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March 23, 2005

100 Hours of Starvation

Topics: General

As her family petitions a federal appelate court, it is worth remembering that Terri Schiavo has been without sustenance now for over 100 hours and is likely experiencing the effects of starvation described by St. Louis neurologist William Burke.

A conscious [cognitively disabled] person would feel it just as you or I would. They will go into seizures. Their skin cracks, their tongue cracks, their lips crack. They may have nosebleeds because of the drying of the mucus membranes, and heaving and vomiting might ensue because of the drying out of the stomach lining. They feel the pangs of hunger and thirst. Imagine going one day without a glass of water! Death by dehydration takes ten to fourteen days. It is an extremely agonizing death.
Noting Terri's 100 hours of suffering, Andy McCarthy of The Corner writes,
Of course, the physical needs of the body are not limited to food and water. There is also air. But no judge, even in Florida, would ever have had the nerve in Terri's case to permit "the medical procedure that opponents refer to as asphyxiation." Too crude. Too quick. Too obviously murder of a vulnerable innocent. Brazen, instant savagery might wake us from our slumber. For the culture of death, better that we sleep.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Terri.

Posted by tim at March 23, 2005 12:10 AM


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Comments

RE: NIGHTLINE "Life or Death Decisions" Panel Debate 03/22/05, (which I am currently watching)

I am amazed that no one seems to be able to "see the forest for the trees" with regard to the current situation of Terri Schiavo... Beyond the political/legal/medical/ethical/moral questions and issues at hand is ONE SIMPLE UNDENIABLE FACT:
Right or wrong the Florida Court (Judge Greer) determined Terri's "wishes" (that she would not want to 'live like this' with tubes 'keeping her alive' on 'artificial life support'), and the (feeding) tube was ordered to be removed.
BUT... Judge Greer went BEYOND the scope of the original Trial Determination and then further ORDERED that Terri not only have her feeding tube removed but be KILLED via dehydration & starvation by DENYING the Schindler's Motion to be allowed to provide Terri nutrition naturally and orally.
I am appalled by the lack of debate on this point in particular - this seems wholly unconstitutional and illegal.

Fllow-up on the Terri Schiavo "Life or Death Debate".

Do you realize that more than one person has been arrested for approaching the Hospice where Terri is being guarded because they were offering up a cup of water, or a "symbolic" piece of bread?

It in unbelievable that any court in this land would have the authority to block the providing of Food, Air or Water "naturally" to any American citizen (especially one who is neither terminal nor on death row). That is beyond assisted suicide, that is an incontrovertable State ordered Death Sentence... to be carried out (as Judge Greer stated) "forthwith".

Where is DCF and the Marshalls to take Terri into protective custody???

Posted by: Raquel at March 23, 2005 12:32 AM

How about faxing this to Jeb, the US AG, the sheriff's office in Pinellas park and the President? While I appreciate the Governor's and President's efforts to date, they need to take a more aggressive stance.
I am desperate not to hear the post-mortem words about this situation.

I pray for the family. They look like they're dying along with Terri. I am so profoundly sad for them.

Posted by: I hope at March 23, 2005 12:37 AM

Raquel, A lot of us are working on bringing that point out. Since that horrific decision was made by Judge Greer, many of us were calling, faxing and emailing Florida and Washington. In fact, I have dropped mentioning most of the inconsistencies in this situation just to focus just on that fact.

I spoke to Legal Affairs in the Office of the Governor and they assured me they would give him my message. I called the Sheriff's office but they said it was in the Federal Courts. Odd, how we have to wait for a judge to determine if a crime has been committed. All the Fla reps I called today I asked that. I even had an email argument with bio-ethicist Dr. Caplan this weekend(some of which I posted on my blog) and made that same point. He NEVER addressed my question regarding the legal and ethical problems with denying her food and water by mouth. Actually, never addressed ANY of my questions, but kept hyperfocusing on Congress getting involved. (He must not realize that under Article 3 of the Constitution they are permitted to oversee the judiciary.) I called the DCF and spoke to Debbie who said their case was rejected by the court. No kidding.

I wonder if they filed an appeal. If we denied a child food or water it would be labeled child abuse. Also blogged about this, and called, and emailed and faxed. Emailed Amnesty Intl, as well as most of the local TV stations and some newspapers.

I even got on the air on a radio station at least twice and brought this point up. Even death row inmates get a last meal.

It makes me nuts some people are ok with this. What a sad testimony about today's society.

Posted by: I hope at March 23, 2005 12:51 AM

Raquel, you're right!

Judge Greer went WAY BEYOND the scope of the original Trial Determination and then further ORDERED that Terri not only have her feeding tube removed but be KILLED via dehydration & starvation by DENYING the Schindler's Motion to be allowed to provide Terri nutrition NATURALLY.

I have told many people about this. I have watched people's mouths drop open in disbelief. They say, what's the judge's motive to kill her? What's her estranged husband's motive to kill her? My answer is this: what was BTK's motive? It turns out that BTK was a family man disguised as a church elder, a municipal officer, a boy scout leader. Maybe he was just plain evil. How about the mass murderer in Minnesota yesterday? He was disguised as a teenager. Maybe he was just plain evil. Isn't it possible that an evil person could be disguised as a judge, an attorney, a doctor (who calls himself "Dr. Death"), an administrator at a nursing home?

One thing that these people have in common is that they're obsessed with death.

Dean

Posted by: Richard Dean at March 23, 2005 12:57 AM

Are they STILL in court??? Does anybody know anything? I wonder if the length of time is a good sign or a bad sign? Thoughts?

Posted by: michelle at March 23, 2005 12:57 AM

I hope, (yeah, me too)

Beyond hoping is the fact that everyone "important" to the issue is pretending(?) that they don't see the BIG PURPLE ELEPHANT (Judge Greer's outright lawbreaking).

Days ago (Friday) I e-mailed Terrisfight.org and pointed out that they might actually get a quick appeals court reversal of that order if they kept it simple and directly on that ONE particular point of judicial lawlessness and constitutional/civil rights violation.

Unfortunately the attorney(s) seem to be steamrolling ahead with the "whole ball of wax" which (undoubtedly) most Judge's really don't want to touch with a ten foot pole if they can avoid it.

Posted by: Raquel at March 23, 2005 1:03 AM

> they might actually get a quick appeals court reversal of that order if they kept it simple and directly on that ONE particular point of judicial lawlessness

From what I've read, they're not "allowed" to bring up on appeal issues that were not raised with Whittemore. And Gibbs didn't raise the issue of judicial lawlessness.

Posted by: OvertOther at March 23, 2005 2:00 AM

OvertOther -
I meant Before the Congress intervened, when they went to the DCA at the state court level.

Which they likely could still pursue... but time is running out to move backward here.

I think a few thousand people intervening at the Hospice directly might be the best bet....

Posted by: Raquel at March 23, 2005 2:09 AM

Wonderful (and horrifying) article by Andy McArthy. I've copied and linked to my own journal. I hope people take the few minutes to read it.

Posted by: Mo at March 23, 2005 7:31 AM

Are any of these judges linked to activists groups? Do any of these people have political connections elsewhere that can explain their behavior? I'd like to know that information, but am not sure where to begin.

Posted by: Sharon Ferguson at March 23, 2005 9:00 AM

The behavior of the judges in this case can be explained by taking a look at Florida Statutes and the Florida Consitution. Additonally, federal laws of the United States.

Their job is to judge the merits based on the law.

If you take a look at the law, and read their rulings, you will see that the rulings are based on law. That is a reasonable explanation for their behavior.

Posted by: mina at March 23, 2005 10:18 AM