Red White & Blue Hens

College students in Delaware who think right is right, and left is wrong. We study hard, party hard, and play hardball.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Court Allows Husband to Starve and Dehydrate Wife

My additions to the thoughts expressed in the College Dems Blog.. (and I actually agree with you guys this time).

yes- Congress has better things to spend its time on and should keep its hands off of issues like this (even though it's not nearly as ridiculous as getting its hands all over baseball), the courts in FL aren't protecting the rights of US citizens, the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, Jeb Bush's hands have been tied, and dubya has no jurisdiction. Thus: we get Congress.

Some facts about Terri:

Between August and November of 1992, Terri was awarded over $1.5 million and Michael won $600,000 in various malpractice settlements and trials.

THEN, he began to claim that she wouldn't want medical treatment and began denying the recommended rehabilitation treatment, posted a DO NOT RESUSCITATE order in Terri's charts, ordered her caretakers to no treat a potentially fatal infection

He also has two children with a woman to whom he becamed engaged in 1997. He has kept her family from seeing her, won't let the shades be open in her room, won't let them play music, she's never had any rehabilitation therapy, and it is debatable whether or not she is in a persistent vegetative state (You can find links to videos of Terri responding to stimuli by going here and clicking "multimedia" in the left column. Also, you can find a timeline of her saga, testimony from hearings, and lots of other information.)

This is the third time he has had her feeding tubes removed. This is not an easy, peaceful way to go. Her stomach will ache in terrible pains. I'm sure all of us have had at least one hangover, right? That feeling in your head the next morning is the result of 6 hours of dehydration. The fluid around your brain has started to dry up.. Before Terri dies, dehydration will dry her stomach and mouth up causing dry heaving with nothing to heave, ulcers, cracking of the skin in her mouth, stomach and esophagus. Her brain will completely dry up. This is truly cruel and unusual punishment; we don't even treat our criminals like this!

Doesn't seem like he cares enough about her existence to be making any decisions about her well-being. This man is horrible.

I don't think this is a Liberals vs. Conservatives Issue; it's just that conservatives have been mobilized by talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity (Glenn Beck even had his listeners pledge $3.5 million to Michael Schiavo if he would divorce her by 1 pm today). I know liberals can't stand these people, but in this case, they've been able to use their reach to bring this to the forefront of the media. Hopefully, it will do some good, and a woman's life will be saved.


  • At 2:07 AM, Blogger crayz said…

    Again, as I said on the other blog: the higher portion of her brain is liquified; the videos of her have apparently been heavily edited, and what you're looking at is the empty shell of a human with nothing there underneath. I think all or most of the attacks on the husband are baseless, but in the end it really doesn't matter given that a court has concluded he is fulfilling the wish of his wife and that she no longer has enough brain left to experience the slow death that will follow.

    I certainly don't agree with the "disconnect the tubes" method of assisted suicide, and would be much happier with a quick morphine overdose or something similiar, but in this case it doesn't matter given that there is nothing human left.

  • At 9:10 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    Where, exactly, are you getting all of this correct information from?

  • At 8:54 PM, Blogger crayz said…

    Here are some good links, some with good discussion with them as well. Peruse as long as your interest holds:

  • At 9:03 PM, Blogger yochanan said…

    the husband is that in name only. If he came to this with "clean hands" that would be one thing but he has a second wife with two kids. He should walk a way and let her parents have the say in this matter.

  • At 9:47 PM, Blogger crayz said…

    One more good link:

    and yochanan: That's bizarre reasoning. The parents have been dragging this out with the legal fight, so presumably your position is that the husband should have been required not too see any other women for 15 years after his wife's death, and that by doing so he abbrogates any power he had to speak on behalf of his wife?

    Finally, I was actually mistaken on something I wrote earlier(not here), in that it is actually the court's decision that Terri should be removed from life support, not her husband. He waived his power of surrogacy and put it in the court's hands instead, and they, after hearing testimony from him, her parents, other family members and friends, and doctors, concluded that the removal of life support is what Terri would have wanted

    So at this point, Michael divorcing or walking away from this would not be likely to change anything

  • At 2:39 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    Then why didn't he give it to her parents? THEY still care what happens to her!

    Instead, he leaves it to the court (the same court that has removed her feeding tube; thereby abandoning her to a painful and torturous death.

    And you're still wrong because HE'S the one that brought the case before the court! If he had left her, then she would not be going through this horrible, lengthy process! 10-14 days of starving to death!

  • At 12:12 AM, Blogger crayz said…

    mellora: Fine, you don't want to be rational, don't be. You can argue about the husband's motives as much as you want, but these are facts:
    - her husband believed that Terri would not have wanted to be kept alive in this state, and as her guardian he could have made that decision for her. instead he took a very honorable route and allowed an impartial court to make the decision, perhaps to assure that he didn't act incorrectly
    - the court has reviewed all the evidence and concluded to a high standard of evidence(clear & convincing, I believe) that Terri would not want to be kept alive in this state. Thus saying that the parents care about her while her husband does not is perverse. It would seem that they both care about her, but to the extent that it appears her wish would be not to be kept alive, her husband is the one actually helping her
    - if you do not understand the evidence thus far presented about the state of her mind, please say so. if you do, you should not be saying that she will have a "painful and torturous death". none of her higher capacities remain. she is dead as a human, and to say her death will be painful suggests that she is still capable of pain, which she does not appear to be

    If you want to reply back with sweeping, uninformed generalties, go ahead; it doesn't seem very intelligent or productive though. If you have specific problems with things what I've said or concluded, please point them out. I'm not an expert on this and I could be wrong. But you're not going to convince me or anyone else by just throwing around misguided hysteria

  • At 12:40 AM, Blogger AzzuriMola said…

    It's good to be on the Red White & Blue Hens...the fun is only about to begin now! lol. Yeah when was the last time we saw our opponents the Democrats proposing a logically reason to anything. I hear a lot shouting and complainning but no options for solving situations. If that's the case then maybe they can't admitt we are right and they are wrong. Who knows, but I can tell one thing is for sure...if you are proud as a person and who you are, don't complain about it. Show it with your actions and present the world with solutions not problems. Leaders know how to handles things and lead the pack and the followers get the left in the dust.

  • At 3:34 AM, Blogger crayz said…

    Wow, the fact-free parade continues. I described myself as a Democrat when exactly? Or was that just baseless name-calling for lack of an argument?

    Beyond that, the only connection I can see between what you posted and the rest of this thread is that they're both written in English

  • At 12:48 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 12:49 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    Crayz, I'm sure you've heard the afadavits from the nurses over the last few days? Still think Michael wants the best for his wife?

    After all, calling her a b****, not letting her have light, not allowing speech therapy for a woman who is able to struggle to say a few words, trying to kill her with insulin, not allowing any sort of physical rehab, and not allowing her to interact with others or do anything to improve her condition is definitely the best thing for someone you love.

  • At 4:05 PM, Blogger crayz said…

    I have heard the reports and read the affadavits, but there's something very wrong there. I don't know what, but why is it that:
    - every court has sided with the husband
    - the parents are not bringing up the nurses at all
    - the abuse case against the husband was dismissed
    - the only place mentioning the nurses are far-right loony tunes sites like FR/Newsmax/Worldnet Daily?

    I mean this honestly - the reports are disturbing, but the lack of credible explanation or information regarding them makes it hard to believe. If I tried to convince you of something with links to Democratic Underground and Indymedia, would you believe it?

  • At 4:54 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    Easy: The courts are wrong.

    I guess you didn't see her interview on CNN yesterday. I'm pretty sure that's not "right-wing."

  • At 4:57 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    Oh.. and doesn't it make the nurses' statements more credible beacuse they're not in direct contact with the parents? Until Terri's feeding tube was removed, the first nurse that spoke out was under gag order, along with any positive information or testimony involving Terri's state.. courtesy of Judge Greer..

  • At 9:35 PM, Blogger crayz said…

    Wow, I guess you didn't see that she was a total liar. And no, yesterday was not the first time she spoke out, the affidavit was from years ago. How about mediamatters:

    Giant conspiracy? The hospital commited numerous felonies? The parents didn't want her to testify in the case?

    So either the nurse is lying, or her own parents must want Terri dead, since they didn't report that the nursing center their daughter was staying at was complicit in crimes commited against her by the staff(erasing medical records) and the husband(attempting to kill her). This must now be a massive conspiracy because it involves her husband, countless judges, a huge portion of her doctors and nurses, the police department, the court appointed doctors and medical experts, the court appointed overseer for Terri, and god knows who else

    I just have to ask, could you possibly be this fucking stupid?

  • At 12:39 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    I really like how you only find the opinions of Greer, Michael Schiavo, and the Greer-appointed and Schiavo-appointed doctors in this; Yet those that oppose them far out-number them.

  • At 12:40 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    Oh.. and how you consider other's blogs as reliable sources of information.

    And your lack of words which forces you to resort to name-calling, slander and swearing.

  • At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Ryan J. Smith said…

    Ok, Here are the facts. There is a woman dying of starvation in Florida. Edited or not, there are videos of her responding to various stimuli. The doctor that originally described her condition conceeds that she followed a balloon during his examination. 7 years went by, and an engagement, before Michael Schiavo remembered that Terri didn't want to live in this situation. There is a large monetary incentive for Terri to die.

    Those are the facts. Undisputed by both parties. The truth is, neither you nor I will ever know the true depth of this situation. However, we are "Endowed by our creator certain unalienable rights among these are LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Due to the extreme contradictions in this case, I find it completely acceptable to rehabilitate Terri as much as possible in hopes that she may one day be able to tell us her wishes.

    In 1936, there was a severely retarded baby, one armed, one legged, born. The parents lobbied to allow it to be killed. It eventually was, because that was the compassionate thing to do. The decision was made by one Adolf Hitler. We all know where that went. Who are we to decide quality of life. In a case like this we must remove the personal details and look logically. We don't know what she wants. We need to find that out. Not from her parents, not from Michael Schiavo, but rather from her. If we can't find out from her, then we must let her live.

  • At 1:53 PM, Blogger crayz said…

    mellora - Did you totally ignore what I said? Please explain why Terri's own parents don't want to pursue the testimony of a nurse that claims that numerous serious crimes were committed by the doctors and nurses providing care for Terri as well as by Michael himself. If they really wanted her to live, why would they just ignore this witness and not request her presence in a case the save their daughter's life

    And as for sources of information, I'll stack mine against your's(, glenn beck's website, worldnetdaily, newsmax) any day. And what is all the talk about Greer? This case has been before 20 judges in 6-7 or more different courts.

  • At 2:07 PM, Blogger crayz said…

    As for your facts, Ryan:
    There is a woman dying of starvation in Florida.
    Yes. Although I would hesitate to still use the word woman, which implies personhood, to describe someone whose brain has turned to liquid

    Edited or not, there are videos of her responding to various stimuli.
    You say this as if editing is irrelevant. If someone is making random motions, editing can make all the difference. I could take 4 hours of tape of me yelling commands at an untrained dog, and I'm sure you could fine 4 minutes of tape where the dog sat when I said sit, fetched when I said fetch, etc. If you don't recognize that even randomness can have patterns, your education thus far must not have been very good

    The doctor that originally described her condition conceeds that she followed a balloon during his examination.
    I don't know what you're specifically referring to here, but again there's the issue of randomness and the fact that even PVS patients can track objects with their eyes - this is not a higher brain function(fish and insects can track things they see)

    7 years went by, and an engagement, before Michael Schiavo remembered that Terri didn't want to live in this situation.
    I think this is a cynical way of stating things, but is true. That said, Michael did not make the decision - a court did, after hearing testimony from Michael, Terri's parents, and friends of Terri. The court said the evidence was clear and convincing. Whatever Michael's motives, an unbiased court made this decision and it has been reviewed and reaffirmed by numerous other judges and courts since then

    There is a large monetary incentive for Terri to die.
    It's unclear if this is any longer the case, with apparently much if not nearly all of the malpractice money having gone to care for Terri(and possibly also the legal battle - this I'm not sure of). In any case, you are stipulating this without knowing it. It's also unreasonable to use this against Michael, given that in many/most cases of life-ending decisions such as this, the person making the decision will also be an heir. Do you want to prevent any potential heirs from making decisions to pull the plug?

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    "Felos told reporters yesterday the sum in Terri's trust fund had been whittled down to $55,000. While he and Michael Schiavo's other attorney, Deborah Bushnell, say they haven't been paid in over a year, Felos was previously paid $358,434 out of the fund. Bushnell told the St. Petersburg Times she had been paid approximately $80,000 from the fund."


  • At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Ryan J. Smith said…

    You failed to address the bigger issue of whether or not she should be allowed to be rehabilitated enough to say whether or not she would want to live.

    Yes, heavily edited videos can make the difference in some cases, however, she responds to several stimuli, not just the balloon.

    The court made a decision based on what Michael Schiavo said, and if you look at the case, the judge found it a "fact" that Terri told Michael during a conversation that she didn't want to live this way. Once a judge finds a fact, all subsequent rulings must be based on that finding. There has been no review of the actual first testimony, nor have any of the other judges allowed new testimony.

    Regardless of your feelings on life or death, we must all agree that everyone deserves a fair chance to voice themselves, especially when their life is on the line.

  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger St. Joan of Arc said…

    They didn't ignore it! Her affadavit was under gag order until the feeding tube was pulled last week. They were unaware of her existence!

  • At 5:28 PM, Blogger crayz said…

    mellora: What the crap are you talking about? Here's a an FR post from a year and a half ago, and referncing a page on from months earlier, WITH A COPY OF THE AFFADAVIT:

    I'm done. It's pretty clear that I'm the only one left here making any honest attempt at learning the truth. You on the other hand don't want to listen to facts or reason, and just want to believe in some insane conpiratorial liberal death-cult. Enjoy your time in right-wing loony tunes fantasyland. I hope ignorance really is bliss, for your sake

  • At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's not her husbands motives that should be questioned, it's those of the right-to-die groups and that of the conservative American government. THEY are the ones who used her as a pawn in there sick political game.

    And for the record, A dying squirrel will responds to stimuli.

  • At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    mellora, we all hate you and hope that your wedding is ruined, you are ruining his life:




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