Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Terri's News: 2004

Don't Forget

I should have posted this long ago but forgot. It's easy to forget as we wait for the wheels of injustice to roll to some conclusion.

Senate Bill 692, introduced by Republican state Sen. Stephen Wise of Jacksonville, would prohibit courts from ordering feeding tubes removed from any mentally incompetent patient in Florida who doesn't have a living will or other advance directive stating otherwise.

The measure faces stiff opposition. Senate President Jim King, a fellow Jacksonville Republican who helped craft the state's current right-to-die statutes and controls which bills reach the chamber floor, said Tuesday that Wise's bill will go nowhere in the 2004 session.

In the 1980s, King was the architect of Florida's right-to- die law, considered a national death-with-dignity model and touted by the Senate leader as one of his key accomplishments.

"I don't want anything on the floor in that Senate that is going to give platforms to people who want to roll back the hands of time for whatever reason,'' King said. ``As soon as you put something on the floor, as well-intended as it may be, anybody can amend it. Then all of a sudden I'm sitting there facing a bill or bills that can dismantle what I consider to be my legacy

So I sent Senator King the following email:

While those of us who prayed that Terri's life would be spared deeply appreciate your indispensable role in bringing to the Senate floor the bill by means of which that good thing was accomplished, are we now to understand that bill 692 is to be denied a hearing because of...your vanity? Your "legacy," as you put it, would have allowed a woman, whose life depended on a feeding tube but suffered no fatal condition or malady, to be murdered by means of starvation. All that the sponsors of 692 intend is that we, and the Terris of this world, not be put in such predicament again. If I remember correctly, you voted for the first bill. Why not this one? That, too, would be part of your legacy. Sincerely, William Luse

If you haven't already, some of you might like to do the same:

The urgency of the matter is made clear by Wesley Smith in his recent article The Rule of Terri's Case Strikes Again.

Is There Still Reason to Hope?
Sept 24, 2004

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled Terri's law unconstitutional. It's a violation of the separation of powers, say the judges. We can't have judicial decisions overturned by popular clamor. Even if the judicial decision is manifestly unjust? Say, when a judge decides that a black man is better suited to slavery than freedom? Justice Barbara Pariente expressed sympathy for the emotional plight of Terri's parents over these long years, but decreed that "our hearts are not the law." Or something like that. "We must govern our decisions by the rule of law and not by our emotions." Unless the emotions involved happen to be judicial sympathy for a woman seeking abortion, or a democrat seeking the presidency. The justices do not address the justice of Judge Greer's decisions, because to them this is not a matter of justice but "law." Which tranlated means judicial prerogative.

All brought to you courtesy of the Maleficent Seven, aka the Seven Stooges who presided over the 2000 presidential vote recount, only to find their impeccable interpretation of constitutional law overturned by the U.S Supreme Court. However, there appears little likelihood that the Supremes will take this case on appeal. They've already turned it down once before.

Here's a link to a picture of the Seven (they're not taking up pixels on my page), whom the voters of Florida keep returning to office, as we did with Judge Greer. Maybe that's why the weather's gone mad. But that doesn't account for Haiti, does it?

It seems as though we can never win one. Just one.

Comments: Is There Still Reason to Hope?

Dear Bill,
Another horrendous travesty. Pilate washes his hands and says, "What is truth?" Our hearts bleed for you, but we only interpret the law, we don't make it.
I think it's a usurpation of the separation of powers to have the court overturning legislation designed to correct an out-of-order court. If you don't want these squabbles, then don't make idiotic judgments that even the judicially-challenged can see as a conflict-of-interest.
I don't want to go the way of the Netherlands and now Belgium--but all signs seem to be pointing in that direction. If we cannot harness our activist courts, how long do we have before doctors can unilaterally make the choice to "euthanize" patients who have not stated a desire for such or who have specifically interdicted such a desire?
And we wonder why Florida has had four hurricanes in Six weeks. The travesty is that they all should have passed directly over the judiciary building and left the rest of us alone.
Posted by Steven Riddle email at September 24, 2004 08:35 AM

Dear Bill,
One more point. I have voted against these seven angels of idiocy and death every time I've had the opportunity. I think too many do not vote at all, and many simply vote as I used to do, for the status quo. It's time to remove these usurpers of democratic rights and establish a court that interprets law rather than making it. according to their own social agenda.
Posted by Steven Riddle email at September 24, 2004 08:36 AM

The 2000 election revealed to all of America that Florda, quite frankly, has the worst supreme court in all 50 states, but then somebody's gotta be last. They've only confirm that opinion with this crap. That these bozos are actually elected officials does give me pause to wonder if this democracy thing is working.
Posted by TSO email at September 24, 2004 09:06 AM

Good thoughts, Steven. Love to see you all riled up.
TS - They're not exactly elected. They're appointed by the governor from a list submitted to him by a judicial selection commission. He must choose from the list. The judges are then subject to "merit retention" by the voters. This page explains it.
Posted by William Luse email at September 24, 2004 02:43 PM

comment via email from another reader: "the Maleficent Seven" -- it would be funny if it weren't so deadly serious.If I were them I'd be wetting my pants -- anyone who gets Steven Riddle, of all people, reaching for the little whip of knotted cords should fear for his immortal soul.
Posted by William Luse email at September 24, 2004 06:33 PM

"...anyone who gets Steven Riddle, of all people, reaching for the little whip of knotted cords should fear for his immortal soul."
That one's gotta be good for a TSO globe spanner (I say with greatest admiration for both Bill and Steven. And TSO for that matter).
Posted by Zippy email at September 24, 2004 10:31 PM

Well, Zippy, then I'd better give credit to who said it: the redoubtable and occasionally irrepressible Peony Moss.
Posted by William Luse email at September 25, 2004 04:22 AM

Terri's husband Michael was so grossly negligent in the timely and faithful administration of Terri's therapy that it leaves me amazed how any rational court could deem him a competent guardian of her interests.
I think Michael knows quite well that nuerological trauma such as the sort that Terri suffered is degenerative in absence of regular and agressive stimulation.
To be blunt,therapy may never have made Terri *all better* but it would have stemmed any further deterioration of her condition and may have in fact made her somewhat functional.
It also galls me how the Florida courts redefined the vegetative state to mean that when a patient such as Terri is presented with a stim, she must respond consistently in such a way to present mastery of response. IOW, that Terri must respond to say, a pin stick, dang near all the time, not some of the time, in order to show that she is aware.
Moreover after all these years of neglect and Michael's regualar court-ordered starvings of Terri, it should take at least six months of daily therapy sessions to even conduct a primary evaluation of her condition. No one, not even Michael's expert witness, can make a full-proof prognosis of therapy in a primary evaluation. That needs to be conducted after a baseline eval has been conducted and then regular therapy implemented. Apparently that concept is beyond those seven highly-educated baboons.
I'll tell you something. The longer she is in Michael's hands and the longer she is left there unstimulated, the worse her prognosis gets.
That angers me to no end.
Posted by :~)Julie email at September 26, 2004 02:58 PM
Good. I wish more people felt as you do. But they don't.
Posted by William Luse email at September 26, 2004 08:44 PM

I have never been confronted with anything that I thought was as evil as this situation. And the most evil thing about it is the response of the courts to the situation.
It has shaken my faith completely in my government (at least the judicial part of it) and in my country. Do we really live in a place where a judge can say such a stupid thing and it's NOT splashed across the headlines of the next day's newspaper as an indictment of the incompetence of the system????
I have wept a thousand tears--I am sure only 1 gazillionth of the tears that her parents have wept.
How can her "husband" be so awful? How? How? How? Why can't he just go away and leave her alone? How much money will he get? Could every pro-life person send him $1 and tell him to go away--ransoming her from her captor?
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us. We don't deserve it, but pray for us anyway.....
Posted by MamaT email at September 26, 2004 11:49 PM

A ransom for her life. Not a bad idea. Write to someone and see if you can make it happen. I'll throw in my buck. Hell, I'll throw in five.
Posted by William Luse email at September 27, 2004 03:23 AM


A Ransom for Terri’s Life?
Sep. 27, 2004

Terry Southhard has an idea. She wonders: “Why can't he just go away and leave her alone? Could every pro-life person send him $1 and tell him to go away--ransoming her from her captor?”

To elaborate this to the level of a plan, perhaps several million pro-lifers could be persuaded to part with one dollar – one million to go to Michael, perhaps another million to Felos the Euphemist, his lawyer, and the final million to Terri’s parents for her care and rehabilitation. Surely there are 3 million pro-lifers in this country who could spare a buck. To get the money, Michael would have to sign a contract ceding guardianship to Terri’s parents and renouncing any further interest in his wife’s earthly destiny.

Whether this is legally feasible I don’t know. Would, for example, Judge Greer have authority to intervene in this matter? In other words, if Michael bows out, would guardianship automatically devolve upon the parents, or upon a court appointed ad litem? I don’t know. But I don’t think it matters. Such an offer would put both parties in an interesting position. In Michael’s case, we’d find out whether he can be bought, or whether he really takes pride in standing on principle. And in the case of the judiciary, as personified in Judge Greer, we’d find out whether they are simply trying to follow the law in acceding to Michael’s wishes, or are in fact truly intent on seeing her dead.

And I don’t mean to make it sound like some kind of evil game. The cause is just, our motives pure. We want her to live, and to one day die in the arms of those who love her. A ransom for a life is not a bad thing. I’d pay one for yours if it were in my power.

I have no idea how to get such a campaign underway – who to write, for example – but maybe some of you do. Maybe Terry could sound out that Father Rob guy. Or perhaps Earl of Times Against Humanity. Somebody.

Comments: A Ransom for Terri's Life?

I'd donate, and I'd toss in another dollar for Terri's parents' retirement fund. It's gone -- all spent on legal fees, trying to save their daughter.
The problem is that Terri's father has tried the ransom idea -- he offered a cash settlement to Michael, and nothing came of it. If I remember correctly, there was a little bit of interest but then right back to the no, no, I'm just carrying out Terri's wishes.
Some have speculated that Michael is no longer driving the train -- that it's Felos, the lawyer, who is into all kinds of New Age beliefs and helping people die and is keeping this case going. It's a test case for him -- it's brought him onto the national stage and brought all kinds of attention to his diabolical cause -- and apparently his plan is to write a book.
Michael has spent down Terri's rehab money on Felos's fees; nobody knows exactly how much. I wonder what's going to be in it for him once Terri is dead and Felos writes his book? (besides whatever's left of Terri's estate, of course.)
Others have speculated that it's not just the money -- that Michael has other motives for wanting Terri dead besides his personal enrichment. He has already arranged for there to be no autopsy and to have her body cremated immediately. Now, Michael, tell us again how Terri got hurt? And how about that bone scan, hmmm?
And of course, since he's been insisting all these years that he's just doing this because it's what Terri would have wanted, it might cause all kinds of inconvenient questions if he were to change his mind.
I wonder if someone could sue Michael, in the civil court that awarded the malpractice money, for contempt. That money was awarded for Terri's rehab and care, not for shoving her in a hospice and suing to starve her to death.
Posted by Peony Moss email at September 27, 2004 07:43 AM

Yea, I agree with Peony... it's sort of a pride thing with the Michael Schiavo/Felos camp now. They'll kill her, whatever it takes.
I kind of lean towards kidnapping to get her out of the country now. I don't see any other way.
Posted by Elena email at September 27, 2004 07:49 AM

You can donate to Terri's legal fund at . Click on the left sidebar where it says "donations."
Posted by Peony Moss email at September 27, 2004 07:55 AM

people will do stuff for 'causes' that they won't do for enlightened self interest.
Posted by alicia email at September 27, 2004 09:35 AM

As I understand it, Terri's parents already offered to take over her care and let Michael walk away with the million-dollar settlement he got before it had all been spent on legal fees trying to have her killed. He wouldn't take the money and walk away at the time. There has been some speculation that with Terri's unexplained bone fractures Michael can't afford to let Terri live and take the risk of her recovering enough to talk. No matter how much money is involved.
Posted by Zippy email at September 27, 2004 10:31 AM

Thanks to you all, and you're all right in what you say. But I still think the offer needs to be made, publicly and with a great deal of publicity. It needs to be on the record that he turned down a comfortable future in order to see his wife to her grave. The offer made by Terri's parents was a long time ago, and by then I don't think there was still a million bucks left, because it only gradually became apparent that Michael had no intention of providing therapy. This new offer would re-focus public attention on the purity of his motives, and on Terri's plight. I don't think contributing to her legal fund will bear fruit, because the courts are dead set against her. (But I am not discouraging people from making that contribution. Do what conscience dictates.) The only legal remedy I see is a change in the law, perhaps for Gov. Bush and the legislature to get a referendum on the November ballot prohibiting victims of PVS from having their sustenance disconnected. But I don't think the people of Florida would vote for it. I like Elena's idea best. Just wish somebody had the balls to do it.
Posted by William Luse email at September 27, 2004 09:13 PM

so, Bill, how close do you live to Pinellas County?
Posted by Peony Moss email at September 28, 2004 07:38 AM

I love the ransom idea. I've tried to understand Michael S and I can't. Why won't he relinquish the care of Terri to her parents? I just don't get it. And I'm baffled by the court that backs him up. I'll send my money to the ransom fund, though sending it to the lawyers might kill me. You need to find a high profile person to start the ransom project. How about a US Bishop? :>
Posted by Susan F. email at September 28, 2004 12:48 PM

I've tried to understand Michael S and I can't.
If, as has been speculated, Terri's unexplained bone fractures and her current condition are the result of an attempt by Michael to kill her, then no amount of money can make it worth the risk (to Michael) of her being able to talk again.
I agree that absent this speculation his behavior seems completely inexplicable.
Posted by Zippy email at September 28, 2004 01:46 PM
Oh, that Peony. Wants to find out if I have cahones. Let me put it this way: if she were my daughter, she'd be starved to death over my dead body.
Posted by William Luse email at September 28, 2004 02:02 PM

I don't think evil can be understood, and that is what seems to be working thru Michael.
Posted by TSO email at September 29, 2004 09:53 AM

Zippy, on the King show they showed tapes from 2001, when she responded by voice (with grunts and moans) to questions and affectionate prompts from her parents. And she opened her eyes, with difficulty, when asked to. It was spooky. As to those medical records that might contain evidence of a crime, they have been sealed by the court in obeisance to Michael's wishes. Another one of those things your average citizen can't understand.
TSO - hard to argue with that.
Posted by William Luse email at September 29, 2004 05:19 PM

Michael acts out his love

Sept. 29, 2004

I watched the interview on Larry King last night (night before last, now) with Terri's parents, and the flashbacks to his interview with Michael (Angel-of-Death) Schiavo. All in all, it was heartbreaking to watch their anguish, and be forced to admit that we now live in a world, and a country, which is no longer governed by even the most rudimentary of normal human affections, but by a rule of law that finds them irrelevant, even, in a way, repugnant. That parents would not be allowed to care for their daughter when no one else wants to, that in fact her death is a thing vastly to be preferred to her living, is a state of affairs that I think at one time would have horrified most Americans. But it doesn't anymore.

Michael loves her, you see, and "deeply", I should add. Therefore he must fulfill her wish to be rid of the indignity she now suffers. It's the last thing he can do for her, his final act of love. His love for her, which can now be consummated only in her death, outweighs that of her parents, which would find its crowning glory in merely caring for her, as they did when she was a baby. And the courts agree. And our state law agrees. He has the right, and perhaps the duty, to see it through.

I don't know that I can follow this case any longer. But I'll still be around. When they come for one of my own I'll be there, on the front porch in my rocking chair, a shotgun cradled in my lap.


Reader comments to Michael Acts Out...

Shiavo is an un utter hypocrite. If Terri is soooooo far gone that she can be deemed vegetative than she is completely unaware of her *degredation*.
See, he can't have it both ways. Terri is either aware enough to be upset about her condition, in which case she is aware enough to feel the pain of starvation and thirst. or she is truly vegetative and she is not aware enough to be upset about her condition.
I can't believe people are so gullible as to swallow some smarmy emotional plea about *putting Terri out of her misery* when she is supposedly incapable of feeling pain.
Posted by :~) Julie email at September 29, 2004 07:34 AM

then, not than. argh. I get all worked up over this tragedy.
Posted by email at September 29, 2004 07:34 AM

I will patiently wait to see Michael's last court date in real time in front of the entire world. Oh, how passing is this life and how crazy is man that he'd toss eternal bliss for unsatisfactory material gains! My only problem with my personal moment of vindication is the idea that Terri might forgive him. I'm thinking she might bc she has terrific parents and was therefore most likely raised as a good woman. Dang that forgiveness stuff. Christianity does mess up my vindication style.
Posted by Susan F email at September 29, 2004 11:59 AM

If, God and His heavenly host forbid, I should end up in a similar situation, the assertion that my daughter wanted to be starved to death would be the final mistake of the husband (and his attorney).
Let me know what gauge your shotgun is, and I'll send you some of my favorite shells (if that's legal).
If not, I'll send you the recommendation.
--Another shotgun-owning father of beloved daughters
Posted by Dale Price email at September 30, 2004 11:01 AM

Believe it or not, Dale, this case has caused me to ask my older daughter if she has discussed it at all with the young man she hopes one day to marry, because I don't ever want to be in a fight like this. I can't see myself behaving with such forbearance as the Schindlers have. That's how deeply this case has gotten under my skin.
Posted by William Luse email at October 1, 2004 04:29 AM

Don't think I don't sympathize with the shotgun solution.But after you've dispatched the husband and his attorney, what then? You go to jail; you think the judge is going to give your wife guardianship? when he could pull out some other attorney-of-death out of his Rolodex?
Posted by Peony Moss email at October 1, 2004 07:37 AM

And we'll talk with Zteen's beloved, when he gets one. It will need to be made crystal clear to this vengeful mama that her baby, no matter in WHAT condition, will NEVER be denied food and water. If I have to get it in writing, I will.
Don't mess with my baby.
That's why this case shatters my heart every time I think of it. Because I know that when the Schindlers look at Terri, they see their baby. When Michael looks at Terri, he only sees a "thing."
Posted by MamaT email at October 1, 2004 03:19 PM

If you haven't heard it yet, you should hear Victor Lams' song about Michael Shiavo:
And lyrics:
Appropriately chilling.
Posted by Varenius email at October 1, 2004 06:45 PM

So whatcha sayin', Peony? After all the court battles have been lost, and they're coming for her, just sit back and watch it happen? If they're going to kill her anyway, I don't care what they do to me.
Terry, I'd like to squeeze you someday.
Varenius, I'll check it out.
Posted by William Luse email at October 1, 2004 08:40 PM

Michael Schiavo is a murderer, Judge Greer is a murder, Attorney Felas is a co conspirator to murder.
Schiavo is not married to Terri in the eyes of God. He has remarried and had children with his second wife. It doesn't matter what a piece of paper says. In his heart and mind and in his actions, he is no longer married to Terri.
I believe he doesn't want her to receive help because if she can ever speak again she will point to him for beating her.
He has denied her dental care, causing six teeth to be pulled, he has denied her holidays and birthday celebrations with her family, he has denied that she can see and follow objects with her eyes. She hasn't been able to have flowers, cards, balloons, photos or anything that would cause any reawakening of her cerebral cortex.
Terri was not terminally ill, she is disabled.
Her parents want her to live, want to take care of her, begged the evil one to divorce her.
I would like to see him brought to justice, to receive the death penalty, but not by lethal injection, he should be starved and dehydrated to death.
He found a doctor to say it isn't painful! Have you ever been out on a hot day and been exercising or working on your garden or whatever, you become thirsty, the world starts spinning, you realize how much your muscles hurt. It's very painful and gets worse. This is torture. We treat dogs better than this. Schiavo should have just given her an injections, then poor Terri wouldn't have to suffer like this. I mean if you're going to murder someone at least be humane about it.
Criminals like Michael Schiavo, who torture their victims, deserve the worst sentence possible.
Posted by Charla email at March 26, 2005 03:32 PM

Oct 4, 2004

A line I should have included two posts below, from Jeanetta on Terri Schiavo:


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