Compare & Contrast; No Other Comment

From a Yahoo headline:

Terri Schiavo Relatives Feud Over Burial

Excerpts from the body of the article:

Terri Schiavo’s ashes will be buried in an undisclosed location near Philadelphia so that her immediate family doesn’t show up and turn the burial into a media spectacle, a member of the Schiavo family said Thursday.
“If Mike knew they would come in peace, he would have no problem with it,” Scott Schiavo, Michael Schiavo’s brother, said during an interview at his home.

…Scott Schiavo said the ashes would be buried in a plot left by an aunt and uncle, but the family does not plan on providing the specficic location for the burial — underscoring the bitterness of the dispute.

Neither Terri Schiavo’s parents nor her siblings addressed the issue of her burial in their remarks to reporters in Florida on Thursday. A spiritual adviser to her parents, Paul O’Donnell, said they plan to hold a Roman Catholic Mass without her body sometime next week.

…Scott Schiavo expressed relief that his sister-in-law’s ordeal was over, and anger at those who have attacked the Schiavo family.

“This isn’t over by a long shot, We’re going to get our name right,” he said. “The world is going to know who Mike was, they’re going to know Mike wasn’t a beast.”

Via Certain Slant of Light, I found the following statement from the Schindler family at Blogs for Terri:

March 31, 2005
Statement of the Schindler Family
Pinellas Park, FL – As you are aware, Terri is now with God and she has been released from all earthly burdens. After these recent years of neglect at the hands of those who were supposed to protect and care for her, she is finally at peace with God for eternity. We are speaking on behalf of our entire family this evening as we share some thoughts and messages to the world regarding our sister and the courageous battle that was waged to save her life from starvation and dehydration.

We have a message for the volunteers that have helped our family:

Thank you for all that you’ve done for our family. Thank you to the hundreds of doctors who volunteered to help Terri. Thank you to the fifty doctors who provided statements under oath to help Terri. Thank you to the lawyers who stood for Terri’s life in the courtrooms of our nation. From running our family’s website, to driving us around, to making meals, to serving in so many ways—thank you to all of the volunteers who have been so kind to our family through all of this.

We have a message for the supporters and people praying worldwide:

Please continue to pray that God gives grace to our family as we go through this very difficult time. We know that many of you never had the privilege to personally know our wonderful sister, Terri, but we assure you that you can be proud of this remarkable woman who has captured the attention of the world. Following the example of the Lord Jesus, our family abhors any violence or any threats of violence. Threatening words dishonor our faith, our family, and our sister, Terri. We would ask that all those who support our family be completely kind in their words and deeds toward others.

We have a message to the media:

We appreciate your taking Terri’s case to the nation. Please afford our family privacy to grieve at this time.The patience and graciousness of the on-site media here at hospice has been deeply appreciated by our family.

We have a message to the many government officials who tried to help Terri:

Thank you for all that you’ve done. Our family will be forever grateful to all of the outstanding public servants who have tried to save Terri.

We have a message to all of the religious leaders who tried to help Terri:

Thank you to all people of faith who demonstrated love for Terri and strength of conviction to defend the sacredness of all human life as a precious gift from God.

Our family is highly honored that the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, would speak out so boldly on behalf of our sister, Terri.

We have a message of forgiveness:

Throughout this ordeal, we are reminded of the words of Jesus on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Our family seeks forgiveness for anything that we have done in standing for Terri’s life that has not demonstrated the love and compassion required of us by our faith.

We have a message to parents worldwide:

Our family would encourage parents to spend time with their children and to cherish each and every moment of each and every day with them as a precious gift from God.

We have a message to Terri from her family:

As a member of our family unable to speak for yourself, you spoke loudly. As a member of our family unable to stand under your own power, you stood with a grace and a dignity that made your family proud. Terri, we love you dearly, but we know that God loves you more than we do. We must accept your untimely death as God’s will.

Terri, your life and legacy will continue to live on, as the nation is now awakened to the plight of thousands of voiceless people with disabilities that were previously unnoticed. Your family intends to stand up for the other “Terri’s” around this nation and we will do all that we can to change the law so others won’t face the same fate that has befallen you.

We have a final thought to share:

Our family had hoped this day would never come, but as it has now arrived, we ask ourselves a question in these incredibly sad circumstances: What would the Lord Jesus ask us to do in a moment like this? In John’s Gospel, Jesus responded to the questions of the rabbis, who asked why a man had been born blind. He said: “it is so that the works of God might be made manifest through him.”

God’s plan for Terri is unfolding before our eyes. Our prayer at this time is that our Nation will remember the plight of persons with disabilities and commit within our hearts to defend their lives and their dignity for many generations to come

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By the will of various cosmic forces that have contaminated my internet connection, known as Bob, I have been denied access to the internet for almost 48 hours. Poor me. Poor Bob. He needs an antibiotic and a nap.

In all seriousness, there were many pleasant and trifling things I’d wanted to write, but they have lost their charm in the news of Terri’s death.
I want to say that in ten years the case will be dug up and torn apart and that the truth, as it has in the past, will come to light and that maybe, just maybe, we’ll hear the words “I’m sorry” from the nation’s collective mouth.
But in the first place, I fear that this is too optimistic a hope. Having planted our feet so firmly on the path of death and destruction, I have a feeling the road back to what we once were may be a very long one, and perhaps even one that will never be taken.
And in the second place, whether we ever say those words or not, Terri will not be here to hear them. In ten years we can say “We’re sorry” all we want, and books will be written about her that she’ll never read, music written in her honour that she’ll never hear, and all sorts of apologies uttered to her grave, but it will not bring her out of it.

It really doesn’t matter. That story is over. We wrote it, from beginning to end, and may God have mercy.

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Terri died, God rest her soul

Terri Schiavo died, as every single one of us would after being deprived of food and water for two weeks. According to, Michael Schiavo refused to permit her parents and her siblings to be with her during her last moments.

According to blogs for Terri:

March 31, 2005
Terri Schiavo Dead at 41
– CNSNews
After 14 days without food or water, Terri Schiavo died around 9:50 Thursday morning – shortly after her parents issued an emotional plea to be at her hospice bedside in her final moments of life.

Terri’s husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, denied the Schindler family’s final request to be with Terri as she took her last breath.

But they saw her later: “Bobby, Suzanne, Mary and Bob are in there now at Terri’s bedside. They were denied access at the moment of her death,” said a family spokesman.

It was one of many requests denied the family in a two-week flurry of legal motions, all aimed at keeping Terri alive.

“Update: Michael Schiavo threw the Schindlers out of Terri’s room – trusted source. (I can’t post the rest of the message, and am biting my tongue to keep from saying what I really feel)

Update 2: Michael Schiavo denied Terri’s mother, father, sister and brother the right to be with her. He would not permit them into hospice even though it was her parents who brought her into this world. George Felos was seen going into her room with a large black bag and Michael Schiavo denied access to Bobby at 1AM this morning. – Cheryl Ford, R.N”

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Funny Fellows, if they weren’t so deadly

I meant to post this transcript last night, but blogger wasn’t cooperative. I found it via Suebob’s diary.

There’s a poignant interview with Terri’s sister. Very sad. Then there’s some reporting of the scene at the hospice where Terri is dying because of the legal injunction against anybody putting a drop of water in her mouth. Then there’s a politician, a spiritual advisor, and others with something so say. I like the point where Scarborough points out that if she’s dying so peacefully why are her eyes sunken, why is her breathing laboured, and why are they giving her any morphine at all. But that’s not the part I really want to get to.

Let’s scroll down and get to the part where Lisa Daniels interviews Dr. Cranford. For some reason, Dr. Cranford seems to think that it’s a point of importance that Terri is being dehyrdated to death instead of starved to death. This is only significant in the sense that if I determine to hold a pillow over your face and then shoot you, you will be dying of suffocation rather than a mortal gunshot wound.

CRANFORD: Wait a minute. You are not accurate on a lot of things here. You‘re saying a lot of—she‘s not starving to death. Do you understand that? She is dehydrating to death. …

DANIELS: Well, why do you say that? Tell us how you came to that conclusion?


CRANFORD: Can I tell you why? Because I have done this 25 to 50 times. I don‘t know how many times Joe has done it, but I‘ve done it 25 to 50 times in similar situations. And they die within 10 to 14 days.

Nancy Cruzan did not die in six days. She died in 11 days, 11.5 hours. And Terri Schiavo will die within 10 to 14 days. And they are dying of dehydration, not starvation. And that‘s just a lie. And Joe doesn‘t have any idea what he is talking about. And you don‘t have any idea what you‘re talking about.


CRANFORD: I have been at the bedside of these patients. I know what they die from. I have seen them die. And this is all bogus. It‘s all just a bunch crap that you are saying. It‘s totally wrong.

DANIELS: Well, with all due respect, Doctor, it sounds like you think that you know what you are talking about, so let‘s ask you about that.


DANIELS: Are you 100 percent correct in your opinion that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state? Do you agree with that?

CRANFORD: I am 105 percent sure she is in a vegetative state. And the autopsy will show severe reversible brain damage to the higher centers, yes.

DANIELS: Why are you so sure, Doctor?

CRANFORD: Because I examined her. The court-appointed guardian examined her. Four neurologists at the hospital where she was has said she‘s carried a diagnosis of vegetative state for 12 years.

Every neurologist that examined her, except for Dr. Hammesfahr, who is a charlatan, has said she is in vegetative state. That‘s what the court found. Just because you don‘t like…


CRANFORD: Doctor, was a CAT scan—Doctor, your critics would ask you, was a CAT scan used? Was an MRI taken? Were any of these tests taken?

CRANFORD: You don‘t know the answer to that? The CAT scan was done in 1996, 2002. We spent a lot of time in court showing the—you don‘t have copies of those CAT scans? How can you say that?

The CAT scans are out there, distributed to other people. You have got to look at the facts. The CAT scan is out there. It shows severe atrophy of the brain. The autopsy is going to show severe atrophy of the brain. And you are asking me if a CAT scan was done? How could you possibly be so stupid?

I showed this to the Head Girl. Her first response was to tell me I’d been snookered, this had to be a parody. Which is interesting, because, although the Head Girl didn’t know it, that was the first conclusion of the blogger at Suebob’s Diary, too. But it is not, unfortunately, parody. This is really the doctor given the most credit by Judge Greer.
REad the rest. Cranford continues to sputter about the difference between starvation and dehydration- a point which would matter if Terri were being permitted food but not water- and about how long it took one of his other patients to die. Ghoul.

Then tonight I came across a related article via Captain Ed.

In the second article, Eric Pfeiffer of The National Review reviews a book by George Felos, Michael Schiavo’s lawyer. The book is titled Litigation as Spiritual Practice. As you read on, keep in mind the disdain many have expressed for the so-called ‘Religious Right’ or ‘Theocrats.’

Felos can control airplanes with his mind. No, really.


Felos claims to have used his mental powers to cause a plane he was passenger on to nearly crash. By simply asking himself, “I wonder what it would be like to die right now?” the plane’s autopilot program mysteriously ceased to function and the plane descended into free fall. Felos then observed, “At that instant a clear, distinctly independent and slightly stern voice said to me, ‘Be careful what you think. You are more powerful than you realize.’ In quick succession I was startled, humbled and blessed by God’s admonishment.”

This is a man who by his own admission hears voices in his head, controls airplanes with his mind, and who hears those voices tell him how powerful he is. I hope he’s on the terrorist watch list. I mean, we don’t want somebody with those kinds of powers riding the airlines freely, right? No, we just want him safely practicing law, advocating the starving and dehydrating of the disabled.

Felos is, as most of you know, a right to die lawyer with many notches on his coup stick. His first ‘success’ in this field was with Estelle Browning.

According to Pfeiffer:

“Felos says when he was alone with Browning they shared a “soul touch” in which their spirits left their respective bodies and spoke to each other. It was in this encounter that Browning “told” Felos she wanted to die:

“As I continued to stay beside Mrs. Browning at her nursing home bed, I felt my mind relax and my weight sink into the ground. I began to feel lightheaded as I became more reposed. Although feeling like I could drift into sleep, I also experienced a sense of heightened awareness.”

He writes,

As Mrs. Browning lay motionless before my gaze, I suddenly heard a loud, deep moan and scream and wondered if the nursing home personnel heard it and would respond to the unfortunate resident. In the next moment, as this cry of pain and torment continued, I realized it was Mrs. Browning.

I felt the midsection of my body open and noticed a strange quality to the light in the room. I sensed her soul in agony. As she screamed I heard her say, in confusion, “Why am I still here … Why am I here?” My soul touched hers and in some way I communicated that she was still locked in her body. I promised I would do everything in my power to gain the release her soul cried for. With that, the screaming immediately stopped. I felt like I was back in my head again, the room resumed its normal appearance, and Mrs. Browning, as she had throughout this experience, lay silent.

In addition to his soul-touch with Estelle Browning, Felos also says he had a pre-conception conversation with his future son, who said, “I’m ready to be born…will you stop this fooling around!”

Felos is a religious man. As Pfeiffer says,

“Felos describes his spiritual beliefs as syncretistic religion, mixing elements of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Native American ceremonial practices. In Litigation as Spiritual Practice’s introduction, he declares, “evolution of consciousness is our ultimate salvation.”

His apparent lack of concern for Terri Schiavo’s plight might be better understood in the context of his belief that “[i]n reality you have never been born and never can die.”

This is all not to say that Felos isn’t entitled to believe whatever he wants to. He, of course, is. However, this is the same man who has described the Schindler family and their supporters as “fanatics.” It’s a belief many in the media have reciprocated in their analysis of what drives the Schindler’s fight for Terri’s survival. But, really, who’s three sheets to the moonbeam?”

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When daisies pied and violets blue

The HeadGirl loves Spring. She loves the invigoration in a new, growing season. As with all seasons, she also has a collection of CDs that are especially for Spring. They express the enthusiasm and joy of warmer days, blue skies with white clouds, and the knowledge that winter is behind us at last. We are no longer hiding from the elements, we are reveling in them.

Here are some of her favorite albums for this time of year:
Andree Rieu: 100 Years of Strauss – with songs like “Perpetual Motion,” how can you not feel motivated? Strauss wrote dazzling dance music, and Rieu brings out the best on this album. The music is capricious and humorous. Just like Spring.

Chanticleer: Mexican Baroque – OK, she admits it. She doesn’t just listen to this one in the Spring. It fits very well with the season, however! Imagine the best of baroque mass pieces, add a Mexican mission spin and you’ve got this album. Chanticleer is one of the greatest men’s choirs out there, possessing a wonderful repertoire and range.

Kings Singers: Spirit Voices – This group is the reason Chanticleer is not described as *the* greatest men’s choir up above. The Headgirl hasn’t had opportunity to hear many of their other albums, but this one is sample enough to realize how versatile they are. Pop and folk are blended together in a seamless fashion. Soaring vocals, unique arrangements, catchy tunes… Good stuff.

~ The HeadGirl has now used today’s allottment of superlatives, so she will close this post and leave you, gentle reader, to enjoy the weather. Grab a poetry book, slip on sandals, and go outside to read. Gerard Manley Hopkins, Keats, Dickinson and Browning are good ideas.

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