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March 24, 2005

Greer Denies one Petition, Considers Another

Topics: Legal affairs
Judge Greer on Thursday denied the state petition to put Schiavo into state custody but is now considering a petition by the DCF. It says a neurologist who examined Schiavo's medical records found she was "most likely in a state of minimal consciousness" rather than the persistent vegetative state previous doctors have diagnosed.

According to the petition, the agency's board-certified neurologist, Dr. William Polk Cheshire, has information "that seriously challenges the diagnosis that Mrs. Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state," as courts have upheld.

"This new information raises serious concerns and warrants immediate action," Gov. Bush said.

[full CNN article]

Posted by tim at March 24, 2005 1:07 PM


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Comments

Of course Greer is going to deny that one, too. If he finds that there is evidence that she has been abused or neglected, then he automatically implicates himself. No, he'll play God one more time, and unless Governor Bush forces a showdown at the hospice, Terri will die.

But some day, Greer is going to discover that he is not God, after all.

Posted by: corrie at March 24, 2005 1:19 PM

Greer is evil. Pure and simple. And so is Michael Schiavo's lawyer.

Posted by: DarkOne at March 24, 2005 1:24 PM

I respect that you disagree with the ruling Judge Greer has made, but it is useless to mischaracterize him as a person who is pursuing a malicious agenda. I urge you to read this entry from a very unbiased, legal blog that follows deveolpments in FL courts.

It is important to remember that Judge Greer is not on a death march and not trying to involve himself in the tangled web of emotion that this case has become. He has completed a charge that was given to him as a judge. He has only approached the case from a legal perspective.

I am not trying to be antagonistic. I am just asking that you consider that Greer might not be the evil man many of you assume he is.

(:

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 1:25 PM

I think Judge Greer may just want to keep his 15 mins. of fame going as long as possible.

Posted by: extremecatholic at March 24, 2005 1:25 PM

I forgot the link, silly me:

http://abstractappeal.com/archives/2005_03_01_abstractappeal_archive.html#111164185551711749

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 1:26 PM

When he denies an investigation of abuse, and lets an innocent woman die, blocking all attempts to save her life on the basis of hearsay, then that is, indeed, evil.

All the man is thinking about, obviously, is his own interests and political carreer.

Posted by: DarkOne at March 24, 2005 1:30 PM

Judge Greer IS on a death march. Figures that he even looks Nazi. I don't need anyone else's opinion to know that, even though the law says you can withdraw the feeding tube from PVS patients, it does not say you can refuse them food by mouth!!!!!

She hasn't even been tested to see if she can swallow. Nurses have said they fed her.

He's denied the Schindler's everything, and given the Felos's everything. Even when the Schindler's convinced him to assign a guardian ad litem (sp), he let FELOS CHOOSE HIM.

Posted by: Rosalind at March 24, 2005 1:31 PM

Gotta love how Yahoo's homepage has an article about how Terri will have a painless death because she's PVS... and they're saying NOTHING about the possibility of misdiagnosis. WTH???

Posted by: Foug at March 24, 2005 1:35 PM

"Since last Friday, Michael Schiavo has been at Terri Schiavo's bedside, Felos has said."

Controlling her world til the end. I'm sure if Jeb has someone go in and get her, they'll have to arrest MS.

Posted by: Rosalind at March 24, 2005 1:35 PM

"Since last Friday, Michael Schiavo has been at Terri Schiavo's bedside, Felos has said."

Controlling her world til the end. I'm sure if Jeb has someone go in and get her, they'll have to arrest MS.

Posted by: Rosalind at March 24, 2005 1:35 PM

What would the arrest Michael Schiavo for?

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 1:35 PM

errr.

the=they

My typing skills are extremely poor. ):

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 1:36 PM

Physically getting between them and Terri. Interfering, whatever the technical term is....

Posted by: Rosalind at March 24, 2005 1:38 PM

mina, two things. Firstly, everyone who posts about that "unbiased" florida law blog always and I mean always mentions how "unbiased" it is. I'll always be skeptical when someone has to go parading how unbiased he or she is. Just offer up the facts and let others decide.

Secondly, there are those here who believe that Michael Schiavo is attempting to have his wife, who is by all accounts healthy, starved to death. She isn't sick or "dying" except for the lack of nutrition and hydration that is currently taking place.

If you can't see that this woman is being murdered, something so plain and obvious, I'll continue to pray for you and yours.

Posted by: Jayson Franklin at March 24, 2005 1:40 PM

minaflorida, Greer is not on trial. What was being disputed was Terri's constitutional rights.
Greer could be a saint and operating from the purest motives, but he would still be wrong.

Posted by: extremecatholic at March 24, 2005 1:41 PM

Perhaps it's because I'm just an average Joe (well, Josephine...) and not a lawyer, but several things confuse me, and perhaps someone can clear them up for me.

DOES Judge Greer have any real power here? If not (which, constitutionally, it doesn't seem that he does), why don't Jeb and DCF just go in and do what needs to be done anyway, despite Greer's doings?

I keep reading about how "20 (19, pick your number, I've seen several different ones) judges have ruled agains the Schindlers." But really all I keep seeing is Greer with a few others thrown in.....

Just what CAN WE DO??? I've been attempting to fax Jeb all morning, and I've been praying hard.

Posted by: Kirstin Reeder at March 24, 2005 1:44 PM

The reason I point out that the site is unbiased is that the author of the site has extolled it as his mission in creating the blog to report on the legal facts and documents of Florida courts. Offering up the facts and letting others decide is exactly what takes place at abstractappeal.

I am not trying to convince you that the site is unbiased; you would only need to read the site to see for yourself that it is a discussion of law and law only. That is why I recommend the site.

Thanks for your prayers...I suppose. I guess it won't make much of a difference to tell you that I am yet another godless liberal. (;

Actually, I'm certain that will convince you to pray even harder for me.

I'll continue to support the sound application and rule of law.

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 1:45 PM

Does anyone know when Greer is expected to decide?

God, I pray the national attention is getting to him, if not behind the scenes pressure from govt.

Posted by: Rosalind at March 24, 2005 1:49 PM

re when Greer's expected to decide:

From what I can glean from the net, all I can come up with is "this afternoon."

Although, it was "noon" earlier, so I am not sure what's happening right now.

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 1:51 PM

Minaflorida,

I checked out your link and it just confirmed what I already knew. The courts are following process, not logic. The laws state that Greer had no reason to have to personally visit Terri to check out her condition. The laws state that a guardian can remove a feeding tube (1999) in a diagnosis of vegetative. The laws state that much evidence presented by the Schindlers was after the statue of limitations was up, therefore it wasn't required to consider it.

We all know this. That's what we're complaining about. This case is showing the country (if they'll look) that following the letter of the law can allow something heinous to happen. Something we all recognize in the pit of our stomach is wrong. If Terri isn't PVS, she's suffering terribly. The law isn't required to find out the truth of that, the decision they made years ago continues to stand even though medicine has progressed since then. If the court wanted the truth, they could have found it out faster and cheaper than allowing this charade to continue for so many years. There are docs all over the country that would have done the functional tests.

So to me, form appears to be more important than fuction. Legalities over moralites. I know the courts are not tasked with making law. But I would have hoped they recognized that just because something is law doesn't make it right. The recipe may work in normal cases, but in hard cases, the recipe will fall apart and could allow a tragedy to happen. I would have hoped they would have *supported* intervention by the legislature or the executive branch. Force the present laws to be revised since they're breaking apart in this case. The other branches of govt *can* make laws. Instead they courts persist in just ruling on the technicalites of the case rather than the data because they legally do not *have* to look at the data.

Posted by: Ceci at March 24, 2005 1:52 PM

Rush Limbaugh is citing examples right now of Janet Reno sidestepping the courts in the WACO case, and in the case of Elian Gonzales and taking direct military action (ATF in both cases). NOTE: I am not commenting on the rightness or wrongness of either action, simply saying that Jeb CAN do this. He may not have the political will, but he can certainly do it.

Posted by: RightAlltheTime at March 24, 2005 1:54 PM

Bah! I keep hearing the rule of law this, siding with the law that. But they are NOT doing that. For centuries hearsay was not admissable as evidence in ANY trial. But now all of a sudden it's alright??? Fact: There is no documentation of a living will for Terri Schiavo. Therefore the husband's (And that term is used VERY loosly) claim that she 'told him' about not wanting to be on life support is hearsay.

Posted by: DarkOne at March 24, 2005 1:55 PM

I understand, by FL law, you have to recheck your PVS diagnosis before you pull the tube.

And what does the law say about not feeding her by mouth? Not even water? Not ever testing?

If I'm on a feeding tube someday with something else are they going to be able to starve me under the law with the excuse that they don't want me to choke?

Have they heard of the Heimlich maneuver?

Posted by: Rosalind at March 24, 2005 1:59 PM

CeCi: I respect that. The point I was trying to make is that demonizing Judge Greer for doing his job--even if you think his job description involves things that are *wrong*--is sort of a kneejerk response.

I haven't seen you stating that Judge Greer is evil, but it seems to be the general consensus around here.

My point was that it is not his obligation, responsibility, or even right to make the kind of judgements many are proclaiming that he MUST make in order to be considered a decent man.

That's all.

The Florida Legislature debated this issue extensively, and came away with no new law. The vote was very close in the Senate, as I am certain you all well know.

Are the folks in the Senate who voted against SB 804 also evil?

I find it absurd that a group of people would resort to calling a judge who did his job evil.

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 1:59 PM

minaflorida: do you believe in evil?

Posted by: RightAlltheTime at March 24, 2005 2:01 PM

minaflorida: do you believe that evil exists?

Posted by: RightAlltheTime at March 24, 2005 2:01 PM

DarkOne: The court based its ruling on the testimony of multiple witnesses that Terri Schiavo would not wish to have her life prolonged artificially. It is not just Michael, but two other witnesses who testified.

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 2:03 PM

Without documentation, it could be a million people that heard it. It's still hearsay.

Posted by: DarkOne at March 24, 2005 2:05 PM

Do I believe that evil exists?

I believe that people often do things that are hurtful and wrong and damage others, sometimes due to chemical imbalances or psychological trauma brought on by abuse (perhaps). I don't excuse the behavior. I do not believe that there are some people who are possessed and driven by forces of the devil (which is what I am assuming you mean by evil).

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 2:08 PM

The judiciary has NO arm of enforcement (and with good reason, as we can now see).

The judiciary relies on the executive branch to enforce the law.

Jeb absolutely has the power to take Terri under his protection, even against Judge Greer's wishes. Judge Greer can hold the Governor in contempt, but it's not as if he could "arrest" Jeb.

In fact-- and I admit I may be wrong-- but sitting at the top of the state's executive power, the executive "trump" as it were, it would take a federal power to enforce any jurisdiction over Jeb.

I suspect the federal executive might side with Jeb.

Posted by: benjamin at March 24, 2005 2:09 PM

Oh yeah, I forgot my other question and now remembered...

Congress passed a bill requiring a judge to take a fresh look at the facts in cases like this. The federal judge didn't do that. So can't they still have ANOTHER judge do so, since that's what the law calls for????

Posted by: Kirstin Reeder at March 24, 2005 2:18 PM

A solution to the Schiavo case: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

First of all, the federal judges are not going to overturn the Florida judges. So Terri Schiavo's days are numbered. But there is a solution to this tragic case if only reason would be applied.

Now I've studied the report given to Governor Jeb Bush by Dr. Jay Wolfson, a state appointed guardian for Terri Schiavo (search). And there's no question that the acrimony between Michael Schiavo (search) and Terri's parents is driving the story. They despise each other, have lined up allies to attack each other and the resulting fog is impossible to cut through.

But this whole ordeal can end right now if Michael Schiavo simply stops the litigation. He should stand up and say that he tried to implement his wife's wishes, but the greater good is now served by allowing her family to care for her as they want to do.

The family could then raise private funds to keep Terri alive and whatever happens, happens. What is the downside of doing that?

Michael Schiavo keeps his thesis that Terri did not want extraordinary care, but shows compassion. And Terri's family gets to keep her alive. Again, where's the downside?

So do that, Michael Schiavo. Rise above the bickering. Your wife can't feel anything. A miracle could happen. There is no more money involved. And you come off as a good guy. Otherwise, Terri Schiavo's going to die, the allegations and hatred will continue, and who wins with that? Nobody.

"Talking Points" is smart enough to know that emotion is driving the Schiavo story. And the whole truth will most likely never be known. Some politicians and media people have demagogued the situation. It's simply impossible to ascertain what Terri's wishes really were.

Those who say they know aren't being truthful, unless they can read minds. Nobody knows.

The root of the Schiavo case is, of course, abortion and euthanasia (search). The secular philosophy believes the state has a right to make life and death decisions. The Christian philosophy believes the opposite, that man should not interfere in the life cycle, ever.

That is why the Schiavo case is so emotional and bitter. It is a core battle between two opposed philosophies. That battle's never going to be settled.

But the Terri Schiavo case could be. Michael Schiavo can stop the madness right now. He should.

And that's "The Memo."

Bill O'Reilly - The O'Reilly Factor

Posted by: DarkOne at March 24, 2005 2:20 PM

Judge Greer has denied (again) new medical expert!

Posted by: Caryn at March 24, 2005 2:23 PM

Hearsay is (technically)...Statements by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else.

If Michael Schiavo testified that Terri's friend told him she wouldn't want to be kept alive on life support, that would be hearsay.

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 2:24 PM

Does evil exist, well, duh! He's alive and well in Florida!
But, first, please keep praying for a miracle, hopefully, Jeb will come through. But in case he doesn't remember that God is allowing this to happen and I don't think its a coincidence that is happening during Holy Week. Look into Terri face on the videos and tell me that is not the face of God and love. She is so innocent, she has no evil thoughts or prejudices, and just gives love and wants to be loved. During this Holy Week maybe He is asking, did I die in vain, does anyone remember? Sadly, only a few.

Posted by: 4life at March 24, 2005 2:26 PM

I'm going to leave for the day now.

Thanks for the exchange of views, folks. (:

You keep doing your thing and I'll keep doing mine.

Posted by: minaflorida at March 24, 2005 2:27 PM

Actually heresay is when someone tells you something and you try to put it into the court record. The only time heresay is not heresay is when what is said is on the person's death bed. Then it can be repeated into the court record and not considered heresay.

Posted by: imtoast at March 24, 2005 2:30 PM

Troll alert -- Webwide is a troll and is against keeping Terri alive. If you read his website you'd see that...

Posted by: Sirena at March 24, 2005 2:37 PM

Minaflorida...you said...

"I find it absurd that a group of people would resort to calling a judge who did his job evil."

Dont' take it to heart. Folks here are probably feeling quite desperate. I know I am. Something they truely believe in is dying...figuratively and literally.

Now, I do wish the courts were more welcoming to the legislative and executive branches to fix laws that don't appear to be working properly in this very difficult case. Instead they appear to be under the opinion that if it's law, it's "right".

I dont' know when law stated that a missing person could be declared dead for the purposes of insurance, social security, or marriage status issues. But I'm sure that it was a special case that required somebody to figure out how to handle it.

If Michael needs to move on and requires a death certificate to do so (because of insurance or who knows) then someone should be trying to figure out how to do so legally (without neccessitating death) since it's obvious that Terri is irretrievable. She's as good as perpetually "lost". But there should be no reason to cause the death of someone who's non-terminal when there's familial disagreement. Especially when there was plenty of private money to allow the objecting party to take care of her. It'd be hard to figure out how to craft such a law, but I contend that it could be done. They've had years to do so, so it's a shame that this situation got this far.

In 1999 the Florida legislature "meddled" in family business by declaring a feeding tube to be medical intervention that could be withdrawn by a guardian. Couple this with their strident guardianship laws which mean that objecting family members have no say....even for testing... and you have a powder keg. So they attempted to "meddle" again, and the general public thinks they're out of line. The bill they were crafting was out of line (they didn't want to set precedent...then why bother?), but the fact that they tried was not. For the life of me, I can't figure out why so many people think the congress was out of line in responding to something they felt was legal, but unjust. I can't fathom either why the few hold-outs in the Florida Senate though that requiring a living will before allowing a feeding tube withdrawal was meddling. It's no more meddling that what they concluded in 1999 or in the constitution of Florida much earlier than that (was it 1989 or 1990?)

So...that's where I'm coming from.

Posted by: Ceci at March 24, 2005 2:39 PM