« While we're waiting... | Main | Fox News: Terri is PVS and has a liquified brain »

March 21, 2005

Judge Considers, the Public Waits

Topics: News

ABC News - A federal judge weighed the fate of a brain-damaged Florida woman on Monday, acting hours after the U.S. Congress and President Bush intervened to push the highly charged right-to-die case back into court.

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore began a hearing shortly after 3 p.m. EST to consider a request from Terri Schiavo's parents to reinstate tube feeding for their 41-year-old daughter that was halted three days ago. CNN reported that the judge gave each side 30 minutes to make their case.

Posted by tim at March 21, 2005 4:18 PM

Articles Related to News:

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Judge Considers, the Public Waits:

» Decision any minute now for Terri from Discarded Lies
Judge Considers, the Public Waits :: News :: BlogsforTerri A federal judge weighed the fate of a brain-damaged Florida woman on Monday, acting hours after the U.S. Congress and President Bush intervened to push the highly charged right-to-die case back... [Read More]

Tracked on March 21, 2005 4:48 PM


Ok... that means the judge should be making his decision now, right?

Posted by: MoFiZiX Gr4FiX at March 21, 2005 4:25 PM

besides being a Clinton appointee, does anyone know his history on previous rulings. does he tend to rule conservatively?

Posted by: chardonnay at March 21, 2005 4:27 PM

The 30mins each side are up... it's now 4.30 EST.. what's the Judge doing, taking a coffee break while Terri dies?

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 21, 2005 4:30 PM

He likes saving eagles...

Posted by: MoFiZiX Gr4FiX at March 21, 2005 4:30 PM

Remember this ladies when you discover *your* rights are taken away. Your parents are the only ones that have any say so over your life: kind of like the muslim countries do it. All your parents have to do is petition congress. Marry you off to whoever they want.

You should be scared out of your minds. Womens rights have been set back *years*. Your body no longer belongs to you, but it does belong to the government. Go and get yourselves a copy of the handmaidens garden and read it.

Posted by: Me Over Here at March 21, 2005 4:38 PM


Ya never know. Amazing how lax people are on this. My God, don't they know they'll have a wrongful death suit to deal with if Terri dies?!

Pray, call, email, pray... *biting nails along with the others*

Posted by: Sirena at March 21, 2005 4:38 PM

Better my parents than a heartless judge and an adulterous, pathetic excuse for a man.

Posted by: Virginia at March 21, 2005 4:39 PM

Me Over Here,

Stop the spinning.. if you want to talk about abortion, there are other blogs you can message to.

Posted by: Sirena at March 21, 2005 4:40 PM

You over there - you need to take your shoes off and get pregnant. Your ideology of death will change sweetie!

Posted by: MoFiZiX Gr4FiX at March 21, 2005 4:41 PM



Posted by: Sirena at March 21, 2005 4:42 PM

Me Over Here - do you know anything about this case at all? Do some research before opening your mouth. This case is about exactly the opposite of what you are saying it is.. sheesh!

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 21, 2005 4:42 PM


bravo. Well stated. He is a pathetic excuse for a man.

Women should make sure that they have a will that will protect them from abusive husbands determined to finish off a murder.

Posted by: Maggie at March 21, 2005 4:43 PM

... if you don't decide to kill your child in-eutero first!

Posted by: MoFiZiX Gr4FiX at March 21, 2005 4:43 PM

You would think The President and congress had better things to do. Why Don't you try to be like Terri, I am very sure that you too would want to end it all. You want a real look at life go spend sometime in a nursing home...and tell me honestly that the way you all want to end your lives. Terri's problem all started with a doctor who did not monitor or know what is was giving her for medications. Sure she smiles and makes facial movements....does she understand any of it, who is to say. It is to bad when every one else has to get involved in others family business. Let the family handle this she has a mother and father, and a Husband....this is their job not ours. If it was not for this happening to her...I can guarantee not one of you would ever even heard of terri or her family. So why now, willing to bet it mostly is to get your little group's some press, and get your names in the papers..Not one of you can tell Me it is cause you really care !!!!!

Posted by: Harold at March 21, 2005 4:43 PM

Uh...last time I checked, its been 15 years since this happened to her. 15 years...you really can't blame the guy...not moving on after 4 years in deemed "unhealthy". Ya, you could say his current wife is "alive"...but in reality, she's pretty much a shell. Besides, even if by some miracle she recovered, though most medical proffesionals state otherwise, her brain has already deteriorated to the point that she'd basically be abke to comprehend at the level of a 4-6 month old.

Posted by: jason at March 21, 2005 4:45 PM

Oh yeah, I speak out for human rights so I can get my name in the paper... riiiiight. like I give a crap who's heard of me.

Posted by: Amy at March 21, 2005 4:45 PM


I am not affilitated with any group. If you actually took the time to find out the facts, you'd know that Terri has been denied many rights by the judge who presided over her case. He's doing things that are illegal. We are merely trying to help her parents take care of her the way she should be. If you don't agree with us, fine. But don't knock us for caring enough to research the facts.

Posted by: Sirena at March 21, 2005 4:46 PM

All we can do now is pray that this judge has heard enough to allow further testing on Terri and to take away Michael as Terri's guardian since he is not capable of doing it and giving it to her parents. Praying for Terri and her family.

Posted by: adrienne at March 21, 2005 4:48 PM

My, my, my, the Hemlock Society are being very busy with their trolling of this blog.


Hearsay evidence in this case should have been discounted by the court but George Greer refused to accept the evidence presented by Terri's real girl friend and her family. He made an error in judgement and refused to back down from that error.

Terri is not in a vegetative state, and she is trying her hardest to get out the message that she wants to live.

The Scientologist method of isolation has not worked on Terri. She has not given in and become depressed, such that she has given up on her life.

Terri deserves the right to have a proper medical assessment for the purpose of rehabilitation. Michael Schiavo deserves to go to jail for perjury as well as his attempt to pervert the course of justice.

Posted by: Maggie at March 21, 2005 4:49 PM

Another moron.. Harold the family and Terri were being denied their rights.. I wish people would actually read and learn about this case before casting down their uninformed judgement..
The rest of your comment just shows you for what you really are - some troll just there to get a reaction - you are the one seeking attention Harold.

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 21, 2005 4:49 PM

He's doing things that are illegal.

I guess that's why all of his decisions were overturned, right?

Posted by: jpe at March 21, 2005 4:49 PM

Trolls abound today, huh? Sheesh..... JPE, ever heard of corrupt judges? You trolls are amazingly humorous.

Posted by: Sirena at March 21, 2005 4:55 PM

JPE, I don't know why more of Greer's decisions haven't been overturned. I suspect that this case will eventually shed light on a vast and corrupt guardianship racket. Remember how many retired people live in Florida. Without proper legal oversight, it would be all to easy for a lot of vulnerable old people to be taken advantage of. It probably happens more often than we know.

Posted by: Mary in LA at March 21, 2005 4:55 PM

JPE, I don't know why more of Greer's decisions haven't been overturned. I suspect that this case will eventually shed light on a vast and corrupt guardianship racket. Remember how many retired people live in Florida. Without proper legal oversight, it would be all too easy for a lot of vulnerable old people to be taken advantage of. It probably happens more often than we know.

Posted by: Mary in LA at March 21, 2005 4:55 PM

Actually, none of his decisions have been overturned as of yet. The Florida Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of the United States, and multiple appelate courts have consistently sided with Greer's decisions. The guy's basically doing his job as a judge...in cases such as these, the husband has the oversight, not the parents.

Posted by: jason at March 21, 2005 4:55 PM

Jason, that's the thing: I love and trust my husband, but I didn't give up my civil rights when I married him. Terri's rights as a U.S. citizen trump Michael's rights as a guardian.

Posted by: Mary in LA at March 21, 2005 4:58 PM

I have a feeling they've made their decision already. They're stalling on telling the public. I don't feel this stalling is good.

Posted by: Ruth at March 21, 2005 5:01 PM

To some extent, Greer's apparently followed a rather perverted interpretation of the letter of the law based only on the evidence he's decided to permit. In other words, he's been obtusely anal and has shown contempt for the rights of Terri and her parents, and totally ignored the obvious conflict of interest where Michael is concerned... read up about the case Jason.

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 21, 2005 5:02 PM

FOX just announced that the hearing has ended but no ruling yet.

Posted by: chris K at March 21, 2005 5:05 PM

...don't like the sound of this...

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 21, 2005 5:05 PM

Why is it that everywhere @ terisfight.org the message is that Terri is aware and responsive and there are no references to the main question now. Does she want to be kept alive or not? If she can't make that decision the law says is her legal guardian who can. It is a travesty that a personal matter like this is being used as a political issue. There is a separation of government and religious believes isn't there? This is a travesty and our judicial system will be damaged if it can be control by the legislative as they are trying to do. Personally I would like to die if I was in Terri's shoes.

Posted by: Steve at March 21, 2005 5:07 PM

The husband has the final say?

How very Islamic.

And none of you ARE in Terri's shoes; if you don't want to be, get a Living Will and give someone you trust durable medical power of attorney NOW.

Otherwise, somebody might get tired of you and starve you to death to spite your family.

(Continuing to be amazed at the callous way people aren't bothered by a disabled woman being starved to death like an animal in the woods. Amazed.)

Posted by: tiredofit at March 21, 2005 5:15 PM

"JPE, I don't know why more of Greer's decisions haven't been overturned. I suspect that this case will eventually shed light on a vast and corrupt guardianship racket."

This is one thing I find perplexing about the criticisms of Greer. I haven't seen one good legal critique of Greer. Not one. Sure, I've seen the list of statutes that he has allegedly violated, but even a first-year law student knows that a legal analysis without case cites isn't a legal analysis at all. It's just a wild guess.

What that suggests to me is that there probably isn't any convincing legal argument against Greer; if there were, one would expect that it would've been produced.

Similarly, I find it odd that people can't seem to accept that a law can be meticulously crafted and applied perfectly, yet bad results will happen sometimes. That's just what laws are: generalizations. As with any generalization, some cases will slip through the cracks. Greer shouldn't be demonized for being the voice of an imperfect but necessary system, and it really rankles me that he is being demonized. Blame the legislature, if you must, but don't blame him.

Posted by: jpe at March 21, 2005 5:16 PM

I do blame the legislature. There should be a full investigation.

Posted by: Mary in LA at March 21, 2005 5:19 PM

Steve, you've got it backwards. The problem is out-of-control judges who legislate from the bench.

Michael is no guardian. If he wants to "move on" then let him divorce Terri and let her parents take care of her, as they have been begging to do for years.

Michael is NOT looking out for Terri's best interests.

Posted by: corrie at March 21, 2005 5:19 PM

What is the judge waiting for? She is starving here... at least if there's going to be a wait, let her have some sustainance in the meantime! What is WRONG with the world today that this is "okay"??

Posted by: Amy at March 21, 2005 5:34 PM

"What is the judge waiting for? She is starving here... at least if there's going to be a wait, let her have some sustainance in the meantime!"

The judge has to make a decision, and a hard one at that in which all kinds of competing claims are at stake. You should be blaming the US Congress, who decided that Ms. Schiavo shouldn't get the tube reinserted untill *after* the judge had made his decision.

Posted by: jpe at March 21, 2005 5:36 PM

I am not a troll who is trying to get a rise. I am a Floridan parent with kids who has followed
this case for 12 years, and I feel passionately about it. What would I do if one of my kids were to
wind up in the same situation? I honestly don't know, and I hope I never have to face such a thing.

I do not feel that Terri was abused. This is what her family says, they would say anything. The girl was
bulimic when she collapsed. Hmm. Ya think this might have contributed to it?

They also say that Terri hasn't been outside in 5 years: then why did her dad say last nite - on
national television - after
the house voted that they were "going to take her outside?" Because of all the attention? Doubt it.

There's something wrong, and I truly don't believe it's Michael Shiavo. The man went to nursing school so
he could assist in his wifes care. I hear he gives the hospice nurses grief over her care.
Yes, he does have a family now on the side; not sure I agree there, but this doesn't mean he's Satan. It also
means I'm not sure what I would do if I weren't in the same position. What would you do?

Am I uncomfortable with the idea of her not getting sustanence? Yes. It bothers me immensely. But I am not convinced
she feels anything. Seeing a brief clip on the news with her mother *an inch* from the womans face and *following
her daughters eyes wherever they happen to drift so she is forced to look at her mom* does not convince me.
I would have to see Terri in person; and try to stimulate her. It would take an expert to do so.
How does Terri react to anyone? How does she react when someone (family or otherwise) is sitting across
the room talking in a normal voice?

Am I bothered the federal government feels compelled to stick themselves *where they don't belong?* Yes. Very bothered, and
I stick by it. Do I feel passionate about what I say to my husband, or a choice we may have made without the government
having to intervene? You bet your bippy. It's my life and my body. The government having any kind of say over anything I say or do privately
makes me nervous. Real nervous.

Years ago my dad was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live. He was an alcoholic (a wet brain there
towards the end) and during his life it never occured to him to come up with a will. He was in no condition
to make a decision those last 6 months: he didn't know what death was. I, years before had a conversation with
him discussing death and he told me what he wanted done when he died. He didn't tell my mom or my brother,
but he told me. Why, I'll never understand, nor will the other members of the family. We fought about it for a
few days (the why didn't he mention it to us? thing) and in the end, we followed what he wished.

Posted by: Me over here at March 21, 2005 5:38 PM

Govenor Jeb Bush info:

The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Phone: (850) 488-4441
Fax: (850) 487-0801

Tell him to take her into protective custody!

Posted by: Sirena at March 21, 2005 5:42 PM

This not a case of removing a respirator because there is no hope. Terri has been denied any type of physical therapy since 1993.
Also, I need to wrap my head around and understand why it was that Mr. Schiavo voiced Terri's wish not to be kept alive "artificially" 8 years later, in 1998?

Dehydrating and starving someone to facilitate their death is wrong. This is not a quick nor is it a dignified death.

She did not have a living will... no one knows for sure if this was really what she wanted. No one knows for sure even being as severly brain damaged as she may be, that she will not suffer from lack of hyrdration and nutrition.

The law makers are involved because the Schindler's had no other choices, they exhausted all their petitions in court and it fell on deaf ears. If it were my child and I felt as strongly has her parents do... I would be in the Presidents face if I thought that would help.

Her parents want to care for her.. let them. I am of the opinion Mr. Schiavo has issues with Terri's parents and this is a way to get back at them. I know that is terrible but that is what my gut tells me and I can't shake that feeling.

Posted by: Jan at March 21, 2005 5:45 PM

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano made a good point on Fox just a bit ago - that if the Federal judge was intending up on re-insertion of the tube, that would have been his first order of business. That he has not, as of yet, ordered the re-insertion . . . Judge Napolitano is predicting that he will not do it at all.

On a side note, I note a lot of folks in here referring to Terri's husband as abusive. Aside from the opinion that some feel that he's abusive by nature of his actions in this case - - is there a documented history of him abusing Terri an anyway? Like prior to her coma state?

Posted by: Lisa at March 21, 2005 5:49 PM

There's documented evidence of him abusing his former girlfriend. There's the mystery of Terri's broken bones.

Posted by: sujata at March 21, 2005 5:52 PM

What scares me is that anyone who *supports* Terri's rights would view the decision as very simple. If the Judge was going to rule for Terri, I think he would have done so by now. I hope I am wrong, but I have a bad feeling....

If the Judge does not rule in her favor (or delay's much longer) I think out focus needs to change on urging Jeb or George Bush to send the Federal Marshalls in to the hospice, extract her, and take her to a *real* medical facility and start rehabilitating her for the senate hearing she has been supenoed for!

She has been supeanod! (I realize I am not spelling that right... I'm tired.) The government should inforce it just like they would inforce it if an important witness had a madman with a gun holding him hostage. In this case, instead of a gun, the witness is being STARVED to death!

Why in the world are the Republicans and Democrats (particularly Bush and Jeb) too chicken and scared to take ACTION (by sending in the Federal Marshalls) and save Terri NOW! Not later... NOW!

Writing the new bill was all well and good! But she is dying RIGHT NOW, being starved RIGHT NOW, and has a massive infection RIGHT NOW!


They have the authority to send in Federal Marshals and need to do so immediately.

Posted by: GeorgiaGuy at March 21, 2005 5:59 PM

From what I remember reading many of Terri's female friends from before the incident that disabled her indicate that she was being physically abused, was considering leaving him, and even considering moving into an apartment with one of them.

Trust me, a healthy 25 year old does NOT BREAK BONES from a simple collapse (unless you roll down a flight of stairs or fall from an elevated or high position). I am a 25 year old male and recently have fell flat on my back a few times not to break anything (slipping on wet pavement). My mother tripped going down the steps because the outside light bulb burnt out and fell... she had no broken bones...

You don't sustain massive injuries to your bones via a simple collapse from a normal standing position..

A few bruises or maybe a sprain... sure.. possibly.

Several broken bones from a simple fall? I don't think so!

Posted by: GeorgiaGuy at March 21, 2005 6:04 PM

Ah - - so speculation, but nothing formal. Ok - thanks for clearing that up for me.

Posted by: Lisa at March 21, 2005 6:12 PM

Personally, I don't see where abuse allegations are relevant at all on either side at this point.

The case is about human and constitutional rights and due process.

I see the snarkiness above as an attempt to make Terri's supporters (those who don't agree with her being tortured like a stray animal) as a group of loons engaging in conspiracy theories.

BTW, withholding care and therapies IS abuse. If a nursing facility did that, they would be sued and closed. Period.

So let's stick to the topic at hand, shall we? Whether or not Michael abused her BEFORE her "accident" is water under the bridge; he's a slow motion wife killer NOW, that much is EVIDENT.

Posted by: tiredofit at March 21, 2005 6:38 PM

Yes, speculation...kind of like the speculation that rehabilitation would never help her, or that she is feeling no pain right now.

Or, speculation that her wishes were to not live in the state she is in.

Posted by: Rebekah at March 21, 2005 6:47 PM

What a Nobel-prize nominated Doctor's report on Terri's rehabilitation

Has the whole world gone insane? I can now imagine how Hitler had many supporters.

Posted by: sujata at March 21, 2005 6:50 PM

tiredofit: you assume snarkiness where I was just asking for clarification. For which I received. Don't project your defensiveness on someone just trying to learn a bit more about the case.

The only reason I asked is because folks on this thread are calling him abusive - - so I figured that was part of the topic at hand, since others found it relevant enough to mention in their posts.

Sorry if you perceived snarkiness where there was none, and thank you to those who actually took the time to answer my query.

Posted by: Lisa at March 21, 2005 6:58 PM

A convicted person on death row does not have food & water with held from him before his sentence of death is full-filled. They feed him a special meal. Terri should have more consideration that a convicted killer. Her feeding tube should be reinserted immediately until the courts can come to a final decision. Her husband has moved on with his life with another woman. He has lost his rights to decide on Terri's life. She had no writted statement, so why should anyone believe him in this case. I'm not saying Terri didn't tell him she wouldn't wish to live that way, but that is not the same as her having a written living will. Thank you and God bless Terri. Love Liz

Posted by: Liz Van Erem at March 21, 2005 7:09 PM

"What scares me is that anyone who *supports* Terri's rights would view the decision as very simple..."

But judges don't just decide what's the right and just thing to do; that's what an activist judge does. A judge has to follow law in light of precedent, and that's just not a quick thing to do. I'm sure this judge, no matter how he personally feels about the case, is right now going through reams and reams of court cases looking for answers.

"They have the authority to send in Federal Marshals and need to do so immediately."

They have the ability, but not necessarily the legal authority, which would require, at a minimum, a reasonable reason that the action is legal and would be held to be so by the court. Given the weird nature of the circumstances, that's not an easy thing to do.

They could act illegally, of course, and maybe they should as a matter of morality (civil disobedience and all that).

Posted by: jpe at March 21, 2005 7:18 PM

I want to address a comment from "Jason" near the beginning of the thread--he was basically saying "so what" to Michael having the live-in "girlfriend" (common-law wife?) and children.

Agree that it is understandable that he has moved on. HOWEVER, HE CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. If it's ok for him to have a family, then WHY is he pretending to act as Terri's husband? If he's her husband and wants to maintain spousal "rights", he should be ACTING like HER husband--not someone else's husband!

This "man" is NOT acting like a man who cares about her in the least, even if she DID want to die. FACT (not assumption or speculation or propaganda): He's neglected her for years and spent tons of her money fighting for her death, ordered that there be no autopsy, ordered cremation for her body, disallowed simple comfort items, and MOST importantly, has BLOCKED proper testing for a legitimate diagnosis--is this how you Michael defenders would expect to be treated by the spouses/partners you say you would trust in a similar situation?

So many of you say you wouldn't want to be in Terri's condition, well, obviously nobody would. (It doesn't mean we'd choose death, though.) So think, what if you WERE? What if your spouse treated YOU in such an uncaring manner? Would you think this is the person who should make medical decisions for you? Saying "my husband wouldn't do that" and the like isn't an option. Suppose that's the way it was.

Even those of you who say "the court has ruled" and "it's the law" have got to know the wrongs being done to Terri by Michael by now (if you feel strongly enough about it you SHOULD know). Does it not make sense to you that such wrongs should render him NOT fit to be her guardian? Haven't you ever heard of a BAD spouse? All I hear is "he's her husband...". So? Scott Peterson was Laci's husband. Millions of women have abusive husbands everywhere. Still think THEY should hold sway over their wives' rights and wishes? Therefore, shouldn't the spousal rule be excepted in such cases?

Posted by: Beth at March 21, 2005 7:24 PM

Has a girlfriend 1-1/2 years after Terri goes into coma - Cindy - stalks her

While still having girlfriend Cindy, swears in the court that his life's goal is to take care of her and gets $1 million for Terry's therapy

After $1 million is in his pocket stops all therapy

A few years later finds another girlfriend (now fiance, whatever) gets engaged to her

A month later wants to remove food tube from Terri

Is there no justice in this world

The parents have been trying to get guardianship since 1994.

If I was Terri, I wouldnt want my parents to suffer the way her parents are suffering.

Is there no justice in this world? Are you surprised Hitler had many supporters?

BTW, court ruled, judged ruled, all one man's rulings - the great Greer. No other court has seriously looked into the case after Greer (in whom there is a conflict of interest) got on the case.

Posted by: sujata at March 21, 2005 9:04 PM

Your post is chilling.

Posted by: tiredofit at March 21, 2005 9:38 PM

There have been some excellent analysis done on what is transpiring.

This is not a case that should be decided by rule of law alone. A concious woman is being denied nutrition and hydration. Her husband is using his power as guardian to further his abuse of her.

By the way, there are several forms of abuse: Sexual, physical and emotional. Michael Schiavo was abusing his wife by attempting to dominate her before the night she collapsed. He used to check the miles that were done in her car. That is mental abuse and he was engaging in that kind of abuse. Also, a witness, that is a woman who worked with Terri has stated that she noted the bruises when Terri came to work. I would suggest that this is a sign of physical abuse in action. Then there is the matter of the neck injury that is consistent with being asphyxiated.

I doubt that Terri was bulimic at the time that she collapsed. Terri did not have a heart attack due to a potassium imbalance. However, when she collapsed she had the combination of low potassium and high sugar - that could be an indication that she could have been diabetic. Yet this has also been disproved. That leaves the way open to speculating whether something else happened that night to cause the collapse, and when Michael heard the emergency room discussing heart attack and low potassium levels his brain started ticking over and screamed "Money, Malpractice, Lawsuit" and then he thought "I will have to keep the bitch alive until I have won my malpractice suit and then I will finish her off" (Oh yeah I am just speculating on some other chilling possibilities)

Posted by: Maggie at March 21, 2005 10:09 PM

What needs doing as in outside of my home to help Terri? I was one of those people who said, "its there business not ours", and now I am the one trying to convince my friends to involve themselves! I had a profoundly brain damaged, blind, etc cousin who did not do much for himself. I know that he did not speak, just made sounds. Even that was life!! I want to help!!! Please would someone write me privately!! Thanks

Posted by: eric Kosten at March 21, 2005 10:45 PM