March 17, 2005

Vote Needed on AOL Online Poll - Help Terri

Topics: Action Items



Who should decide Terri Schiavo's fate?
Her husband 58%
Her parents 35%
Federal courts 4%
Florida courts 2%
Should Congress have gotten involved?
No 72%
Yes 28%
Total Votes: 32,373
Note on Poll Results

Posted by richard at March 17, 2005 1:56 PM

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Tracked on March 17, 2005 3:08 PM


This poll is absolutely infuriating because it once again gets the law and the facts of the Schiavo case ALL WRONG. The only person that can authorize removal of Terri Schiavo's food and water is (drum-roll please) Terri Schiavo.

That's right folks. No one BUT the patient can speak for the patient, not her husband, not her parents, no one but her.

"But, but, but . . . she can't speak for herself," you ask. Well, that's not entirely correct. We all have the opportunity to draw up a living will that expresses our desires if we ever wind up in certain situations. Terri Schiavo did not have such a living will.

"Well," you ask, "since there is no written directive from Terri, can't her next of kin speak for her"? Absolutely not. That is not the Florida law. If there's no written directive from Terri, the only other "evidence" of Terri's wishes is a verbal statement by the patient at some point indicating her wishes if she's in a situation exactly like she's in today.

"Ah, but Michiael Schiavo said that while they were watching a TV movie about Karen Ann Quindlen that Terri said, 'I'd never want to live like that.'" Yes, Michael has now come up with this "memory" of Terri saying that. But, there are a couple of teensy-weensy problems with this so-called "memory":

1) At no time while Michael was pursuing malpractice moneys (and testifying in open court that he intended to spend the rest of his life taking care of Terri) did he EVER mention anywhere this supposed statment by Terri. He conveniently recalls the conversation almost immediately after the malpractice settlement money comes in. Interesting timing, eh?

2) No one in either Terri's family or circle of friends ever recall Terri discussing or mentioning any wishes as pertains to being incapacitated.

3) All evidence and testimony suggests that Terri, as devout Catholic, would never go against a major tenet of her faith. And the Catholic Church forbids removal of food and water from an otherwise self-sustaining person.

4) Even if (and that's a big, giant, enormous, looming "if") Michael's convenient recollection is true and Terri did watch a TV movie and said "I wouldn't want to live like that," the case of Karen Ann Quindlen is nothing like the Schiavo case, so it's hard to apply her reaction to those circumstances to her personal circumstances. Furthermore, there have been dozens of times that I've watched people on TV or looked at a profoundly disabled person and said, "Man, I wouldn't want to live like that." I wouldn't want to live like a blind person, but that doesn't mean that if I were to be blinded that I'd want my earlier comment used to starve me to death. Hell, I've already seen an episode of Cops and said "I wouldn't want to live" like those freaks. Not a reason to kill me if I end up living in a trailer in a "common law marriage" with a shirtless guy holding a beer in a beer cosy.

Only Terri can speak for Terri. That's the law and all these interventions are meant to correct the horrible work of a horrible Judge: Judge Greer, who I suspect will be spending his afterlife in an environment much warmer than even Florida.

Posted by: Corie Schweitzer at March 17, 2005 2:43 PM

Well said, Corie. VERY well said. This situation is OBSCENE. Makes me sick to my stomach.

Posted by: Sirena at March 17, 2005 3:59 PM

The one thing that could have changed the outcome of this poll is to change the line "The husband" to say "The husband (unless shown to be abusive and suspected to be responsible for causing her condition)".

Posted by: RD at March 17, 2005 6:26 PM

Hi Corie,
You should get your facts straight. Michiael spent years trying to help her, spending most of all that million on her care, now it's almost gone. If he was doing this out of greed he would have taken the 10 million to give authority back to the parents. but he turned it down for her. Hows that for loyalty. but i guess you will flame this post like all the other supporters for Michiael.

Posted by: Steve at March 17, 2005 6:43 PM

Hi Corie,
You should get your facts straight. Michiael spent years trying to help her, spending most of all that million on her care, now it's almost gone. If he was doing this out of greed he would have taken the 10 million to give authority back to the parents. but he turned it down for her. Hows that for loyalty. but i guess you will flame this post like all the other supporters for Michiael.

Posted by: Steve at March 17, 2005 6:56 PM

dear steve ,
if you were to read alot of the articles it would tell you that none of the money was spent on the care and well being of terri. it was all spent for fighting in courts and pleaing cases about trying to remove her feeding tube as well as all medical treatment.

Posted by: bmc at March 18, 2005 12:10 AM


The money her "husband" received was not used to care for her. It was given to his euthanasia-loving lawyer to kill her. He didn't allow any of it to be used for therapy once she actually started improving!

He is hiding something - something which I and others suspect is abuse. And I think that's why he wants her creamated upon her death!

Posted by: Elizabeth V at March 18, 2005 11:20 AM

You are right on the money corie, how can the judge look at himself in the mirror.

Posted by: adrienne at March 18, 2005 6:55 PM

Polls by so-called "polling experts" are almost always biased. I have never and will never participate in a such a poll.

NOW, Internet polls and news polls are not biased... they're just plain silly and a 100% waste of your time.

Take for example the so-called polls on the "Team Amber Alert News" web site (not to be confused with the real Amber Alert service). The choices all say basically the same thing, and the choices are very limited, kind of like living under a dictator (vote for either a]Saddam b]President Hussien c]Saddam Hussien, etc.)

Then you have other Internet polls with "actual logical choices," but where the results don't match reality (not even close). Here's one I saved for laughs: Who did you vote for for President? 8% George W Bush; 77% John Kerry; 3% other; 12% I didn't vote; ... 8,672 votes (Nov. 15, 2004). Perhaps some one person kept clicking on "vote" for hours.

This could be the same case with AOL's so-called poll. No one will ever know.

TO SUM IT UP: The so-called AOL poll is total obscene crap and should be ignored. Sign a petition instead, or write to AOL and tell them to stop using AND HURTING people to increase their revenue.

Please call Congress. I already called the "Majority Leader's" hotline at (202)225-4000 (also available at www.MajorityLeader.gov). They asked if I wanted to pass a message to Mr. DeLay. I said yes, "Please ask the U.S. Marshals to immediately enforce the Congressional subpoenas and allow Terri her right to appear."

Posted by: Rick Allen at March 18, 2005 7:39 PM

I think her "husband" is heartless. He has a new family. He should release terri to the care of her parents.How can he be so cruel???????

Posted by: dianne at March 19, 2005 4:01 PM

There are so many salient points to this case that required- no mandated- the government to intervene.
To wit:
1. Ms Schiavo is in a vegetative state- not brain dead, not in a coma. As such, she exists in a class of life that many children are born into today. The decision of withholding food to encourage death, which is being perpetuated on her by the courts and other individuals, is a slippery slope, akin to leaving newborns out for wild animals when born with similar mental and cognitive challenges. We should all be afraid.

2. As noted, Ms Schiavo did not leave a living will- the one document meant to be concrete evidence that a persons desire to commit suicide when faced with life altering challenges, be upheld. She cannot, therefore, 'speak for herself' about her will to live or die, despite what the people around her claim she would or would not have wanted. Since the government already has a process by which an individual can be the only one to choose between these two options in certain circumstances, one must presume life (the existing condition) unless otherwise documented.

3. The end of life debate does not necessarily belong ‘at home’. If this were the written rule, then suicide, euthanasia, genocide, infanticide, heck even murder, would be ‘at home’ decisions, without legal intervention.

4. The one case-Ms Schiavo’s- was singled out at last option in an effort to get Democrats to the table to discuss the issue of allowing persons with diminished quality of life issues to die by withholding life sustaining measures. The Democrats would only consider it for this one case. Republicans want to discuss this for all lives, not just Ms Schiavo’s.

5. The ‘embarrassing memo’, yet another non-confirmed document: see ‘Dan Rather’.

Frankly, I do agree that it is appalling that the country has been drawn into the judgment of this life and death decision. The scary prospect is the potential for a new reality TV show, where the US people get to watch a family go through pain and anguish and then call in their decision on life or death.
But this public spectacle is not the result of the political sector, but is the result of a family torn apart by its love of life, money, power. I would fully expect our government to intervene on a persons behalf when an injustice is about to be committed. Just as our government did in the mid 1800’s with slavery (in whose time the media felt it was a decision to be made ‘at home’ between slave owners and their master’s), it is the responsibility of the government to protect the people- all people, even one person- when it means to be toward the betterment and compassion of mankind.

Posted by: sondra at March 22, 2005 1:14 PM