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March 19, 2005

Update from Hospice Woodside – March 19, 2005

Topics: News

- via email by Pamela Hennessy, Schindler's media office(www.terrisfight.org)
I spent the better part of the day in front of Hospice Woodside in Pinellas Park, Florida – along with a hefty gathering of people from all over the country. The media presence is almost breathtaking.

There is a woman who runs a small shop across the road from the hospice by the name of Stephanie. She has, essentially, closed down her shop and moved her inventory aside to give the Schindler family a place to sit and rest, away from the media and fuss that is going on outside.

The City of Pinellas Park has meshed off all the public encroachments and parking areas. Doing so has made it next to impossible for most of the disability community to access the area. I find it intentional.

This morning, Mary Schindler asked that her daughter’s life be spared on national television. It appears that lawmakers are feeling a pang of guilt. Today, it was settled that lawmakers in the Congress would resolve the matter of the Incapacitated Persons Legal Protection Act tomorrow, Palm Sunday, before adjourning for the regular spring recess.

There have been a few arrests. One man from out of state approached the front door of Hospice with Communion for Terri and asked the Hospice personnel to deliver it to her. He was hauled off. Another man, whom I don’t know, crossed the police line in front of Hospice with a symbolic cup of water and chunk of bread. He was hauled off. The Schindler family is not, in any way, encouraging public disobedience because they simply don’t want to see this tragedy to turn into personal problems for people who have been so supportive and kind to them and Terri.

People prayed. Many of us spoke to media about what has happened in Terri’s case. At any given time, there are between 100 and 200 people present. Sometimes, the numbers are smaller, but it’s not for long.

When I arrived early today, there were a couple of ‘pup’ tents erected on the knoll. People had spent the night there. There are several who are depriving themselves. I worry about them. I was only brave enough to stop eating, but some are depriving themselves of hydration as well and it’s already beginning to show.

When I walked up to the corner of 66th street and 102nd avenue, there was some guy, with a stethoscope draped around his neck and a megaphone, declaring loudly that Terri has been dead for 15 years and that anyone supporting her civil liberties is nothing but an idiot. Terri’s supporters kept their cool and just kept on with displaying their signs to cars passing by. I was astounded by the absolute arrogance and unkindness of the guy with the blowhorn.

I spoke with an AP reporter, who is well known to me and who wanted to get my take on how all of this has effected the Schindler family. I told him this rubbish about the Schindler’s efforts being a ‘well-financed, well-organized cause’ that George Felos loves to state is simply that. Rubbish. I asked him to visit Mr. Felos’s lavish and well-appointed property and then visit the Schindlers’ modest flat. They aren’t well-financed or well-organized. They are just a family trying to do the best they can for their daughter and people have wrapped their arms around them. No big surprise there. I also told the reporter that no family should be put through this horror.

A number of people who are only known over the internet came round. Some are from blogs and some are from message boards. They came from across the country to make some attempt at shouldering part of Terri’s suffering. There were conservatives, liberals, Christians, Jewish people, people with no particular religious leaning, doctors, nurses, disabled persons, young people, elderly people and so on. It felt good to see perfect strangers standing in solidarity, but it also felt very strange that people would have to beg for the life of a stranger.

Word came through that the congress is poised to pass the federal equivalent of Florida’s “Terri’s Law”, but firm support is still required by voters.

Terri’s sister, who I saw collectively for about two minutes, is tired, but hopeful. The family’s attorney, David Gibbs, seemed rather motivated but I know he hasn’t slept in days. Terri’s parents are as frightened as two people could be. It’s all rather uncomfortable to watch.

On the way home from the Hospice, I heard a radio program with Michael Schiavo’s former employer and attorney, Daniel Greico, claiming that Michael provided years upon years of rehabilitation for Terri. A very close friend of Terri’s by the name of Tom phoned in to the program to dispute this nonsense. He related, on air, how he used to sing and chant and joke and goof with Terri and how she tried her damndest to carry on with him. She would light up when she heard Tom’s deep, rock’n’roll DJ voice. Naturally, Terri reacted to Tom with a great deal of fondness so he was barred from seeing her. He recently wrote how awestruck he was at how lonesome Terri is and how utterly unnecessary that is.

When I finally got home, I took a quick radio interview with Barbara Simpson, a staunch supporter of patient’s rights in San Francisco and a columnist for World Net Daily who has written a number of brilliant pieces on Terri’s situation. Per usual, Ms. Simpson cut through the drama and got to the meat of the matter – is it appropriate to force death on someone who cannot fight you off?

Now that the day is winding to an end, I cannot stop worrying about Terri and those who are trying to shoulder her suffering by depriving themselves. Look. It’s entirely senseless to starve and dehydrate a perfectly healthy body. The people doing this to themselves understand that and know what they may face because of their actions. But, they made that choice. Terri Schiavo did not. There is your difference. At the end of the day, I hope we all make it out of here alive.

Something – anything – something needs to be done with this rogue b-----d of a judge.

Posted by richard at March 19, 2005 9:40 PM

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» Update from Hospice Woodside – March 19, 2005 from Hyscience
There have been a few arrests. One man from out of state approached the front door of Hospice with Communion for Terri and asked the Hospice personnel to deliver it to her. He was hauled off. Another man, whom I don’t know, crossed the police line [Read More]

Tracked on March 19, 2005 9:53 PM

» Blogging For Terri Schiavo's Life from Common Sense Runs Wild
What other bloggers are posting about Terri Schiavo: Dory Wittenberg Gate reproduces a comment left at BlogsForTerri. [Read More]

Tracked on March 20, 2005 3:38 AM

» Do I Know My Country? from Sierra Faith
Here is the rub: Why are Christians risking loss of liberty and property through arrest to save the life of an innocent Jewish woman? Why aren't NOW and other supposed women's groups clamoring for the preservation and healing of Terri? It's pretty s... [Read More]

Tracked on March 20, 2005 3:59 AM

» Schiavo Sources from Sierra Faith
Blogs for Terri is an excellent resource for on the ground reporting and context and reaction to events both at the hospice (this is a must read) as well as in the Legacy Media, both print and electronic. [Read More]

Tracked on March 20, 2005 4:31 AM

» There have been a few arrests. from Solve Crime.Com Blog
The best place I have found for information on what we can actually do to help Terri is at blogs for Terri The topic is hot and heavy and urgent!! There have [Read More]

Tracked on March 20, 2005 3:52 PM


Terri has been prayed for every afternoon at the Mother of God Carmel, San Rafael, CA, during the novena masses in honor of St. Joseph which ended today. Many are fasting on bread and water or giving up something or trying to do something on Terri's behalf. Our prayers are storming heaven's gates for deliverance for this precious lamb of God. She is our daughter and sister in Christ.

I am trying to send e-mails to Congress and TV media but I am new at this and some e-mails are returned undelivered.

Posted by: Sylvia Samija at March 19, 2005 10:05 PM

Thanks for this update from Pamela. I have been keeping some Australians updated on the matter. Even though I am not a member of right to life, I believe fervently that everyone has a right to life and someone who has such a vested interest in the death of his wife should not have been given permission to see her starved to death.

Posted by: Maggie at March 19, 2005 10:29 PM

Since I am damaged goods in the old blogroll over here, I just thought I'd post a tiny quote from my usually satirical blog:
I just finished saying that I had nothing original to add to this. Now I recant.


Thank you very much.

The Therapist

Posted by: The Therapist at March 19, 2005 10:29 PM

Is this murder happening in the U.S. of A. ??? I live in Quebec, Canada and I'm totally shocked about how this "American way" of killing someone is allowed by the authorities... I'm not into the "God" business and I don't have any radical thinking, but I don't understand how come the people responsible for the removal of the feeding tube can still be roaming around free as any "normal" human being. They are heartless and money driven bastards, to be polite...

They are acting against the will of the most powerful man on earth, President Bush, a man who can start a war anywhere in the world, but cannot stop a murder of one of his own citizen... What is going on in your country ? Help me to understand, I don't get it...

Posted by: Robert Rheault at March 19, 2005 10:54 PM

Yeah... I am personally a Libertarian but if more of the Democratic Feminists don't get on the ball supporting Terri they sure are going to loose votes next election. If Hillary wanted to gather a lot of votes for her run she should be sitting down there with Terri's parents and camping out with them every night.

Hillary could make inroads with many conservatives and others who normally would not support her in an election attempt.

I just don't get it...

Here is a woman who was abused and apparently beaten until she was severely handicapped.

Here is a woman whose husband has done nothing to rehabilitate her and have threatened nurses that dare try the simplest things to help her condition improve.

Here is a woman whose husband is openly committing adultury against her and has fathered two other children and still claims to have authority over Terri.

Here is a woman that is about to be starved to death by this same monster and where are the majority of the feminists?

No where to be seen!

Here is a woman that has been battered, abused, her rights have been violated, she has been cheated on by her so called husband, and she is about to be murdered! But the liberal democrat feminists just seem to be ignoring the whole situation (not all of them, but it seems most of them).

It really perplexes me.

Posted by: GeorgiaGuy at March 19, 2005 11:58 PM

I can only imagine what you are going through, and I can't begin to imagine what Terri and her family and friends are going through.

I have been up all night checking reports to post on my blog. I have a technical problem right now and can't post a trackback to one of my posts but I just want to tell you how very hard so many people are praying and working for Terri to live.

May God bless you, Terri, her parents, siblings and friends.


Posted by: Jeanette at March 20, 2005 12:13 AM

I sincerely hope all the folks out there that are for this will stand up and fight as much for healthcare of the ill, elderly and disabled, Remember Bush wanted to cut food stamps from some folks! Remember that many folks are against children who by accident of brith are children of alien both legal and illegel! I hope for all you are for one person will remember the thousands tha suffer because they can not afford a hospice, a hospital or even a doctor and you will sound your outrage to your congress people. and for all of you that do not want the government in your business, remember that this is invading a family and that her husband is the legal guardian of this woman. I wonder if this kind of outrage would be for a gay man who is the same state? I wonder if all you folks would sound the outrage for him?

Posted by: kk at March 20, 2005 3:29 AM

I think you should leave now and don't let the door hit you in the a** That man screwed another woman and knocked her up not once but twice and you think it's okay to let him kill Terri!! You know Gays, Lesbians, Bi-Sexuals, Blacks, Whites, Women, Men, Children, Foreigners, doesn't matter we are all GOD's People and murder is unaceptable!

Posted by: GG at March 20, 2005 4:17 AM

Unfortunately, this is one wish of the Schindlers that should NOT be respected. Having taken their cause to the public arena as they have, it is now an issue that is MUCH bigger than merely a family affair. People like myself have latched onto this cause precisely because we see its REAL significance for our public interest at large: Terri's murder by judicially forced starvation is an act of murder by the very system that supposedly is set up to protect "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," yada, yada, yada.

So, in this case, civil disobedience is not only praiseworthy, but DEMANDED.

Posted by: Charles M. de Nunzio at March 20, 2005 8:27 AM

Pull the plug, tube, whatever. Let the turnip wither and die. It's the right thing to do. Now you all get back in those kitchens and bake something for your man.

Posted by: YourMaster at March 20, 2005 3:44 PM