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March 20, 2005

Updated - My sister was given a second chance at life, and Terri deserves that same chance!

Topics: Testimonials

The sister of one of our readers suffered brain damage that left her in a condition similar to that of Terri Schiavo. She writes,

I have a sister who was in the same situation as Terri Schiavo. 12 years ago my sister had a sudden cardiac arrest episode that caused major damage to her brain. Four days into her coma we were told by doctors that Kim was in a persistent vegetative state and that we should unplug her ventilator. If she made it through the night we were told to make arrangements to put her in a nursing home. My parents decided not to follow the recommendations of the doctors and to instead transfer her to a rehabilitation hospital. Kim was dependent on both a feeding tube and a ventilator. Through intensive occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy which included teaching her to swallow again, she made a wonderful recovery. Though she is still physically challenged and in a wheel chair, she is very much a productive member of society. She is living at home with my parents who are her care givers. She votes in elections and loves to debate the issues. My sister was given a second chance at life, and Terri deserves that same chance!
Please note that Kim was in a worse condition than Terri. Kim was on a ventilator while Terri is not.

Update: I emailed K, the author the text above, and asked for more information. Here is her response:

We have video footage of Kim from 1993 when she was in the midst of her very intensive, daily therapies. If you could see the footage, which has been broadcasted on the news by WGAL-8 and Fox-43, you would be eerily amazed at how similar Kim was to Terri Schiavo.

Yes, we were told by neurologists at Lancaster Community Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that Kim was in a PVS (persistent vegetative state). When they told my family to turn off the ventilator because she was never going to recover, we told them that they had forgotten one very important factor, God! We knew that Kim was in there, desperately wanting us to do anything possible to help her, which was the basis for putting her into therapy. Shortly after that meeting we transferred Kim to the Rehabilitation unit at Hershey Medical Center in Hershey Pennsylvania. Kim was only able to breath on her own for short periods of time; she was completely dependent on a feeding tube for nourishment and hydration. She was actually worse than Terri in that she was not able to track objects with her eyes and seemed to stare off into space. Kim was absolutely unresponsive. The deep coma lasted for 6-8 weeks. After that time period she was still considered to be in a coma because she was unable to communicate and was in state of agitation. She would kick her legs and seemed to moan and cry all the time. The only things that would seemingly comfort her was taking walks outside on the hospital grounds and listening to Kenny G. Kim was not able to swallow until she was taught again how to do so in speech therapy.

Kim was in Hershey Medical Center from May-August 1993. However, her recovery did not end there. She only recently stopped therapies in June of 2004 and we are hoping to begin therapies again this summer. The recovery period continues even now. She certainly remembers the long and extremely difficult road to her recovery. She is grateful to have had the chance for such a recovery. She knows that had it not been for the daily occupational, physical and speech therapies in which she was provided that she would not be the woman that she is today. While she physically challenged and in a wheelchair to this day, she has a happy life. She enjoys many activities like scrap booking, going to the theatre and spending time with friends and family.

My recommendation for others in a similar situation is to never stop fighting. We would not do anything differently!! If we had done to Kim what others are trying to do to Terri, we would be visiting her at the cemetery, not enjoying life together. Terri, and others like her, deserve the same opportunities!


Source: comment on bLogicus

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


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Yet another person who was once in Terri Schiavo's condition, but recovered, has surfaced. You can guess what they think of the starvation order. I have a sister who was in the same situation as Terri Schiavo. 12 years ago my sister had a sudden... [Read More]

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Comments

I feel like the "lone" voice for Terri right now. On a "Christian" board, of all places, there is a group of pro-death posters who want to see her die and constantly refer to her as already being dead.

A biased moderator (one who is a supporter of Michael Schiavo) has already threatened to silence me. If anyone has time and wants to be a voice for Terri please visit this url, http://www.rr-bb.com/showthread.php?t=192226&page=1&pp=25

Posted by: Donna at March 20, 2005 12:59 AM

The moderator closed that thread and opened a new one...
http://www.rr-bb.com/showthread.php?t=192262

Posted by: Donna at March 20, 2005 1:32 AM

It is very hard to take "pro-terri" voices that I have heard seriously. Supporters on message boards inevitably seem to fall back on too many conspiracy theory type justifications.

Just consider the above section:
"A biased moderator"
"already threatened to silence me"

Terri supporters are quick to point to many other reasons for Michael's decision: Insurance money, spousal abuse, the desire to marry another woman, etc, etc.

How can this other viewpoint be taken seriously when the justifications for it are based on such evidence?

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 1:39 AM

There has to be a way to remove Michael Schiavo as Terri's legal guardian and allow her to divorce the heartless adulterer. A guardian is charged with the responsibility of acting in the person's best interests. This guy is outrageous. The United States of America needs laws that truly protect disabled people from legal abuse, eg. a Public Trustee to be automatically involved in a guardian capacity.

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 20, 2005 1:53 AM

It is not a "conspiracy theory" that Michael has broken his marriage vows. Why is he allowed the full rights of a husband having control over the life and death of his wife (in name only) when there is a CLEAR conflict of interest here?

Consider this scenario: A husband beats his wife to within an inch of her life and she ends up like Terri. The husband claims it was accidental and is charged with assault. But since he's still the husband, he says that her feeding tube should be removed and she dies. Under the law, he's only guilty of assault, not murder. Men who want to murder their wives and get away with it have a friend in Judge Greer.

Posted by: JWL at March 20, 2005 2:01 AM

> A guardian is charged with the responsibility of acting in the person's best interests

Actually, a guardian is charged with the responsibility of acting on the peron's expressed will. Subtle difference.

Posted by: OvertOther at March 20, 2005 2:01 AM

Elizabeth: Wow. Heartless adulterer?

The courts are acting as the neutral third party. The court heard both sides of the issue, and have decided that he is justified.

Does this not count as a "Public Trustee?"

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:04 AM

JWL: Are you suggesting that physical abuse has occured in this case?

At face value, this would appear to be EXACTLY the kind of conspiracy theory mentioned earlier.

I'm not sure who (if anyone) has alleged this, however to my knowledge no one has thus far testified under oath about any suspected abuse. Thus, if they aren't willing to talk about it under oath, it matters none here.

Find a witness that is willing to put thier hand on the bible and testify. Otherwise it's just another hail-mary on the part of the parents.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:12 AM

Read about Michael Schiavo's history up to the present and you will have to be forced to admit he is an unfit guardian.

Just because somebody is "married" to a disabled person doesn't mean he or she has the disabled spouse's best interests at heart.

Schiavo has NO credibility whatsoever, and that's one of the major reasons this case is so offensive.

And I predict once this is over he will be stripped of his guardianship, which should have been done YEARS ago because he was negligent in providing adequate care for Terri.

Posted by: Susan Nunes at March 20, 2005 2:14 AM

Adulterer? Yes. Heartless? Who knows?

I just can't get over the irony that it was fine and dandy for the courts to tell the legislature that Terri's Law was "unconstitutional", but when the legislature challenges something that the courts do, oh no, that's horrible! What about states' rights!

Here's a thought: What about the right of the American people to actually get to make their own darn laws through their elected officials?

It just goes to show you how some people think that we should live under a Judicial Oligarchy rather than a Representative Republic.

Posted by: JWL at March 20, 2005 2:14 AM

Scott: You can't have it both ways. If it's a "conspiracy" to question Michael Schiavo's motives, then it's also a "conspiracy" to doubt what Terri's mother, father, brother, and sister say. They all say that Terri would never want to be starved to death.

And my point is that you seem to be arguing that Michael should get to make this decision no matter what; his adultery is irrelevant. So, if a case involved abuse, why would THAT be relevant? The husband is the husband and he gets to make the decision no matter what, right?

Posted by: JWL at March 20, 2005 2:18 AM

JWL: Yea. That pesky "judicial activism". Segregation. Jim crow laws. Equal protection under the law.

All due to those darn "activist judges."

I suppose this is the point where I point out that we're talking the difference between "Federal" and "State."

The courts said the law was unconstitutional, because it is thier job to determine that. If the legislature doesn't like it, then they need to stop passing stuff that violates the constitution. Or ratify changes to it. Easy enough.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:19 AM

> Just because somebody is "married" to a disabled person doesn't mean he or she has the disabled spouse's best interests at heart.

And yet, we must as a society decide -- does the spouse or the blood family of the victim get to determine the victim's outcome? Which should the law default to: spouse or family?

> And I predict once this is over he will be stripped of his guardianship

By all accounts, that will take brand-new evidence to convince the courts. Beyond the discarded evidence.

Posted by: OvertOther at March 20, 2005 2:20 AM

Scott - the fundamental justifications for supporting Terri are based upon the fact that she is a living human being. Affidavits of medical personnel and family members, video evidence and medical evidence are used to further this argument. These are often dismissed as part of a grand conspiracy of anti-abortion activists. I hope that you will consider reading our site in more depth rather than generalizing/dismissing us based upon another readers comments about a bulletin board.

Posted by: tim at March 20, 2005 2:24 AM

JWL: Adultry is a moral constraint (and it is a matter of opinion whether or not it has even occured here). Not a legal one. Adultry in 110 percent legal, thus it's relevance is zero.

What IS relevant is that with the lack of a living will, the law usually defers to the husband / spouse to decide what the person would have wanted.

Of course the parents didn't like it. Parents naturally don't want to "give up" on thier kids. In the parent's mind, there is always hope.

15 years later the rest of us live in the real world. We live in a world where her frontal cortex is gone. Tis medical fact unfortunately.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:24 AM

Scott: Nice canards. It isn't judicial activism if the judges rule based on the actual text of the Constitution. But in my cases, the most famous example being Roe v. Wade, they just make up crap.

Be sure to keep supporting judges that you like so that they can rule over us in the way that you like, since you hate democracy so much.

Posted by: JWL at March 20, 2005 2:24 AM

Scott: If you're going to say that it's only a matter of opinion that adultery has occured, it is a waste of time to talk to you.

Posted by: JWL at March 20, 2005 2:26 AM

JWL: On the abuse issue, was he convicted? Is there a documented record of abuse? If so, then it's relevant.

Heresay does not an argument make.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:26 AM

OvertOther - we have to first consider what is to be decided. Is it right to purposefully end a spouses life when he/she is not terminally ill?

Posted by: tim at March 20, 2005 2:29 AM

Tim: Sure will. I'm always open to facts.

The problem here is people are trying to justify this based on arbitrary moral constructs.

I'm inclined to defer to the husband AND the six judges that have thus far been involved in the case. They have heard the best cases of both sides and have made thier decision.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:30 AM

JWL: Adultry does not enter into this case at any point.

You can only be married to living people. If you believe that Terri Shivo is living, then I don't want any part of your value system.

Sorry, your moral arguments carry no force of law here.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:33 AM

Former Lee County Sheriff John McDougall, an outspoken right-to-life activist, was arrested Saturday after trying to bring Terri Schiavo water and then ignoring police orders to leave the Pinellas Park facility where the brain-damaged woman is staying, authorities said.

http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050320/NEWS01/503200500/1002/NEWS01

Posted by: Austin at March 20, 2005 2:54 AM

Scott - Your latest post at each point is proof by assertion with the assumption that Terri is not living. Its ironic you've chosen to post this in connection with an article about a person who was in a worse condition than Terri and yet, through therapy, has recovered.

Posted by: tim at March 20, 2005 2:56 AM

Tim: Did the person in the article above have a cerebral cortex? Because Terri does not (see #1 below). Where her cerebral cortex was, there is now only spinal fluid. They both may be vegetative, but the emails here didn't say why or what was damaged missing.

This means that the part of her brain that controls intelligence, personality, sensory, motor functions, planning, organization, and touch is gone. Not damaged. Gone.

I don't see how one can recover from this.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 3:12 AM

Articles to support the above stuff:

No cerebral cortex:
http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/10/22/coma.woman/

What the cerebral cortex does:
http://biology.about.com/library/organs/brain/blcortex.htm

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 3:18 AM

Scott - I can understand your position based upon what continues to be reported. I refer you to this summary http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/johansen200503160848.asp)

Terri’s diagnosis was arrived at without the benefit of testing that most neurologists would consider standard for diagnosing PVS. One such test is MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). MRI is widely used today, even for ailments as simple as knee injuries — but Terri has never had one. Michael has repeatedly refused to consent to one. The neurologists I have spoken to have reacted with shock upon learning this fact. One such neurologist is Dr. Peter Morin. He is a researcher specializing in degenerative brain diseases, and has both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Boston University.

In the course of my conversation with Dr. Morin, he made reference to the standard use of MRI and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans to diagnose the extent of brain injuries. He seemed to assume that these had been done for Terri. I stopped him and told him that these tests have never been done for her; that Michael had refused them.

Posted by: tim at March 20, 2005 3:41 AM

No MRIs. How about cat scans?

Normal brain:


Terri Schiavo's brain:

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 3:53 AM

Dang it.

Ok.

Normal brain:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/lepus/cat_scan-normalbraincopy.jpg

Terri Schivo's brain:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/lepus/CTscan-Schiavo.png

Note the large dark areas in the middle. I got this off of a neurologist's site. He estimates that the dark areas make up about 30 - 40 percent of her brain.

Given these, how necessary is an MRI?

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 3:56 AM

Well..scott,

I have a cousin brother who has been mentally handicapped since about 6 months of age or so. He is now 44. All these years he has been in bed (he cannot walk or sit by himself), he mouths a few unintelligible sounds, is totally blind although has normal looking eyes, he cannot chew food - needs to be fed semi-digested or liquid food, needs an enema for excretion. He has been cared for at home all these 44 years in a third world country - India, not in medically advanced, leader of the world US of A. Would you suggest that my cousin should be allowed to starve to death - because he will starve if not fed? My cousin brother is the apple of my uncle's eye. My my! what narrow minded view of life you have. Life is precious.

Posted by: sujata at March 20, 2005 8:37 AM

Scott... at MY wedding, my husband and I vowed to be married till death do us part. Michael himself admitted he and Terri said similar vows. Now, whether you LIKE it or not, Terri is not dead. Thus, her husband has committed adultery. He has fathered children with a woman other than his wife, while still married to his wife. It IS a moral point, of course, as you said, and isn't relative to whether Terri should be killed, but it does show Michael's character, or lack thereof.
Terri's brain isn't functioning like ours is, but she is just as alive... she does respond to her family, she feels hunger and thirst, her heart is beating, she is breathing, she feels like we do. You're trusting in only one group of "experts" who did not give an thorough diagnosis. What about all those experts who have a very different diagnosis? What about the testimony Judge Greer wouldn't allow (reports from nurses who cared for Terri who say she has spoken and communicated... about Michael's asking if the "bitch is dead yet" and bragging about the money he'd get? The injuries and bruises she had? Shouldn't this all get properly investigated and presented?

Posted by: Amy at March 20, 2005 9:30 AM

That CT Scan was done like 10 years ago. She never had a proper diagnosis. She was examined by a neurologist in 2002 that said her condition is very similiar to people he has seen that were axphixiated (strangled). If her husband really loved her, wouldn't he allow the abuse to be investigated? Why didn't he perform CPR when he had the training? Why did he refuse to take a lie detector test? He's covering something up - he wants her cremated immediately upon her death with NO autopsy.

Posted by: ElizabethV at March 20, 2005 10:53 AM

scott. give it up. These people are delusional.

I have a question about the above testimony. The literature states that no one has ever returned from a PVS. How can the above "story" be true?

AND, if terri is "minimally conscious" as some claim, why has no one taught her a simple gestural response protocol IN SIXTEEN YEARS? Blink once for yes, twice for no?
My guess is that they can't.

CAT (computer aided tomography) is perfectly adequate to diagnose fluid in place of neo-cortex. An fMRI might show marginally more cortical tissue survived than the original estimate. Neo-cortex does not spontaneously regrow. What she should have is a PET series that would reveal cortical brainwave activity.

Scott is right, without neocortical function, "terri" is a just a brainstemmed sack of organs.

Posted by: jinnderella at March 20, 2005 12:01 PM

Why is anyone bothering to respond to the trolls? No one will ever change anyone's mind by arguing or debate. Our culture seems to have lost the art of debate, we hear what we want to hear and simply continue to pound the same message at each other over and over. So it's a waste of time to even bother trying. People who change their minds (like I did) tend to do so by conducting their own research of both sides of an issue....generally avoiding confrontation. They may ask questions, but tend to stay away from emotionality. Once they decide how they feel, they may once again allow emotion to enter the picture...as I have.

Given that's the case, I don't know why the trolls are bothering to be here. They won't change anyone's mind here on this board. We've already read the same articles they did and heard the same "facts". Nor do I know why people supporting Terri getting to live are bothering to respond since you can't change the minds of the trolls. They read the same articles you did and heard the same "facts" too.

So, just ignore the trolls and say what you want to say, talk to the folks you want to talk to and let the trolls speak to the empty space.

Now...about the article the comment section is supposed to be about....I find it very compelling. The video would be very interesting and would probably be helpful in court cases where a general policy of how to handle people declared PVS was being worked out. The fact that a bit over 40% of PVS patients eventually come around implies to me that they were originally misdiagnosed. This article seems to support that assumption with his personal experience of his sister.

Posted by: Ceci at March 20, 2005 12:12 PM

Ceci, i agree, the sister cannot have had actual PVS. The medical literature states that no one with an accurate diagnosis of PVS has ever recovered. can you give the cite for your 40% figure?

Posted by: jinnderella at March 20, 2005 12:20 PM

I just want to interject my thoughts on this matter, I dont understand her husband who loves her so much he has held steadfast to the court system to have her feeding tube removed, why did he consent to having the tube placed to begin with? Why this man who has gone on with his life anyway doesnt just divorce her and let her parents have custody. Why with all the monies spent the court system hasnt taken custody of her and given her to her parents to begin with. What is wrong with the judicial system that lets this happen? This shouldnt be an issue, its obvious he doesnt want to be burdened with her, is there money involved that keeps him hanging on does he think he will be set for life or does he like the idea of being a martyr..I personally find him to be a sick individual on some level, he has moved on...let Terri go, if her parents want to care for her or they see something he doesnt let them take control of the situation. There is nothing documented saying she wants to die..therefore it should be cut and dried, she lives and if he doesnt want to take on that burden in his life anymore he should sign the papers and move on, leave her with her parents who love her and are willing to do what they can. This has become a horrible thing for her, what quality of life does she have in the media..is that fair to anyone. Since the government is sooooo involved do what is right..they take children from their parents every day for one reason or another, women are rescued from their husbands every day...rescue her give her back to her parents..yes its become a situation where they are fighting to determine who is fit to take care of her regardless of what words they use to play around it. He is no longer fit...he has moved on with his life and she is an interference...think about it.

Posted by: deb y at March 20, 2005 12:23 PM

Amy: "Whether you LIKE it or not, Terri is not dead."

So you equiate living to simply physiological terms? The fact that she breathes?

The doctors in charge of her care as well as the Florida State Supreme court have said she is not "alive". The part of her brain that handles personality is no mas.

This isn't a conclusion that has been arrived at lightly. It has taken 15 years, multiple judges in multiple jurisdictions, multiple doctors, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to arrives at these conclusions.

Try as he might, Terri's husband was not able to just arbitrarily wake up one day and decide to do this.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 1:07 PM

Scott, comeon!!! don't act like an expert in neuroscience. No scientist yet knows for sure how the brain functions, brain is very capable of making neural connections in places we don't expect, to compensate for lost connections. People have been known to exhibit consciousness with less than 35% of cerebral cortex.

When in doubt one should always choose life.

Do something good for someone today instead of doing your best to kill a disabled woman!

Posted by: sujata at March 20, 2005 1:25 PM

Hi jinnderella,

Try this link.

http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/313/7048/13

There are lots of blog references and religious ones, but I wont' mention them since they're rehashing the same thing essentially. There may be some professional publications of the scientific community that my simple little google search didnt' turn up. Medline would probably help with that, but I dont' know if the general public has access to that.

Posted by: Ceci at March 20, 2005 1:26 PM

Sujata:

Emotional appeals and personal stories amount to fallacies of logic as they are not factual.

I wouldn't presume to suggest anything.
It is the personal decision of your family and it is not anyone else's place to suggest what should / should not be done.

That's the whole point of this case. Simple, no?

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 1:39 PM

Scott,

Personal stories are not factual??? hmmm......

Yes, it is the personal decision of the person/family. Here are some questions that beg an answer....

Now who is family? A spouse that admitted you to a hospital in an unconscious state with broken bones? A spouse who tried to repeatedly stop you from getting treatment/resuscitation after receiving a million dollar settlement for "your therapy"? A spouse who asked for your feeding tube to be removed a month after getting engaged to another person?? Is this person family?

Can a married man get engaged to another woman? While he is living with this "fiance" can he decide whether his wife should live or die? Does he have the right to decide? Is he still considered family????

If you received a million dollars as settlement for therapy for your disabled wife, can you try to kill her by removing her feeding tube?

Posted by: sujata at March 20, 2005 1:49 PM

Amy and others:

If the parents have all these dynomite experts, why aren't they being heard at trial? There have been not one, but two trials. Both came to the same conclusion. Yet according to the parents, they have a legion of "experts" who can help her.

There are a ton of legal documents in this case, and most of them do not appear to be in public hands yet. However some of the ones that have made it offer insight into the decisions that have been made.

1. Terri's sibling had her testimony thrown out. Why? Because it varied wildly from her deposition (her story has changed).

2. Terri's treating physician was excluded from testifying as he was considered biased by the judge. Rather, a panel of five board certified doctors were choses (two by the husband, two by the parents, one chosen by the court). These five doctors performed their own examinations without input from the treating doctor.

3. Dr. Maxfield also felt that '02 CT Scan showed improvement in the quality of the remaining brain matter and that one reason Terry Schiavo was not in a persistent vegetative state was that she could swallow her own saliva and breathe on her own. These views were not supported by any of the other doctors and Drs. Greer, Bambakidis and Cranford strongly disagreed with his '02 CT Scan opinion. Dr. Cranford further testified that saliva handling is from the brain stem, a reflex.


The trial court tried very hard to be even handed.
Read the court's finding for yourself here:
http://www.libertytothecaptives.net/order_nov_22_2002.html

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 1:59 PM

sujata:

I post two pics on brain scans and I'm suddenly "acting like an expert"? These aren't my observations, they the ones of others who have studied and do know (the sources were clearly stated in that post).

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:04 PM

Because the judge has dismissed the other doctor and nurses' testimonies in favor of Dr Cranford (who says he advocates starving people with ALZHEIMERS) who after only examining her for 45 minutes says she's PVS. But in 2002/2003, a Nobel Prize nominee Neurologist examined her for over 10 hours and said she was NOT PVS.

PVS is misdiagnosed a lot. There is new medical technology out there. Why can't Terri have an MRI? Her husband refused her let her have one.

Posted by: ElizabethV at March 20, 2005 2:09 PM

scott,

If you got a million dollars for therapy and did not use the fund for the purpose it was intended, i.e., therapy, is that a crime or no?

Statement by Sara Green:

QUOTE
5. Based on my experience and my observations, Mrs. Schiavo is clearly aware of her environment and interacts with it, albeit inconsistently. She is able to comprehend spoken language, and can, at least inconsistently, follow simple one-step commands. This is documented both in the MediPlex records and in the following behaviors noted in the following video segments:

UNQUOTE

Scott, before I have any further discussions with you on this, I want to know what motivates you. So help me understand your motivation, please answer this one questions for me. Have you looked at videos on terri's site where she is following instructions like "open your eyes"? Yes or No.

Posted by: sujata at March 20, 2005 2:11 PM

suhata:

If half of what you allege is true, then did it take 15 years for the state to attempt to take guardianship? As far as I can tell, no attempts were made by the state to take guardianship until Feb. of this year (after it became a political issue).

If what you say is even remotely true, then why did the parents wait until 2003 to try and take guardianship? Why aren't they alleging any of this under oath in court documents? Where are the police reports? There aren't any.

The only evidence we have of ANY of this comes from statements made to the media, by the parents and thier medical reps. When someone is willing to put thier hand on the bible and swear that it happened, then maybe I'll give it some credence. Until then, those charges reek of desperation and fabrication.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:27 PM

Scott, Please go to www.terrisfight.org and check the timeline link to get a chronology of events since Terri's collapse. Thanks.

Posted by: sujata at March 20, 2005 2:34 PM

sujata:

The videos I believe you're referring to were culled from over 4 hours of footage. As stated by the judge in the case (see the link above) the video taken overall did not appear to show any sort of consciousness. In fact he went as far as to indicate that her reactions appeared to be random.

Show me more than 10 seconds of the video. Let the public see what the judge saw.

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:38 PM

Scott!!! Have you checked the timeline? The first guardianship suit was filed in 1994. Please do me a favour and check the timeline.

Posted by: sujata at March 20, 2005 2:39 PM

sujata:

I stand corrected. The parents filed a change of guardianship request earlier.

(now doesn't it feel good to site sources, rather than personal accounts?)

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 2:48 PM

Ah, here we go.

In court filings, the Florida Department of Children and Families admitted that they had previously received many allegations of abuse in this case (in 2001, and 2003).

In EACH case, the DCF ADMITTED that each allegation was baseless and without merit (thier own words).

So these abuse angles have already been investigated by the state of Flordia. And in each case, nothing was found.

http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/trialctorder031005.pdf

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 3:04 PM

On the issue of the bone scans, the person who actually ordered the bone scan in the first place objected to the conclusions put forth by Dr. Campbell.

Furthermore, the parent's counsel knew about these reports previously ("the report was in possession of Respondents' several attorneys over time").

So the parent's counsel knew all about the 1991 abuse report previously. Yet the very guy who ordered the thing disagrees that it shows a history of trama.

If you have this evidence of abuse in your possession for awhile, why do you wait until November 2002 to submit it?

Read the whole thing here:
http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/trialctorder11-02-scan.pdf

Posted by: Scott Phillips at March 20, 2005 3:16 PM

If I was ever in such a state and my husband was doing the things schiavo is doing, I would want the state to give guardianship to my parents IMMEDIATELY, I wouldnt want them to run through the courts for 11 years to get guardianship over me (if my husband truly loved me, he wouldnt make my parents run around in the first place), whether I am in "PVS (check what the nobel-prize nominated doctor thinks of Terri)" or not. This is not a game scott, this is someone's life and the life of the parents, the sister, brother, all people who loved Terri much longer than the "husband" who lives with another woman.

Why were the broken bones and teh visit of the orthopaedic hidden from the parents?
Why one year he thinks he needs 1 million to care for her for the rest of her life (his testimony) but a couple of years later (once he found a "finance") wants to remove the feeding tube?
Why did he put the no resuscitation note?

stinks of deception to me. However, you and I can go on endlessly about this, but there is ONLY ONE TRUTH and the truth will out.

Posted by: sujata at March 20, 2005 3:19 PM

I think this whole thing was so done wrong. If the argument is that terri still has cortical function why didn't the blogverse concentrate on getting the fMRI an PET scans? Petition the court, petition michael schiavo, shame schiavo into it with an essay campaign.

If terri had no demonstrable cortical function post fMRI and PET, would it be ok to disconnect her? Is it ok to disconnect a brainstemmed pack of organs but not a brainstemmed pack of organs with minimal cortical function? Where's the line?

Posted by: jinnderella at March 20, 2005 3:49 PM

If we don't have a Living Will, you and I will not be killed. That is why Terri should have her feeding Tube reinstated!
Michael Schiavo has a conflict of interest because he has a COMMON LAW FAMILY! He has abused his privelage of being guardian by misusing the money provided for her !!!!!!

I suggest if you don't want a feeding tube incase something like this happens to you! MAKE OUT A LIVING WILL!

Posted by: Linda at March 20, 2005 3:56 PM

How easy we buy death (1 million dollars)while others spend much more trying to live. We collect millions of dollars for others in countries considered third world countries because it makes our image look good to the world, while at home we give in just a 1 million dollar check, which is already more than spent. Terri's so called husband needs to give her a divorce it would make things easier for him and others. I wonder how his children with the other women he has been with, view him knowing that he is batteling to let Terri starv to death. Lets say that they decide to stop the feeding, who long will it take her to die. Would't that be considered cruel and inhumane. We don't treat our animals with such cruelty, but yet we turn around and spend millions of dollars trying to justify that what we are doing is correct and in the interest of the patient. Something is trying to be hidden here such as: abuse, neglect and greed. When Terri walked down the aile of her local church, the father gave away a perfect bride for her to be charished and nurished, and now they are willing to take her back even in a so called PVS state which is only to show what true love is all about. I have a great deal of respect for her parents who have fought and willing to fight for the right to live. I wonder how many others cases are there at have happened that the decision to pull the plug was taken lightly because no put up a fight. I wonder how Terri's so called husband is able to sleep at night? What if the shoe was on the other foot and it was his life we were talking about here???

Posted by: Gabriela at March 21, 2005 9:16 AM

This is very well said.....

Subject: Terri Schiavo: Cruel and Unusual Government Sanctioned Murder OK - For the Innocent
Time: 6:48:15 PM EST
Author: justice1949


Terri Schiavo: Cruel and Unusual Government Sanctioned Murder OK - For the Innocent

by: Steve Yuhas

Congress adjourned on Palm Sunday without voting on whether or not they can craft legislation to stop an innocent woman from being starved to death at the behest of Florida judges and her “husband.” One would think that in a country where criminals on death row are afforded luxuries like television and time in the sun and where many believe that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment that they would join people who believe that starving an innocent woman to death is equally cruel, but not in America.

The case of Terri Schiavo is a tragic one that has been litigated to the end. Judges have decided that Terri’s “husband,” who has made children and lives with another woman, has the final say as to whether or not she die by removing her feeding tube, her only form of “life support” (support that is hardly support at all considering Terri lives on her own breath and heart beat).

It has been almost three days since Terri began the brutal and painful process of starving to death. Schiavo is not on “life support” as her former husband and his attorney continue to maintain; she is receiving the same thing through a tube that we give to prisoners condemned for killing other people through a hole in a prison cell door: food and water.

In amazing irony, Scott Peterson became the 644th inmate on California’s death row the same week that Schiavo’s feeding tube was ordered removed. If the past holds true for the future, the 32-year-old man who killed his wife and unborn child will be provided food and water until the tender age of 55 when his life will ultimately be taken for killing two innocent people.

Should Peterson be left to anguish for three weeks without food or water until his life ends or should the state continue to feed him? If the question about starving a person to death was about Scott Peterson every court and legislature would demand he be fed, but Terri Schiavo, an innocent victim of a heart attack, is being murdered by her “husband” and Florida in a most cruel and unusual way.

Michael Schiavo contends that during their marriage his wife said to him that she would not want to stay alive on life support. That is a wonderful thing considering that Terri is not on life support, but receiving nourishment at the hands of others – the same as a prisoner or a child. Unfortunately, courts decided otherwise and demanded that Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, stand by and watch as their child is starved to death.

Nobody knowsthe true motive of Michael and why he would want to see a woman he ostensibly loved to go through the agony of starvation, but there is evil in his decision; an evil that we as a society will not burden our most heinous criminals with.

The United States Congress is attempting to save Terri Schiavo’s life, but in a remarkable twist of fate there are suddenly Democrats and Republicans who believe in states rights when it comes to court decisions. These are the same people who believe it is within the realm of Congressional necessity to regulate everything from how a person uses his or her private property to whether or not it is illegal to kill a toad or a bird.

Court decisions dealing with insignificant matters should be left to the states, but people in Congress are having difficulty deciding whether cruel and unusual sanctioned murder falls within their purview of responsibility. What a remarkable transformation for a Congress that inserts itself into every state matter every day of the week, but asking if it is cruel and unusual to starve the innocent is hard for them to decide.

What has happened to America that we have become a people who care so little about an innocent woman and say it is alright to starve her in what everyone knows will be an excruciating death, but believe that prisoners who kill their own wives and unborn children should receive that which is now being denied to an innocent woman: food?

Terri Schiavo is a living breathing human being and her “husband” and the courts in Florida want her to starve to death. Have we really become so callous about human life that it is perfectly alright to starve a woman to death while we coddle criminals and argue that states rights end the preservation of the woodpecker and certain toads, but not the life of an innocent human being?

If a person on death row in any state were to be killed by starvation and the withholding of food and water no state or federal judge would find that to be a constitutional manner of inflicting the ultimate punishment. The same standard should and must be applied to the innocent.

It is shameful that Bob and Mary Schindler will ultimately lose their daughter to an excruciating and long lasting death, but the questions will remain and Congress must act to take the initiative to remove from the repertoire of states rights the ability to starve a woman to death while her parents desire her to live and her “husband” has long since moved on to shack up and have children with another woman.

Michael Schiavo should have been removed from the equation when he stopped being her husband and if we are a nation that cares about life, we must begin to place the life of innocent human beings at the same level that we do criminals and turtles.

Steve Yuhas is a columnist and radio talk show host on KOGO in San Diego. He may be reached at steve@steveyuhas.com or www.steveyuhas.com

Posted by: Gabriela at March 21, 2005 9:49 AM

Here is something else that I found to be quite disturbing....I hope this comes out formatted okay as it is showing up as one long line in the Preview.

I found it at a site linked to in this thread or another one (I can't recall). It is striking for it's similarity to the same arguments being used today to kill Terri Schiavo. I have added my own comments in [] brackets.

"Propaganda was not limited to film, however, but also appeared in German literature. An exemplar of this work was the novel "Sendung und Gewissen" (Mission and Conscience) which was turned into a very popular film, "Ich Klage An!" (I Accuse). In the story, a young beautiful woman suffering from multiple sclerosis decides that her life is no longer worthy of living and requests a "merciful death" at the hand of her husband, a physician [the thought of a life being lived as a cripple not being worthy of life]. In a grim death scene climax, he administers the fatal injection to his wife who dies peacefully to the strains of soothing piano music played by a friend in the next room [a peaceful death that prevents the person from suffering the agony of having a life
not worth living as a result of their handicap].

At his trial, the doctor heroically refuses to allow his colleagues to invent an alibi for the murder, challenging the court by asking: "Would
you, if you were a cripple, want to vegetate forever?" [exactly the argument being advanced by those wanting Terri to be killed. Who would
want to live like a vegetable?]

Predictably, the court acquits the physician because his actions were merciful, not murderous, a notion reinforced in the closing scenes where
the words of the Renaissance physician Paracelsus are recalled, that "medicine is love" [again the theme of medical science mercifully putting one to death in a peaceful and tranquil manner].

This propaganda profoundly affected the German public [as the arguments of the right to death movement - more aptly labeled the right to kill
movement - brought before the public through the mainstream media have led to a predisposition to accept the type of killings that would have
been socially unacceptable just 20 years ago as being okay].

By 1938 requests for "mercy" killing were being received by Nazi officials, including requests from a woman ill with terminal cancer and
from a man who had been severely injured and blinded in a construction accident. The state was also receiving similar requests from parents of
newborns and young infants with severe physical and intellectual disabilities.

To this point, direct Nazi involvement with mercy killing remained uninitiated by the state. However, social perceptions of disability had
been radically modified. Essentially, disability was widely acknowledged to be a legitimate justification for murder." [as is happening with
Terri's situation in my opinion]

The above can be found at the site
http://www.regent.edu/admin/ctl/uselesseaters/ if you are interested in seeing more of the presentation.

I am not saying that the U.S. will turn into a new Nazi Germany. Only pointing out how the value of life slowly degraded in Hitler's Germany as a result of embracing some of the same arguments and
philosophies being used to justify killing a person like Terri. While I do not believe that the U.S. could turn into something like Nazi Germany very easily if at all it is disturbing to realize the overall way in which our society's thinking is being influenced along the same lines
that the Nazi's influenced the German public.

With the result that it may become easier and easier to justify killing those who have come to be considered unfit to live or be productive
members of our society.

The killing of Terri is not about allowing someone to die who is on life support. No extraordinary means are being used to keep Terri alive.
Thousands of disabled people in the U.S. are kept alive by feeding tubes.

It is not about abiding by her wishes - which are mainly believed to be known as a result of the husband's testimony to the effect that she did
not want to live in such a state of being - against contrary evidence from friends and relatives and contrary to her deeply Catholic
upbringing and beliefs about the sanctity of human life.

It is about withdrawing food and water (which support us all in living) from someone who is able to survive quite well with just that.

It is about putting faith in the limited opinion of a very few doctors (the main one having been shown to be an outspoken proponent of the
right to die movement) to declare a person in a PVS (Persistant Vegetative State) such that they are no longer seen fit to live. Even
though PVS diagnosis's are notorious for being wrong up to 43% of the time according to some studies. Even under the best and most objective
medical opinions.

It is about putting faith in a husband who has proven to be an adulterer and unfit to make decisions on behalf of Terri and saying that he has Terri's best interests at heart and that he is doing what he is doing out of love.

In the final analysis I suppose it is a reflection of our nation continuing to turn away from God since Jesus said that however we treat the least of these my brethren that is how we treat Him.

I am deeply saddened at the callousness and inhumanity of Terri's plight and troubled at how much at the mercy of a single judge the life of an
innocent person like Terri can be. Against all the efforts of the Senate, the Congress, President Bush and countless others to save her life and to give her a chance to live under the loving care of her family.

If this is not a case of judicial tyranny I don't know what else is.

Certainly there are Constitutional issues pro and con and many factors to consider but how one judge like judge Greer could have had so much influence over this case and how other courts so deferred to him in his findings of "fact" is beyond me to comprehend.

It remains equally perplexing for me to comprehend how it is that starving and denying water to dogs and cats is illegal while doing the same to Terri is considered a merciful way to let her die naturally.

Terri will most likely die at this point. As a result of yet one more, lone man in a black robe making a decision to honor and respect the
findings of another lone man in a black robe who deemed Terri unworthy of being given the same considerations that murderers are given.

May God have mercy on us all.

Posted by: Carlos at March 22, 2005 4:26 AM


Please help me find a reference for the woman whose sister Kim was diagnosed in PVS who is now at home, in a wheelchair, voting and active. I am writing a letter to the editor to a news source in mainstream media and I know they will require more than a friend of a friend designation, if they print it at all.

Can someone hunt down the name of the woman who wrote this? Thanks, Rae Stabosz

Posted by: Rae Stabosz at March 22, 2005 7:28 AM

Iam just stunned that YOU all have turned this into such a circus and let this go so far :( It is totally out of control!Shame on President Bush, and Jeb,and the rest of the POLITICIANS that got involved :( yet again for in an area for butting in you had no business and your time would have been best spent on other issues that need to be addressed!This poor woman for 15 years hasnt gotten ANY better her condition has only gone down.Have you READ ALL of the FACTS or ONLY what the parents set before you?The simple thing here is if she wanted to and could eat,drink and swallow,with the assistances of an aides help she would be doing all of these things, instead of having a feeding tube?Also Iam sickened that these people are pickiting outside of HOSPICE as well, while other ill people lay in their own despare with their families by their side.You want to do something proper let the other people that are at the Hospice center live their final days in the PEACE they deserve and so do their FAMILIES!I feel sad for Terri's family truly I do and may God give this beautiful woman the peace she so graciously deserves.I dont beleive she would want all of this fighting,NOT THIS WAY :( I am praying for the entire family that somehow NO MATTER the out come they find Love and peace in their family again.It has been a 15 year battle and is going to continue until someone steps in.I truly feel God is going to shine on Terri I dont worry for her,its the family I worry for :(

Posted by: Toni at March 23, 2005 12:14 AM