wants to live. They'll be guilty their whole lives for killing Blair Clark."

Clark died a week after the ruling, Oct. 31, 2000.

Schiavo's feeding tube was removed Friday by order of Greer at the request of her estranged husband, Michael Schiavo, who contends Terri had expressed a wish to not live under her present condition. Parents Robert and Mary Schindler dispute the court's finding that their daughter is in a "persistent vegetative state," citing numerous physicians who believe she is responsive and could benefit from therapy.


TOPICS: Extended News; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: euthanasia; florida; judgegeorgegreer; judgegreer; schiavo; terrischiavo
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To: AntiGuv

His living will gave his guardian the responsibility to decide what was a "reasonable chance" of recovery- and to decide what extent of recovery he would want to continue to live. She claimed to have seen improvements from alternative medicine (as if ancient Chinese cures are inferior in some way to ours, which were still using leeches 100 years ago)...and she was only asking for THIRTY MORE DAYS before making her decision!

C'mon.

Judge Greer took all options and all decisions away from her at the request of his NONGUARDIANS who stood to benefit financially form his DEATH. Judge Greer could take decisions away from anyone by substituting his own opinion...as we have seen.

But now, please spare us the argument that Judge Greer was simply preserving Terri's legal guardian's standing and legal prerogatives to make decisions for her. Or that the courts "stay out" of family decisions when they trample on the spousal interpretation of the last wishes of the helplessly disabled..


21 posted on 04/07/2005 8:55:43 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: AntiGuv
"If you love somebody, one in 1,000 is a chance worth taking, argued Dennis Rogers, Ping Clark's attorney.

Is that the part you disagree with?

22 posted on 04/07/2005 8:57:37 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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To: silverleaf

If he was smart, his living will was filed with either the hospital or his primary care physician, and didn't give his guardian any discretion with regard to explicitly specified circumstances. Since he was a lawyer, that was more likely the case.

As for Terri, I didn't say anything about Terri. What I said was that this is nothing like the Schiavo case.


23 posted on 04/07/2005 9:00:22 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: TigersEye

No. I posted it because it suggests the wife did not dispute the expectation of recovery, or rather the lack thereof.


25 posted on 04/07/2005 9:01:39 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: silverleaf
She was his spouse, his legal guardian, and BY FL LAW, entitled to make the decisions regarding his health care and his likely wishes given his condition and prognosis....

So much for the "rule of law" mantra. There will be a new one along to replace it soon.

26 posted on 04/07/2005 9:03:40 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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To: AntiGuv
I posted it because it suggests the wife did not dispute the expectation of recovery, or rather the lack thereof.

However, his wife believed there was still a reasonable expectation of recovery.

Ping Clark, of Chinese descent, argued that four days of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture treatments had showed promise. She asked only for 30 more days of ventilator support and treatments.


27 posted on 04/07/2005 9:06:20 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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To: silverleaf

In this case the husband's holographic (written) declaration trumps the spouse's wishes. Greer's decision was the correct on based upon the evidence and Florida law.


28 posted on 04/07/2005 9:09:35 AM PDT by daylate-dollarshort
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To: AntiGuv
"This is nothing like the Schiavo case. Blair had a living will and the living will was quite clear. His wife just happened to be delusional."


The moderate nobles are NOT the compassionate wing of the Republican/Conservative party.
29 posted on 04/07/2005 9:10:07 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: amdgmary

There is little similarity in the cases.


30 posted on 04/07/2005 9:12:59 AM PDT by verity (A mindset is a terrible thing to waste.)
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To: digger48
How can one cover all the possibilities for the actual meaning.

Apparently this will require the services of an attorney to draft a living will that spells out precisely the conditions under which you would want specific modalities of treatment, therapy, life support, and nutrition delivered in the case of varying degrees of disability resulting from various natural and unnatural causes.

A lawyers dream. A patients nightmare.

(I'm not altogether unhappy that the unlucky fellow in the story was a lawyer.)

31 posted on 04/07/2005 9:15:51 AM PDT by johnb838 (Blessed Are The Dead, Who Die In The Lord, For They Rest From Their Labors.)
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To: amdgmary
"If the situation should arise in which there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from severe physical or mental disability, I request that I be allowed to die and that life-prolonging procedures not be provided."

I can understand removal of a respirator, but not nutrition and hydration. Even if the someone wants to be killed under these circumstances, that doesn't mean we have to kill them. Euthanasia is evil.

32 posted on 04/07/2005 9:20:25 AM PDT by TheDon (Euthanasia is an atrocity.)
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: KC_Conspirator

The point that makes it comprable to the Shiavo case is guardianship.

I'm assuming the wife was guardian. The kids disagreed. Greer ruled for the non guardian which does, indeed, give the appearance that his decisions in these cases would be more toward "pulling the plug" than abiding by the guardian's wishes. Is he pre-disposed in these type cases?


34 posted on 04/07/2005 9:22:30 AM PDT by GOP_Proud (...stumbling across Bill Bennett on the radio is like bumping into Socrates at Starbucks.-K.Parker)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: daylate-dollarshort
In this case the husband's holographic (written) declaration trumps the spouse's wishes. Greer's decision was the correct on based upon the evidence and Florida law.

765.205 Responsibility of the surrogate.--

(1) The surrogate, in accordance with the principal's instructions, unless such authority has been expressly limited by the principal, shall:

(a) Have authority to act for the principal and to make all health care decisions for the principal during the principal's incapacity.

(b) Consult expeditiously with appropriate health care providers to provide informed consent, and make only health care decisions for the principal which he or she believes the principal would have made under the circumstances if the principal were capable of making such decisions. If there is no indication of what the principal would have chosen, the surrogate may consider the patient's best interest in deciding that proposed treatments are to be withheld or that treatments currently in effect are to be withdrawn.

(c) Provide written consent using an appropriate form whenever consent is required, including a physician's order not to resuscitate.

(d) Be provided access to the appropriate medical records of the principal.

(e) Apply for public benefits, such as Medicare and Medicaid, for the principal and have access to information regarding the principal's income and assets and banking and financial records to the extent required to make application. A health care provider or facility may not, however, make such application a condition of continued care if the principal, if capable, would have refused to apply.

(2) The surrogate may authorize the release of information and medical records to appropriate persons to ensure the continuity of the principal's health care and may authorize the admission, discharge, or transfer of the principal to or from a health care facility or other facility or program licensed under chapter 400.

(3) If, after the appointment of a surrogate, a court appoints a guardian, the surrogate shall continue to make health care decisions for the principal, unless the court has modified or revoked the authority of the surrogate pursuant to s. 744.3115. The surrogate may be directed by the court to report the principal's health care status to the guardian.

The husband's holographic declaration gave her durable power of attorney for medical decisions. This statute gives her the power to speak for him.

36 posted on 04/07/2005 9:26:44 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: AntiGuv
If he was smart, his living will was filed with either the hospital or his primary care physician, and didn't give his guardian any discretion with regard to explicitly specified circumstances. Since he was a lawyer, that was more likely the case.

If he was smart- if any of us is smart, we better specify what we consider to be "severe" physical or mental disability! Is quadriplegia "severe"? Ask Christopher Reeve. Is paraplegia "severe"? Yes it is, until you end up in your own wheelchair...Is aphasia and having your IQ knocked down to 40 "severe"? You bet...until we find out first hand if our brain is still helping us to find joy and pleasure in the love and care of our family, and how it feels to be unable to tell the world to just let our family keep us comfortable and safe and leave us alone as long as we can feel and give love

Because we can no longer assume than in the gray area of dispute about "quality of life", that our loved ones who know us best, will be able to decide on our behalf, even if all they want is another THIRTY DAYS.

While nonguardians who know not our intimate values and desires (and who coincidentally may stand to inherit) can piously tender to the courts and gain a favorable judgement on, an entirely different case about the "quality of life" that "we" would want....Especially in a world where the helpless and voiceless can be legally aborted for cleft palates and club feet.

A wise man once said "Where you stand on a matter often depends on where you sit...". Until you sit in a wheelchair or a hospital bed, or love a severely person, you don't KNOW how much physical or cognitive function makes life worthwhile for you and for them. "The pursuit of happiness" is always relative, is it not? Again look at Christopher Reeve, who initially requested to be allowed to die.

Even someone with a living will deserves the chance to change their mind when it comes down to life or death. Or to interpret or reinterpret "reasonable chance", "severe" disability, or "quality of life". And their guardian or someone who loves them selflessly, not a judge, should be the final sayer, if they are unable. And I would bet if your wife had a long shot hunch she could help you, and she wanted 30 more days to try to make you better before letting you suffocate and dehydrate, you'd want the judge to say "yes"
38 posted on 04/07/2005 9:31:29 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: TigersEye
Doesn't apply unless there was NO written will, power of attorney or directive.

The holographic is the "Principals" voice. Read the statute. The surrigate, as you consider the spouse, is limited by the wishes and directive of the principal.

Greer made the correct decision.

40 posted on 04/07/2005 9:35:56 AM PDT by daylate-dollarshort
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