Whose Wishes, Part II

UPDATE: forgot to give the link to Whose Wishes, Part the First.

Recently, on a Larry King show, Michael Schiavo was asked if he had spoken to or seen Terri’s parents. He said no. He was asked if he could understand what they, as parents, were going through. He replied,

“M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it’s about Terri. And I’ve also said that in court. We didn’t know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want…”

Terri’s parents have charged all along that Terri had never expressed a wish to die to Michael, and that this was only what he wanted. I realize that there is a good possiblity that this is not what Michael meant to say, but perhaps it’s one of those misstatements that has more truth to it than the speaker wishes. And, of course, it’s not the first time Michael has admitted it’s not Terri’s wishes that motivate him:

In a September 27, 1999 Deposition, Michael Schiavo said his reason for keeping guardianship of Terri was essentially to get back at her parents.

Q. Have you considered turning the guardianship over to Mr. and Mrs. Schindler?

SCHIAVO: No, I have not.

Q. And why?

SCHIAVO: I think that’s pretty self explanatory.

Q. I’d like to hear your answer.

SCHIAVO: Basically I don’t want to do it.

Q. And why don’t you want to do it?

SCHIAVO: Because they put me through pretty much h*** the last few years.

Q. And can you describe what you mean by h***?

SCHIAVO: The litigations they put me through.

Q. Any other specifics besides the litigation?

SCHIAVO: Just their attitude towards me because of the litigations. There is no other reason. I’m Terri’s husband and I will remain guardian.

After his attorney “talked” with him, Michael added, “Yeah. Another reason would be that her parents wouldn’t carry out her wishes.”

Others (namely her parents and brother) have contradicted Michael’s assertion that his wife would want her feeding tube removed. In addition, Cindy Shook, who had an affair with Michael shortly after Terri’s incident, gave a startling deposition. Regarding what Terri would have wanted she claims Michael said,

“How the h*** should I know we never spoke about this, my God I was only 25 years old. How the h*** should I know? We were young. We never spoke of this.”
More here: Does Michael Know What Terri Wanted? Does he care?

See Blogs for Terri for more.

Terri is a Catholic. Michael has had a standing order for her *immediate* cremation upon death. Why?

See here for more about Michael- look particularly at file 12.

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Bill Passes: Schindlers Want Terri’s Feeding Tube Reinserted

From Blogs for Terri:

March 21, 2005
“Bill Passes: Schindlers Want Terri’s Feeding Tube Reinserted
The bill has passed, so let’s get the tube in and start rehabilitating Terri – starting with giving her a new guardian. Congress approved emergency legislation early Monday to let Terri Schiavo’s parents ask a federal judge to prolong Terri’s life, capping days of emotional debate over who should decide life and death.”

More of course, on the website, and by the time you read this, who knows what will have changed.

UPDATE: moved a paragraph that should have gone with the post on the audio file to that post (the next one down)

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Authentic Audio File of Terri, and more

http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=NW05C05&f;=AL05C03&t;=e

From a friend:

” I don’t know if you got this – it just came into my e-mail from Family Research Council. I’ve read your blog recently about Terri –
I heard just a tiny bit of this, my computer’s acting flaky, but it’s from this:
“FRC has an authentic audio file from Terri’s hospital room recorded Friday afternoon, approximately two hours after her feeding tube was removed. Her father is asking her questions and she is audibly responding to him. This audio file testifies that Terri Schiavo is NOT ‘in a persistent vegetative state.’ “

It’s also here.

It is painful to listen to, especially with the realization that this woman is being starved to death.

And keep up to date with Blogs for Terri– they have action items, people to call and email.

Think this is about death with dignity? What dignity is there in a botched and unnecessary surgical procedure. They could have just capped Terri’s feeding tube- in fact, that is what I understand Judge Greer was told to have done. Instead, they performed surgery to remove it, increasing the risk of scar tissue and infection, not to mention the unncecessary pain and discomfort they have put Terri through. And now she does have an infection. See Suebob’s diary for more.

Terri Schiavo is apparently suffering from an infection because of the improper method used to remove her feeding tube according to blogger Becky Snow. To remove a feeding tube in such a way is a breach of the medical standard of care. Over such breaches, lawsuits are filed and physicians are referred to their licensing boards.

According to the links at Suebob’s, the feeding tube site was not sutured shut. They just removed the tube and left the hole open. And now Terri has an infection. She is not being given antibiotics or ‘comfort care.’

This is absolutely horrific. God have mercy.

UPDATE: Many of those who think it’s time to starve Terri to death argue that the audio recording of her must be faked (so I hope if they learn it isn’t, they will back off from trying to kill her?). Terri’s parents petitioned the court to permit reporters to watch them interact with Terri. Would they do that if everything they’ve said about Terri is a lie? Ought we not to investigate this further instead of simply dismissing the audio recording as a fake because it doesn’t fit with our preconceived ideas?

Rhetorical questions. Of course.

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Whose Wishes are They Anyway?

Michael has had at least two other girlfriends since Terri’s collapse (possibly more). An ex-girlfriend has testified that he admitted to her that he didn’t really know what Terri would have wanted, because they’d never discussed it. This ex also said that he was abusive, stalked her at work, and she was afraid of him.

Michael Schiavo never ‘remembered’ that Terri wanted to die until after he won a hefty lawsuit on her behalf. In that lawsuit, he promised to care for Terri for the rest of her life, and claimed he needed the money for her care.
Instead, he cut the check, put a DNR notice on her charts, and has spent over half the money on his lawyers to try to kill her. He moved Terri to hospice and put her on Medicaid.

Terri swallows her own saliva. There is a good chance she could swallow soft foods and liquids, but Michael and the judge refuse to permit her to try.

Michael has children with another woman- the woman he has lived with for the last several years. To those who say that Terri died at the time of her collapse and this is just finishing the process- what died fifteen years ago was Michael’s marriage with Terri- not Terri herself.

But this isn’t just about Terri.

Further reading:
Nat Hentoff:

The reporting on the fierce battle for the life of 39-year-old Terri Schiavo has been the worst case of this kind of journalistic malpractice I’ve seen….
For 13 years, Terri Schiavo has not been able to speak for herself. But she is not brain-dead, not in a comatose state, not terminal, and not connected to a respirator. If the feeding tube is removed, she will starve to death. Whatever she may or may not have said, did she consider food and water “artificial means?”
The media continually report that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state, and a number of neurologists and bioethicists have more than implied to the press that “persistent” is actually synonymous with “permanent.” This is not true, as I shall factually demonstrate in upcoming columns. I will also provide statements from neurologists who say that if Terri were given the proper therapy—denied to her by her husband and guardian after he decided therapy was becoming too expensive despite $750,000 from a malpractice suit—she could learn to eat by herself and become more responsive.
Terri is responsive, beyond mere reflexes. Having this degree of sentience, if she is starved to death, she will not “die in peace” as The New York Times predicts in an uninformed October 23 editorial supporting the husband. What happens to someone who can feel pain during the process of starvation is ghastly….”
Read the whole thing, especially what he says about the new priesthood of death. It’s not just people like Terri who are at risk.

“Wesley Smith, author of Forced Exit—who has accurately researched more of these cases than anyone I know—reports that of the $750,000 to be held in trust for Terri’s rehabilitation, two of Michael Schiavo’s lawyers pressing for removal of her feeding tube have been paid more than $440,000. Whom did that rehabilitate?”

REad the whole thing, which you can link to from

Via My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, h/t Anchoress

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Is life important?

Would you care for Michael Schiavo’s attitude on the involvement of congress in this case?

“I’m outraged, and I think that every American in this country should also be outraged that this government is trampling all over a personal family matter that has been adjudicated in the courts for seven years. I think that the Congress has more important things to discuss.”

More important things to discuss? He wants to end his wife’s life, keep her from receiving *any* therapy or any hope of recovery from future medical advances. Ending her life is irrevocable, and he clearly shows how very wrong his priorities are in this comment. Congress is discussing a matter that, if ignored, will mean a permanent loss to the nation. I’m all for Social Security reform. I’m all for an easier tax burden. When it comes down it, though, victories with financial reforms will mean very little if an innocent women has been allowed to die, her plight ignored. No one thinks that the antebellum Congress would have been discussing unimportant matters while discussing slavery, yet blacks back then were supposed to have nothing to contribute to the “cultured” world.

Yes, her death would be our loss. Letting a woman die like this, with no real representation (do we really wish to trust her husband when he stands to gain so much by her death?) can only mean a regression and an injury to our “culture of life.”

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. So it will, if she dies.

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