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March 19, 2005

Comments

marks

tj –

This case has been compelling for a number of reasons. I agree with the irony vis-à-vis Greer getting police protection because of threats from the same side as wants Terry’s life preserved. It just doesn’t get weirder than that, until you factor in how lawmakers got involved in this.

Where I am on the case, ultimately the losing side, was the fact that the court has two opposing sides, one fighting for a perceived “right to die,” while the other pushes a blood-line claim. For me, it is clear there was no document Terry signed while living that would grant anyone the power to decide for her other than a marriage certificate. You find out how "useful" a document that is when you get divorced. I am also suspicious of husband Michael’s claim that she had told him she would want to die, but I suppose the court must assume no deception there.

On the other side, her parents wanted her to remain in her PVS state. I am no medical expert, but certainly Terry’s reversal of PVS is unlikely, to say the least. But they do have a claim to their daughter, despite Mr. Schiavo’s protestations.

I equate this with capital punishment. If a person is sentenced to die for a crime, after being prosecuted by an overzealous DA, and having run out of appeals that person is put to death, there had better not be evidence which surfaces proving that person is innocent, or sufficiently muddying the “beyond a reasonable doubt” clause. That is one reason I am against such an ultimate penalty, save for the clearly guilty (Brian Nichols of Atlanta courthouse shooting fame, Tim McVeigh, and Osama come to mind).

Expanding on the capital punishment theme, we have these two parties, with a yawning chasm separating their stated goals. On one hand, give the woman the rest she seems to be begging for. Grant her the dignity to die by starvation. On the other, allow her to live in PVS, a state experts say she will not recover from. One side will win.

So, Judge Greer makes a ruling on the side of spousal rights, and a de facto endorsement of Terry's death. But is that because the law tied the judge’s hands? Perhaps so, and therefore I must go along with the ruling. I am also setting up my living will...I would hate for anyone to mistake my intentions...

Torrid

marks, your last statement is certainly the recurring lesson from this tragedy--don't let your dying wishes go unwritten. Hell, just take 10 minutes now, write it on a piece of paper, seal it in an envelope and mail it to yourself.

thanks for the comment

marks

Thanks for the links, tj.

Looks like this case may go to extra innings. I think that is wrong, btw...a ruling was issued based on current law. Any law written afterwards means ex post facto in my book, which is not allowed under the constitution. Anyway, thanks again...

Jo-Girl

tj, have you informed yourself of all information written on this case? I have been reading it on the web (where else!) for three mos., trying to discern fact from allegation.

Terry Schiavo's life ended March 31, 2005 in a hospice for the dying where she lived the last 3-5 years.
Dying? No. Because her adulterous husband, with the aide of a creepy lawyer, George Felos, and a judge, Greer, who dismissed much testimony from nurses who cared for Terri, BOUGHT Michael Schiavo's "clear and convincing evidence" that this is what Terri wanted.

There IS NO clear and convincing evidence! Do your homework before you put in your two cents.

Michael Schiavo said on TV (possibly a video...no matter) that Terri made CASUAL comment(s) that she wouldn't want to live "that way".

If you choose to believe each of us must be held accountable for any casual comment we make, be careful what comes out of your mouth. Do you also equate a casual comment as reliable as our thought-out written desire of what we believe we would want under these circumstances?

Here is a different version of what Terri said she wanted. A nurse who cared for Terri and knew Michael well testified in an affidavit that he confided in her.
She said that Michael told her on at least several occasions that he "didn't know what to do". He told her that he and Terri had never discussed the subject.

Well, Hello! Terri was in her 20s and, most likely, him also.

And yet a third version of the "clear and convincing evidence", one which differs with the two
previous statements:

While watching TV the evening of 3/26/05 (I believe I have the right date), Scott Schiavo, Michael's brother, gave an account of what was said between Terri and Michael; a completely different story than the the one Michael told!

Scott's version was that Terri and Michael PROMISED each other not to let the other live that way.

Also, see the transcript of Michael Schiavo on The Larry King Show.

Other than to suggest you find excerpts on the web from George Felos's book, I'll stop here and leave it up to you to do your own research.

Torrid

Thanks for the comment, Jo-Girl. I have indeed done a fair bit of research, and to answer you I referred back to the 2000 Greer trial order for at least the third time. I refer you to it now:
http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/trialctorder02-00.pdf

I would direct you to page nine, which forms a reasonable summary on the question of evidentiary intent on Terri's part:

"The court does find that Terri Schiavo did make statements which are creditable and reliable with regard to her intention given the situation at hand.

~

Statements which Terri Schiavo made which do support the relief sought by her surrogate (Petitioner/Guardian) include statements to him prompted by her grandmother being in intensive care that if she was ever a burden she would not want to live like that. Additionally, statements to Michael Schiavo which were prompted by something on television regarding people on life support that she would not want to life [sic] like that also reflect her intention in this particular situation. Also the statements she made in the presence of Scott Schiavo at the funeral luncheon for his grandmother that 'if I ever go like that just let me go. Don't leave me there. I don't want to be kept alive on a machine." and to Joan Schiavo following a television movie in which a man following an accident was in a coma to the effect that she wanted it stated in her will that she would want the tubes and everything taken out if that ever happened to her are likewise reflective of this intent. The court specifically finds that these statements are Terri Schiavo's oral declarations concerning her intention as to what she would want done under the present circumstances and the testimony regarding such oral declarations is reliable, is creditable, and rises to the level of clear and convincing evidence to this court."

I don't think the extent and number of different people she talked about it with is very widely known. It's a shame, because the facts of the trial record show a consistent pattern of evidence that strongly indicate that Michael and Florida have done right by her.

I'm glad you came by. If you weren't aware of the references I provided, they should give you pause, I think.

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