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September 9, 2005

Update on Scott Thomas

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There is finally confirmed news about Floridian Scott Thomas's July 18 hearing. At that time, Scott's mother, Pamela, was awarded continued custody for another six months. At some time in January Judge Wilkes will again consider whether to give custody back to his wife.

After Scott's accident a year ago, on September 5, Scott's mother reportedly was told by hospital staff that his wife Liza planned to remove Scott to hospice and remove his feeding tube. Scott is now able to smile, eat with a straw, and communicate to a limited extent, though he apparently cannot talk. The cause of his accident remains under investigation, and this investigation is evidently the chief reason for his mother's receiving custody.

There is now a new web site that will hopefully keep us updated regularly on what is going on with Scott. In a Christian Wire Service news release it is stated that Judge Wilkes will not admit Scott's own testimony about his accident because Scott is legally an incapacitated person. I suspect this is legally correct, and it is worth noting that a person in this category apparently cannot even testify as to the causes of his own injury. In this regard, he is at an greater disadvantage than a minor child. A young child is not fully legally competent for many purposes but can give testimony about an assault.

Scott's mother states on the Scott's Fight web site that his wife has expressly included the following line in her petition to the court for guardianship: "The court may be called upon to approve withdrawal of life support." Since Scott is not on any ventilation or other "life support," the only thing this could refer to is withdrawal of his nutrition and hydration. And we all know that this is fully possible in the state of Florida.

Posted by lydia at September 9, 2005 3:32 PM


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If Judge Wilkes has truly taken the posture that a disabled person cannot provide testimony, then it would seem that some of the charges in the complaint of Danielle P. Miller against Greer et al would apply equally against Wilkes - possibly this time BEFORE the murder.

ALL IDEAS appreciated.

Posted by: Layer Seven [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2005 9:19 PM

I'd also like to know more about this comment from the news service release. I have reported it and find it interesting, but I wish we had more details. What exactly has Judge Wilkes said? Is it acknowledged by multiple people that Scott can communicate, or is it only his mother who can communicate with him? And so forth.

It may be that an "incapacitated person" is different under Florida law than just a "disabled person."

Still, it would be interesting to know whether the police take the same position. I would guess that one cannot know the details of an on-going investigation, but it would seem that getting Scott to communicate with other people should be priority #1.

I'm also concerned that Judge Wilkes may sincerely believe that he cannot "hold it against" Liza that she (more or less) admits she will be seeking to remove Scott's food and fluids. One would like to think that the statement in her court petition would be enough to make any judge refuse to grant her guardianship in the first place, knowing that she will at that point seek to take the life of the ward. But perhaps Wilkes thinks that, since it would be legal for her as guardian to petition the court to remove his so-called "life support," and since the court could refuse _that_ petition, he cannot take that into account now in deciding on guardianship.

We should just be glad his mother has guardianship so far; I don't think Wilkes is another Greer.

I want to stress again that, according to the web site, Scott can eat soft foods by mouth and can drink from a straw. So technically he is not dependent on the feeding tube and it should not be legal to starve him to death. They should be obligated to continue feeding him by mouth even if they stopped tube feedings. And it sounds as though mouth feeding alone could sustain him for a long time if it were done consistently and frequently. But I fear this may not be much protection, especially if in the end he were taken to hospice. Would he perhaps at that point be put on heavy drugs and given only jello?

Posted by: Lydia [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2005 9:18 AM