Skip to comments.Schiavo right-to-die case captured the attention of the world
Posted on 12/26/2005 4:49:42 PM PST by FairOpinion
As the yearslong battle between Michael Schiavo and Bob and Mary Schindler came to a head in March, the case drew in Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Vatican and the White House. National TV networks chronicled every twist of the hot-button issue.
Michael Schiavo wanted to carry out what he said were his wife's wishes not to be kept alive artificially. The Schindlers disputed their daughter had such end-of-life wishes and had held out hope that she could have improved with therapy. They said she had interacted with them.
The dispute nearly created a constitutional crisis. Congress, the president and Florida lawmakers moved to block the court order that Schiavo's feeding tube be removed. The courts rebuffed political efforts to undermine its authority and the separation of powers.
Terri Schiavo died of dehydration at a Pinellas County hospice on March 31 following the removal of her feeding tube 13 days earlier. Her death came after the courts repeatedly blocked the efforts of the Schindlers, Congress, Gov. Jeb Bush and his older brother, President Bush, to resume her feedings.
For his part, Michael Schiavo didn't stay in the background long, either. In early December he announced that he formed a political action committee to retaliate against politicians who opposed efforts to end his wife's life, particularly House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
(Excerpt) Read more at gainesville.com ...
A permanent blot on civilization, the murder of an innocent, disabled woman.
What a shameful commentary on our civilization. We are "too civilized" to allow "degrading treatment" of terrorists, even if it may cause our own deaths, but have no problem killing an innocent, defenseless woman.
It also captured and destroyed the acount of many a FReeper.
"For his part, Michael Schiavo didn't stay in the background long, either. In early December he announced that he formed a political action committee to retaliate against politicians who opposed efforts to end his wife's life, particularly House Majority Leader Tom DeLay."
Some of those people who were supporting MS so fiercely can be very proud of him now. (/sarcams)
To America's shame.
Yes, we the "defenders of innocents everywhere in the world", allowed our laws to be misused by corrupt judges to murder an innocent person.
Just recently there was all the media attention about brutal murderer Tookie, demanding that the CA Governor pardon him, but Jeb Bush wasn't allowed to pardon Terri, by the Florida laws, which the Florida Legislature refused to change.
And note, that MS has the colossal cruelty to name his PAC "TerriPAC".
TerriPAC, Schiavo Already Bending FEC Rules
According to the law, a PAC must register with the Federal Elections Commission within 10 days of its formation. According to the domain registration for www.terriPAC.com Derek Newton, Democratic political consultant of Coral Gables, Fla., registered the domain under the name of the November Group and in essence formed the PAC on Aug. 7. However, there was no registration of the PAC with FEC as required until Dec. 8, four months later. (PDF of domain registration) Schiavo and Newton claim that the PAC "will raise and spend funds to educate voters on where their elected officials stood when they had a choice between individual freedom and personal privacy and overreaching government action. TerriPAC is a federal political action committee and will be able to endorse or oppose candidates for federal office - including members of Congress".
His day will come and when it does there will be no court of appeals for him to go to, although I would be willing to bet that Terri would ask God for mercy.
Be careful who you marry. They will have the right to speak for you when you can't speak for yourself.
Read: Right to Kill!!
This ugly act where politicians grandstanded but did not act to save a life showed us a lot about our elected officials and even more about the corrupted and arrogant judiciary that is too powerful and out of control.
Coach for Penn State?
"Let everyone who said your beautiful smile was fake be haunted by it for the rest of their days."
People without conscious brain activity do not know they are smiling, if that's what you mean by saying her smile was fake.
People without conscious brain activity do not know they are smiling..
And you know Terri was without conscious brain activity because...
1. You're a smart-ass
2. You read the papers and watch the news
3. You have a feeding tube yourself
4. Your spouse would never do that to you
5. Your name is Michael...
6. And what is that on your shoes????
Terri's genuine and sincere smile must have bothered you.
Let it not haunt you too for the rest of your life.
God bless you for being such a blessing to others.
"A permanent blot on civilization, the murder of an innocent, disabled woman."
Innocent, disabled and rich - a deadly combination.
I don't think I ever cried so much for so long as I did for Terri.
May she continue to rest in peace.
You said it. Even if you're not disabled, innocent and rich can make a lot of trouble. Innocence itself can be a disability in this wicked world.
I spent Christmas yesterday with a friend who was in a similiar state last year after OD-ing and spending close to 12 hours with interrupted oxygen flow to his brain. For several months he was on a feeding tube with no brain activity. Today he is still-brain damaged and paralyzed, but he is conscious and can speak. He can remember and describe events that too place when he was supposedly in a vegetative state. Medical scientific measures of consciousness are the product of guesswork, not verifiable fact.
A photograph of Terri taken 'soon after her heart attack' -
which subsequent tests never proved she had actually suffered.
But..if he lived in Florida, and if you were his guardian, and you had a lawyer like Michael Schiavo had, and you went before Judge Greer, you could have had your cousin's feeding tube removed, watched him starve to death, and invested the payout from the insurance company in real estate...
Terri never had a lawyer. IMO Terri was legally murdered. The world remembers. I will never forget.
'Judicial murder' and Terri Schiavo
By Nat Hentoff
July 11, 2005
While editorials across the nation agreed in chorus that at last, Terri Schiavo will rest in peace, the autopsy report declined such certainty:"It is the policy of this office that no case is ever closed and that all determinations are to be reconsidered upon receipt of credible, new information." Even if no new information surfaces, how Terri Schiavo was put to death is causing many Americans to confront their own death.
Pat Anderson, for a long time the attorney for Terri Schiavo's parents, said the day Terri died of dehydration as ordered by the courts and her husband: "Euthanasia in America now has a name and a face." Dr. Jon Thogmartin's autopsy report made clear that Terri Schiavo was not dying, let alone terminal. As Dr. Carl D'Angio wrote in a June 21 letter in the New York Times: "Her family loved what was left of her and asked only to be permitted to care for her at their own expense. My question is, who or what was better served by her passive execution by water deprivation than by the first alternative?"
Responding to the autopsy report, Terri's parents said: "Terri's case was NOT an end-of-life case. Terri's case was about ending a disabled person's life. Terri was brain-injured. This does NOT mean that she was brain-dead." Her parents also noted that "according to the medical examiner, Terri was given morphine for pain as she died ... If Terri could feel no pain, as some would say, why would these drugs be necessary? In our opinion, the treating health care officials understood that Terri felt pain."
There was a service when Michael Schiavo, her husband, buried her cremated remains on June 20 in Clearwater, Fla., where he lives. However, Terri's parents were not there and he did not tell them. That tells me something about Michael Schiavo.
Also, on a bronze grave marker he had taken pains to order, he wrote: "I kept my promise." Concurring, a headline in the June 16 New York Post exclaimed: "Terri had no hope, autopsy supports her husband." With few exceptions, this was also the opinion of many editorial writers and columnists around the country. Another consensus in the media was that her rights had been, indeed laboriously, upheld by the courts, up to and including the Supreme Court.
But the true core of this case, resulting in the extraction of her life, was the decision by Circuit Judge George Greer in Florida that Michael Schiavo had kept his promise by adhering to what he claims Terri told him, before her brain injury, that she would not want to live if she were kept artificially alive.
This alleged statement was just hearsay, confirmed only by Michael Schiavo's brother and sister-in-law. But Judge Greer paid no attention to the sworn testimony of a close friend of Terri, who testified Terri had said her wishes would have been to go on living in such a situation.
Moreover, Judge Greer repeatedly refused to take into consideration, with regard to the husband's credibility, that Michael Schiavo, after Terri became disabled, had for years been living with another woman, with whom he's had two children, although he had said he would devote his life to caring for his wife.
Also, Michael Schiavo did not mention her alleged wishes for years after her brain damage, at one point saying he didn't know her wishes. Yet Judge Greer allowed Michael Schiavo to act as her guardian, while not permitting Terri to have her own lawyer representing her. (Her parents had a lawyer, but elementary due process required that an attorney directly represent this disabled woman, whose husband was intent on her interment.)
After the autopsy, there were renewed, scathing attacks on those members of Congress who had tried to have the federal courts intervene to save Terri's life. But since a state court judge had sentenced her to death, ordering her feeding tube removed three times, elementary due process required a review of the entire case in the federal courts by authority of the 14th Amendment's "equal protection of the laws." Most of the media omitted the fact that in Congress, there were many Democrats as well as Republicans who tried hard to provide Terri the essence of our legal system due process before it was too late.
But then, the great majority of the federal judges who became involved relied entirely on the state circuit judge's unyielding death sentence. I called this judicial murder, the longest public execution in our history. Despite Michael Schiavo's bronze marker on her grave, I have not changed my mind.
Michael Schiavo's literary agent, David Vigliano, is sending proposals for a book by the husband to publishers. Says Mr. Vigliano: "I think this is the seminal case in the right to die with dignity story." No.
This is the seminal case for whether euthanasia for the seriously disabled becomes embedded in the American way of death.
She was genuinely braindead. She was sincerely unable to control any voluntary functions. That itself is haunting, that our bodies can live on as puppets controlled by the involuntary functions our brainstem performs because grieving and misguided family members would forcefeed the shells of our bodies.
Er, you can't edit posts here but I meant braindamaged rather than braindead. Her brainstem was still functioning, performing the body's standard involuntary functions, so she was not clinically braindead.
I agree with you. I am a very pro-life person, but I failed to see how this case was different from the thousands of other cases where someone with no hope of recovery is removed from life support each year. A lot of people got hoodwinked in the Schivo matter. The simple fact is that modern technology allows us to keep physical bodies alive long past when the mind and sprit are gone. If there is any minute reasonable hope that someone will ever recover, we need to use these technologies. If we are just keeping alive bodies when the mind has zero chance of ever recovering, then we are doing nothing but playing god and that person should be allowed to return to the lord. Teri was brain dead, and had no chance of ever waking up again. Her cerebral cortex had ceased working, and her EEG was flat. None of the kook's conspiracy theories (and i'm sure i'll hear them all again after posting this) change this. There was a zero percent chance she'd ever wake again, and after fifteen years it was time to let her go. This should have been a private matter for her family like the thousands of other cases (most less severe than hers) a year when someone is taken off of life support.
Congress coming back into session over this was one of the most disgusting displays of political grandstanding ive ever seen. It was nothing but a cheap attempt to distract us from more important issues like the borders, and outrageous federal spending. Seeing all the Jesse Jackson type charlatans and attention hounds flock to this case was equally disgusting. None of them cared a whit about Teri.
Apparently you were "hoodwinked" as your very false statement above proves.
Feeding tubes are NOT modern technology. They have been around in one form or another since EGYPTIAN times and were used in the civil war.
Furthermore, Terri Schindler was NOT brain dead and was diagnosed by a Florida DCF physician on her fourth day of her last dehydration, starvation as semiconscious.
We have had the ability to keep severely disabled people like Terri alive for over a hundred years, if not longer. However, the reality of modern day "enlightened thinking" is the lives of less and less sick and disabled people are deemed worth living.
The last physician to see her on the fourth day of her last dehydration, starvation was a Florida DCF doctor who diagnosed her as "semi-conscious." And this diagnosis was made after four days of no food or water.
A powerful and very honest statement that bears repeating.
1- an unaccountable Judiciary.
2- whose life is it, anyway? Yours, or someone else's?
3- whose Country is it?
There are other vital issues, of course- but these three will determine just who we really are as a nation.
You were hoodwinked. She had 0% chance of waking. Further, if we are to believe it, she herself said (beforehand) that she wouldn't want to "live" that way. Even if she told you that personally, you'd still keep her body alive forever if you could, why don't you admit it. You want personal control of her life and death.
More importantly, get the legal paperwork done, as the Schiavos never did.
Well, one could say that you were hoodwinked. Who said that she had "0% chance" of waking? The physicians Mr. Schiavo hired? And "she herself claimed she wouldn't want to live that way"? According to whom? The only person who heard this "request" was her "husband" AFTER he milked the system, claiming the money he got would be for her rehabiliation. Now, if she had "0% chance" of waking, what was Mr. Schiavo going to rehabiliate?
And those of us who saw this for what it was, legally sanctioned murder, could say the same about those of you who wanted this woman "let go". You all wanted personal control of her life and death also, hence why you continuously try to convince yourselves that her murder was justified, thinking ONLY of yourselves ("I wouldn't want to live that way").
Just a thought.
My wife has made he wishes to not be kept alive in this kind of situation very clear to me. An God help anyone who would try to interfere with my ability to carry out those wishes, and try to use it for their own political of self aggrandizing purposes.
This issue was never about life or death so to speak, as it was about proper legal authority over those decisions it these kinds of situations.
"My wife has made he wishes to not be kept alive in this kind of situation very clear to me."
Good. And when you say "made clear to you", I hope you mean in writing, with a formal medical power of attorney. If she has just done it verbally, you won't be protected from the "self-aggrandizing" (I agree with your observation about that).
If that's what you think.
Also, if Terri had made her request in writing, then I would have agreed with you. It would have been clearly expressed by her and, even though I disagree with the whole "death with (so-called) dignity" movement, I would have respected that.
Unfortunately, the only thing we had was the words of her legal husband who had gone on with his life, shacked up with another woman and their children together, who had sued for malpractice in Terri's care, claiming he wanted to rehabiliate her then, when he got the money, suddenly he "remembered" that she didn't want to live this way.
Sorry, but that raises questions in my mind about the credibility of this "legal husband".
If your view is so obvious... just look at what you have to do to to arrive at your conclusions: the husband lied (because he must have), the autopsy was incorrect (because it must have been done by a quack), she didn't say she would want to live that way (because if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it fall, then it didn't fall), and she didn't wake up once in the decades because she was going to wake up later. Mental gymnastics an olympic sport? You'd get gold.
Food and water are NOT extraordinary means. Ventilators and heart machines however are. IF we are to believe the testimony of the four Schiavo's (and I don't) Terri said upon learning one of the Schiavo relatives was placed on a ventilator, she would not want to exist that way. Feeding tubes at that time were NOT an issue and it is highly unlikely she was even aware of them let alone was referring to them when she allegedly made those comments. Nor did she say she wanted to be starved and dehydrated to death. Furthermore, she made comments which contradict the testimony of the Schiavo's such as those regarding Karen Ann Quinlin, where she said, "Where there's life there's hope."
With such contradictory testimony and NOTHING in writing, you don't put someone to death. We don't even sell homes or property without written documentation, but we should put people to death without it?
Sorry, bub, when the issue is the serious matter of life and death, and where there is genuine doubt as there was in this case, and no documentation, the assumption should be life, NOT death.
A lack of outside corroboration to her husbands assertion of her wishes should not even be considered enough evidence to get into court, much less mount a protracted legal battle.
I realize that this leaves open the possibility of someone deciding to end their spouses life support for purely selfish reasons. Thus my warning about who you marry.
Apparently I must retract my earlier statement about "not getting into this again", as it's obvious I have.
It would have been more humane to put a slug in her head than let starve like she did. Try this with horse or a dog and PETA and every lefty organization would be all over it.