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February 27, 2005
Help Terri Schiavo
The story of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman who suffered brain damage in 1990, has been sensationalized following the efforts of her husband to end her life by starving her to death. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned individuals and government officials have received misinformation about her that have led them to believe she is a "vegetable", surviving only through artificial life support.
As a coalition of 200 internet bloggers (online writers), we appeal to the citizens of Florida and their elected representatives to consider the following facts about Terri Schiavo.
- Terri Schiavo is not a "vegetable" and is not "brain dead". She recognizes and responds to others and makes attempts to verbally communicate. [more here]
- Terri is not on life support but does receive food and water through a removable tube, which experts testify would not even be necessary if she were given therapy. This assisted feeding is a natural means of preserving life and not a medical act of life support or heroic measures.
- Twelve medical experts and nurses who cared for her confirmed these facts. Video available through BlogsforTerri.com shows Terri responding and interacting with others. Health care workers have testified under oath [here and here] that she expresses herself using words, such as "mommy" and "help me".
- Terri is a person with disabilities who thinks and expresses her moods and desires. She is loved by her family and responds to their visits with smiles and laughter.
- Terri Schiavo may be the victim of ongoing negligence and injustice [more here]. She has been denied therapy and rehabilitation by her guardian since 1991. Florida’s guardianship laws REQUIRE that these necessary services be given to her.
- In 1992, Terri’s husband Michael won $1.7 million in negligence lawsuit under the pretext of funding her rehabilitation and care. He testified, "I believe in the vows that I took with my wife. Through sickness, in health, for richer or poorer. I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'm going to do that." Since that time, Terri has received no rehabilitation, all beneficial forms of stimulation (e.g. music) have been prohibited and basic health care, such as treatment for a life threatening urinary tract infection, has been purposefully withheld at Michael’s direction.
- Even though Terri’s husband has started a family of his own with another woman and their two children, he refuses to end his marriage to Terri or relinquish her care to her immediate family.
- Terri’s "collapse" has become controversial [more here, here and here]after a previously hidden bone scan surfaced in 2002 which revealed multiple fractures consistent with a traumatic event. To date, no investigation has been conducted to determine the source of Terri’s injuries [more here], but a radiologist gave a sworn statement that the date of those injuries would fall sometime near the time of her mysterious collapse.
- Remarkably, The Florida Courts have sided with Michael, accepting the testimony of two "expert witnesses", one of whom is a known advocate of "mercy killing", over that of twelve independent medical professionals (6 of them neurologists). Judge Greer admitted to not even reviewing their sworn statements.
- Without intervention by the Florida Governor and Legislature, Judge George Greer is set to give Michael the legal empowerment to withhold food and water from his wife for the purpose of starving her to death.
- Terri Schiavo deserves to have medical tests and therapy. She does not deserve to be starved and dehydrated to death.
- Advancements in the understanding of brain activity and misdiagnosis and the recent recovery of a patient after 20 years in a persistent vegetative state, further calls into question any decision that would end the life of Terri Schiavo.
- Contact Florida’s Governor, Jeb Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org, and demand that he invoke Florida Statute 415.1051 to provide protective custody until investigations into abuse and neglect can be carried out.
- Contact Florida Senate at www.myflorida.com and ask them to institute an immediate moratorium on withholding assisted nutrition and hydration until Florida can adopt a new standard of testing protocols for brain-injured patients.
- Contact Florida’s House of Representatives at www.myfloridahouse.com and ask them to pass legislation that would forbid the removal of food and water without the informed consent of the patient.
- Visit www.terrisfight.org and see for yourself the woman who has been called a house plant by her husband’s attorney and why
- Get a Protective Medical Decisions Directive from the International Anti-Euthanasia task force at www.internationaltaskforce.com and make your medical treatment desires known to your family and friends. You don’t have to be starved or dehydrated to death simply because your life is effected by disability.
BlogsForTerri is a coalition of over 200 webloggers who regularly write publish articles on the internet supporting Terri Schiavo and the Schindler family.
Posted by tim at February 27, 2005 9:52 AM
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