Skip to comments.Lauren Richardson Becomes Next Terri Schiavo as Parents Debate Euthanasia (Delaware)
Posted on 02/01/2008 2:51:57 PM PST by Pyro7480
A Delaware woman has become the next Terri Schiavo as her parents engage in a massive legal and philosophical debate about whether to subject her to euthanasia. Richardson is a 23-year-old woman who overdosed on heroin in August 2006 while she was three months pregnant with a baby girl.
Doctors kept Lauren on life support until she delivered her baby in February 2007. Shortly thereafter, her parents began a fight that is reminiscent of the battle over Terri's life and death.
As in the Terri Schiavo case, physicians have been quick to label Lauren as having a persistent vegetative state -- something Terri's family called dehumanizing and medically inaccurate as patients have recovered from it.
Edith Towers, Lauren's mother, wants to remove her feeding tube and starve and dehydrate her to death in the same manner that Michael Schiavo subjected Terri.
Towers claims Lauren would never have wanted to live as a permanently disabled person, but Lauren, as with Terri, did not have a living will or other advance directive spelling out her treatment wishes. She claims Lauren told her during Terri's battle that she would not want to live like her.
On the other side is Randy Richardson, Lauren's father is fighting to save her life and wants to be appointed as her guardian to ensure she receives appropriate medical care and treatment.
"She's committed no crime and doesn't deserve to have this death imposed on her," Richardson told the News Journal newspaper on Wednesday. "We just want to give her a chance."
Lauren no longer uses a ventilator or other breathing apparatus and is not on artificial life support -- something Randy contends is showing progress.
Towers is winning the legal battle in court as she was awarded guardianship of Lauren, but Randy Richardson has filed an appeal.
The News Journal indicates Delaware Court of Chancery Master Sam Glasscock III has put any action taking Lauren's life on hold while the court reviews the guardianship ruling -- a process that could take as much as three months to complete.
Regardless of the decision, an appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court is expected.
Randy Richardson also has other concerns about his daughter and says that Towers, his ex-wife, has not allowed Lauren's baby to see her.
Richardson and the Delaware Pro-Life Coalition released a video on Wednesday that shows Lauren at a nursing home reacting to family members and a dog.
The pro-life group also organized a prayer vigil near the Arbors Rehab Center in New Castle.
The argument that her life deserves being spared when the legal guardian says otherwise.
Not that I want Lauren to lose her fight, mind you. I just think Delaware is more ‘Rat dominated than Florida and that doesn’t bode well for RTL arguments.
I'm not a medical expert, but yes, they have seemingly been quick to label Lauren as having a persistent vegetative state. Although the following article doesn't mention a coma, firefighter Donald Herbert was evidently in such a state for about 10 years before he woke up.
WILMINGTON -- The two attorneys who were on opposing sides in the 2005 Terri Schiavo fight had the same advice for the parents of Lauren Richardson, now in the same situation as Schiavo.
Get away from the courts, get into a room together and try to work out your differences before it is too late.
"If there is one thing I learned from the Schiavo case, any way other than litigation is a better way to resolve this," said George J. Felos, an attorney who represented Michael Schiavo.
"I urge these people ... not to look to the court but to work this out themselves, before their positions harden and before things get said and things get done to make it impossible to talk," said Pat Anderson, an attorney who represented the Schindlers, Terri Schiavo's parents.
Anderson said the case is "eerily" similar to Schiavo's, a Florida case where Schiavo's husband maintained that his wife would not have wanted to live in a vegetative state on life support.
Schiavo left no written instructions and Schiavo's parents, the Schindlers, opposed removing a feeding tube.
The two sides fought in Florida courts for seven years and gained national attention before the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the rulings of state judges, allowing Michael Schiavo to remove the feeding tube in March 2005.
Anderson said her great fear during the Schiavo case was "that all those people who looked at the television screen [and saw the video of Terri Schiavo] and said, 'I wouldn't want to live like that,' might live to regret it because those words might come back at them," she said.
"Those sort of casual remarks would be elevated to an oral directive," she said-- exactly what happened in this case, "If the mother's testimony is accurate."
Anderson, the Schindlers' attorney, said the two cases point to what she sees as "a huge societal issue."
"Why are we executing disabled people because they are disabled? These patients are not dying of any terminal disease. If they die by removal of a feeding tube, they in effect have been executed because their brain has been damaged."
Anderson said if the family of Lauren Richardson does not take her advice and work this out among themselves, outside a court, "Hang onto your socks, it will be a nasty fight ... Everyone is going to lose."
Terri Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler, who now helps run the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation Inc., agreed.
A story about Lauren Richardson was recently posted on the foundation's Web site.
"Certainly, communicate, try to work this out," he said. "Do anything to keep it out of the courts."
At the same time, Schindler, who had been in contact with randy Richardson, was pessimistic, saying that they tried to do that with Michael Schiavo in 2002.
He said that the only compromises that Michael would agree to all ended with the "killing" of his sister. "We would never compromise like that," he said.
In the Richardson case, Schindler said, "Anything short of caring for the girl, I don't know what can be accomplished."
On Saturday, Randy Richardson said "I am willing to do anything possible to avoid death being imposed on my daughter, mediate, whatever it is. My feeling, my concern is my daughter be given the chance to life."
Towers could not be reached.
More on Lauren Richardson...
The media is finally running with it. Yesterday, only one source had picked it up, alas, a source we couldn't even post due to copyright.
Three years after the media firestorm over the sad case of Terry Schiavo, a similar battle being fought in the state of Delaware is currently flying under the mainstream media’s radar.
The Wilmington [Del.] News Journal, which is owned by Gannett, reported on Thursday that the parents of 23-year old Lauren Marie Richardson, whose brain was damaged by a heroin overdose in August 2006, are in court battling over whether to remove her feeding tube. Richardson was pregnant at the time of her overdose, and she was kept alive with the feeding tube and a respirator until the birth of her daughter in February 2007. Since then, Richardson has recovered enough that she no longer required the respirator.
Her father, Randy Richardson, has expressed wishes to take care of his brain-damaged daughter. But a Delaware court awarded Lauren Marie’s mother, Edith Towers, guardianship, which, as "The News Journal" noted, "could allow the removal of a feeding tube and end the life of his brain-damaged daughter." Mr. Richardson appealed the court’s ruling, and it could take up to three months for the Delaware court to rule on the appeal.
As of 5:30 pm Eastern time on Friday, the only mainstream media news source that has picked up on the story is "The News Journal," according to a search on Google News. Pro-life nurse Jill Stanek reported on her blog that Fox News’ "Hannity and Colmes" program will feature the program on the night of February 1.
[h/t to Jill Stanek]
WND is running with it.
...........She's no longer in need of the breathing machine, and now a court order has been issued, and appealed, that could allow the removal of her feeding tube, and her resulting death, the newspaper reported.
The Schiavo case, on which WND reported exhaustively, ended in March 2005 when Terri died, despite a battle by her parents to overturn a court order allowing the same treatment, the removal of her feeding tube.................
In a case that parallels that of Terri Schiavo, Lauren Richardson, a 23-year old non-dying citizen of Delaware, is being dehydrated and starved to death by order of the state, against the wishes of her father. - details at Defend Life, the Delaware Online and LifeNews. Update: see JillStanek.com for more.
A press release by the Delaware Pro-Life Coalition explains:
Lauren is a disabled, non-dying citizen of Delaware who gave birth to her child last year against all physical odds. She has continued to fight for her life. WE APPEAL TO THELauren's father Randy Richardson is scheduled to appear on FOX News "Hannity and Colmes," Friday, February 1st, 9:00 PM and released a video of his daughter.
CITIZENS OF DELAWARE TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT HER LIFE AS A DISABLED PERSON BY SUSTAINING HER FOOD AND WATER. SHE WAS CREATED BY GOD AND HAS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE UNTIL HER NATURAL END OF LIFE.
Programs are available throughout the state and by private agencies to tube-fed, disabled citizens; they affirm human dignity and support the families of such individuals. To die by dehydration and starvation because the court deems it "necessary" is the ultimate in human abandonment by society. To use the law to impose death rather than support human life in all of its frailties is a crime against humanity.
WE BELIEVE LAUREN WANTS US TO AFFIRM HER LIFE.
Visit LifeforLauren for more information about what you can do to help.
And more on Lauren...
WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Judie Brown, president of American Life League, released the following statement concerning an order by Delaware Court of Chancery Master Sam Glasscockon to give guardianship of Lauren Richardson to her mother, who wants to remove Lauren's feeding tube.
"Lauren is 23 years of age and, due to a heroin overdose, is now in a persistent vegetative state. At the time of the overdose, Lauren was expecting the birth of her baby and reports indicate that she was 'kept alive' to allow her to give birth, which she did in February of last year. Her daughter is now about to celebrate her first birthday, but Lauren may never have another birthday.
"Of interest is the fact that, during the pregnancy, Lauren relied on 'feeding tubes and a breathing machine' to keep her alive. Today Lauren has a feeding tube only. But there is a struggle going on regarding whether or not Lauren will live or die.
"Lauren's case is more than a sad commentary on the plight of a family battling over what each of the opponents believes would be in her best interest. Her story is a testimony to the growing philosophy in this country that some, because of their condition, are better off dead than alive.
"Like Terri Schiavo before her, Lauren is not dying nor is she in a terminal condition. She has been diagnosed as someone in a 'persistent vegetative state,' someone who is very much alive but locked in her body and unable to express her desires to anyone. The only thing Lauren is relying on is a feeding tube without which she will starve to death. Lauren's mother, who is Lauren's guardian, wants the feeding tube removed while Lauren's father is fighting to keep Lauren alive.
"This family is in our prayers. We hope that, in the interest of respecting Lauren's dignity as a human being whose future improvement or lack thereof is known only to God, the court will listen carefully to those who argue in favor of Lauren's right to life. It is a tragedy beyond description when any human being's fate rests solely on the subjective opinion of others, some of whom truly believe that patients like Lauren have no 'quality of life' and therefore are better off dead."
As the New Crist Minstrals take recover from the RINOplasty surgery, they increase Florida's reputation as the place where death lovers can ply their trade in peace...
For nearly a decade under former Gov. Jeb Bush, social conservatives dominated Florida's Republican Party.
Sen. John McCain''s win in the state's presidential primary, over the objections of conservative radio hosts and the state Christian Coalition network, was the third straight defeat for social conservatives.
McCain's victory follows Charlie Crist's win in the 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary over the more conservative Tom Gallagher, who was endorsed by the Christian Coalition. In 2004, Mel Martinez, a former trial attorney, beat the more conservative Bill McCollum in the primary for a seat in the U.S. Senate.
"There is some drift toward a more moderate direction," said Dennis Baxley, a former state representative who on Friday started work as executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida. "We are not doing as much as we used to. We have some work to do."
The results at the ballot box have had a direct bearing on public policy.
Florida, during the reign of Bush, gained national attention for refusing to allow the husband of Terri Schiavo to end her life; for creating the first "Choose Life" license plate; and for approving school vouchers, transferring public funds to private schools.
Today, under Crist, Florida is getting attention for broad regulations to reduce global warming; for restoring the voting rights of felons; and for expanding gambling on Indian reservations....................
In the eyes of the far left, anyone who would fight to keep an innocent from being murdered by the State is an ultraconservative extremist. To them, it is sensible to have the right-to-kill anyone they think is a bother. They would take money from our pockets to pay for it, too.
Here comes the leftist replacement candidate to Florida's Dave Weldon...
Among Blythe's frustrations in his quixotic bid for Congress is that his Republican opponent - U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon - abruptly announced Jan. 25 that he wouldn't seek an eighth term from Florida's 15th District. A physician himself, Weldon is a fierce critic of universal health care, arguing that "we don't need more government intruding in health care delivery."
During his years in Congress, Dave Weldon has courted voters with his strong support for NASA and the military. But his ultraconservative views - he was among the most vocal critics of efforts to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube - have made him a polarizing figure....................
Thread by wagglebee.
OTTAWA, February 1, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Under Canadian regulations on employment insurance (EI), abortion is considered an "illness" which makes a woman eligible for tax-funded benefits, says the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation. Even more strangely, a woman who aborts her child after 20 weeks can claim maternity benefits.
The Federation points out that although the Canadian government spends only about $50-million a year directly to pay for abortions, the Canadian taxpayer is also subsidising abortion in a number of less obvious ways..........
Thread by wagglebee.
ROME, JAN. 28, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The quest for a perfect child is leading to the increasing use of techniques to discover possible health problems in the unborn. Normally this is not done with a view to healing, and results in the deaths of embryos considered imperfect.
It Italy court decisions are in effect undoing a legal prohibition against the use of such screening programs, known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). A 2004 national law vetoes screening embryos before they are implanted in the mothers' womb..........
I don’t know what the mother’s motivation is, it could be that she honestly believes that this is best for her daughter. However, after watching the terrible things parents will subject their children to in cases of divorce, I cannot discount the motive of hurting the other parent. I know that is a terrible thing to say, but parents do it all the time, using the kids to get back at the other parent.
God Bless them all, what a terrible and sad situation. My prayers go out.
The one that people aren’t vegetables?
If we are going down this road (actively killing people by denying them food/water) then I suggest we just admit it and euthanize them humanely as we do our pets.
Please add me to your ping list. Thanks!
Not only that...
The mother should not have custody of Lauren’s child either. I read the Delaware papers full of advice from George Felos (Michael Schiavo’s lawyer), for the mother.
Wow. Imagine your own Mom wanting to pull the plug on you. Very, very sad.
Please “ping” me to new developments, if you continue to post them. Thanks! :)
As someone noted on Stanek’s blog:
Only yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the execution of James Callahan, a convicted rapist and murderer in Alabama, due to concerns lethal injection may be cruel and unusual punishment. How can people have such schizophrenic opinions on life and death?
And yet another excellent comment:
What reasons are given for the mom wanting to abort her out of the womb daughter?
It seems very suspicious to me that an 18 year old express something regarding a death wish. The evidence given is heresay given by a prejudiced witness, the mom who wants her killed.
The spark of life should never be snuffed out by another human.
And the mom’s attorney, sounds like a pro-abort twister of truth.
I believe God allows these types of things to happen, as terrible as they are, to test the church.
Where are you church? Where’s the roar of a lion against this obvious abomination? Hey all you lukewarm Christians, where’s your concern about this girl’s eternal soul?
Can’t you see that this stuff, along with the abortion battle, is just another front in the war for life. God is watching to see what we will do and we are all accountable to Him.
I for one state and stand for this women’s life. I publicly decalre that starving her or dehydrating her is an act of the most heinoue kind of murder.
Where are you NOW, and NARAL and Amanda Marcotte? Here’s a born woman who is trying to stay alive. You say we pro-lifers are not concerned about women that are already alive. I mean, can’t we even come together on this one?
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