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March 27, 2006

Religious Right 'Using Terri Schiavo'?

Topics: Commentary

Diana Lynne takes California civil appellate attorney Jon Eisenberg apart in this column for his claim that Terri Schiavo was a tool to be used of the religion right.

It turns out a simple chronology of the case shows just the opposite:

Terri Schiavo was a tool to be used by the liberal left. The case began as a right-to-die case in 1996 when George Felos, a self-described crusader for the right to die, who boasts ties to the organization Choice in Dying - a 1992 reincarnation of the Euthanasia Society of America, according to New York corporate records - and who admits to having a "fascination with death and dying," and considers death to be a "profound mystical experience," was introduced to Michael Schiavo, who was living with a woman with whom he would father two children and ultimately marry after Terri's death.


Life Legal Defense Foundation, the first pro-life organization to enter the fray on behalf of the Schindlers did so in 2001 after Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer sentenced Terri Schiavo to death with his Jan. 11, 2000, order to remove her feeding tube. In other words, Schiavo was a right-to-die case five years before it became a right-to-life case.

Lynne's analysis of the money trail is even more interesting. Although Eisenberg points to pro-life financial support for attorneys representing the Schindlers, this likely amounts to a sum between $400,000 and $500,000.

However, the "paper trail" of the other side of the courtroom aisle reveals...

"of the $776,254 reported to have been in Terri Schiavo's medical-care trust fund on April 6, 1993 - which was money awarded by a jury sitting for a medical-malpractice claim Schiavo filed against two of Terri's physicians - the attorneys got $456,816, or 59 percent. The disbursements were as follows:
    George Felos: $358,434
    Deborah Bushnell: $80,309
    Gyneth Stanley: $10,668
    Steve Nilsson: $7,405

By this accounting, the sums spent on both sides of the case are roughly equal. But which is more underhanded? Attorneys who receive donations from pro-life organizations spending nearly a half million dollars on a battle to preserve the life of Terri Schiavo? Or attorneys pursuing the death of Terri Schiavo spending nearly a half a million dollars of the monies given to her by a jury which were meant to fund her medical care for the rest of her life?
You can read the rest of the article here.

For Jay at StoptheACLU: The America Civil Liberties Union of Florida was involved in the case on behalf of Michael Schiavo between 2003 and 2005.

Posted by tim at March 27, 2006 2:19 AM

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What of the way the euthanasia freaks USED Terri to push their agenda?

Posted by: thedegu [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 27, 2006 10:08 PM