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In Memory of Terri Schindler-Schiavo

Friday, May 27, 2005

Judge Greer, Would You Have Killed My Brother, Too?

by Adam Rickel, Human Events
Mar 31, 2005

These last few weeks watching the Terri Schiavo story unfold have been very difficult for me, because every time I see a picture of Terri I am reminded of my brother.

Like Terri, my brother could not feed or take care of himself in any way. Like Terri, there were moments when he could react to someone's voice or presence. Like Terri, my brother did not have a living will. Like Terri, my family had to face the questions and even accusations that my brother's life was not worth the effort and expense.

The real question the accusers wanted to ask is, "What is the purpose in keeping him alive?"

This question makes sense only if the person asking the question cannot conceive that there is anything important beyond themselves. Through the distorted lens of selfishness and pride they define their lives with statements like "I accomplished this . . ." "I did that. . . " "I can do. . . " or "I want to do. . ." If a person can no longer do or get what he or she wants all purpose or meaning in their lives is therefore removed.

Without purpose or meaning, as defined by the accuser, how can a person really be a person anymore? Terri -- or my brother -- can't do anything, they are therefore purposeless and not people. It isn't murder to kill something that isn't a person, right?

At this point in their reasoning the accuser gets scared. Why? Because they know that it could just as easily have been them lying there in that bed. Whatever befell Terri or the sickness that afflicted my brother could have just as easily struck anyone. Can you now see how horrifying it must be to them, as they look on a broken helpless body in a hospital bed with no "purpose" and think, "That could be me!"

So they cover their fear by removing (killing) the object of their fear.

What they fail to see is that human existence is an accomplishment and purpose in itself. My brother never once spoke an intelligible word, but managed to acknowledging my presence. My brother never once lifted himself from his bed, but I learned the value of serving our fellow man as I lifted him up. My brother never fed himself, but I learned what it meant to feed those less fortunate. My brother often screamed in pain for hours at a time and as I held him I learned what it meant to bear another's burdens.

In short, my brother taught me what it means to serve, to sacrifice and to love. He taught me what purpose in life is. And it wasn't just me he taught. I know at least seven other people, brothers, sisters and parents who learned the same lesson. How many walking, talking, self-feeding people can say that their mere existence has affected even one person, for the better, in such a profound way?

It doesn't take a genius to see that Terri's parents and family have learned what I have about the purpose of life. My brother has since passed way after 19 years of a "purposeless" existence and I miss him greatly.

As you read, this Terri has starved to death because a judge decided to believe the hearsay of an unfaithful husband, and because others in power lack the courage to act to save an innocent life.

Judge Greer, Micheal Schiavo and gang, I have one question for you. "Would you have killed my brother too?"

Link to the article

The Legacy of Terri Schiavo

What we can do so this won't happen again.

by Wesley J. Smith

TERRI SCHIAVO IS DEAD. But her death by dehydration last week need not be in vain. Great good can still come from the harsh, two week ordeal she--and to a lesser extent, we--were forced to undergo by court order.

Terri's story generated a torrent of compassion. (The root meaning of compassion is to "suffer with," which is precisely what her legions of supporters did.) Hundreds of thousands of people who had never participated before in a major public event engaged untiringly in advocating for the sanctity and equal moral worth of the life of Terri Schiavo. And these many supporters were not, as the mainstream media took great glee in portraying, limited to the Randall Terry brand of religious activist or to orthodox Catholics. To the contrary, notables of the secular and religious left--Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson, Nat Hentoff--joined in solidarity with their usual conservative opponents, such as President George W. Bush, Senator Bill Frist, and Rush Limbaugh, to declare that Terri should live.

This suggests that deep political divisions can be overcome, at least for a time, in pursuit of a public morality that was sorely missing in the Terri Schiavo saga. Indeed, if Terri's supporters channel their passion into productive democratic reform, we can almost surely prevent future such miscarriages of justice.
What would such reforms look like? While great care should be taken in this important matter, here are a few initial suggestions:

* First, as it is the law of the land to prevent discrimination against disabled people via the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), then surely these protections should apply explicitly where they are needed most desperately, in medical situations where discrimination can have lethal consequences. Obviously, legislation would have to be carefully worded to prevent overreaching and unintended consequences. But disabled people need to be able to enter hospitals and other medical institutions secure in the knowledge that the law requires their lives be just as valued and protected as those of patients who are not disabled. As matters stand now, some disabled people fear hospitalization precisely because they worry that their lives will be judged as being of insufficient quality to be sustained. The Terri Schiavo case exacerbates those fears.

* States need to review their laws of informed consent and refusal of medical treatment to ensure that casual conversations--the basis for Terri's death order--are never again deemed to be the legal equivalent of a well-thought-out, written advance medical directive. We don't permit the property of the deceased to be distributed based on their oral statements; surely human lives deserve as much protection.

* If people don't want feeding tubes if they become profoundly incapacitated, the law permits them to refuse such care. That isn't going to change. But if that is their desire, they have the responsibility to make sure that such wishes are put in a legally binding document. Absent that, the law should require the courts in contested cases to give every reasonable benefit of the doubt to sustaining life and not causing death by dehydration.

* Along these lines, our laws should be more nuanced. When people claim they would want the "plug pulled," many are worrying about being tethered to beeping machines in sterile intensive care units, not expressing a desire to be slowly dehydrated to death over 10-14 days. In the face of this potential misapprehension, we should create a distinction in law between food and water supplied through a tube and other forms of medical care. Withholding a respirator or antibiotics can lead to uncertain results. Take away anyone's food and water and they will die.

* Judge George Greer's embrace of Michael Schiavo's legal status as "husband" to Terri in the face of the pronounced personal and financial conflicts of interest he faced in making her life and death decisions may not require an explicit change of law. But surely we have every right to demand that judges remain acutely sensitive to changes in circumstances that often emerge over time in situations faced by families like Terri's. Why Judge Greer did not think it a matter of grave import that Michael had two children with another woman, even as he petitioned the court to hasten the day when death would part him from his wedded wife, will always be a source of bitter wonder to Terri's supporters.

As Terri's family made clear in their dignified public statement after her death, it would dishonor her memory for her supporters to indulge in hatred. Michael Schiavo, George Felos, and Judge George Greer aren't worth the psychic cost. How much better to honor Terri's memory by enacting a series of legal reforms that rededicate our society to standing for the equal moral worth and unwavering legal protection of the most weak and vulnerable among us.

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, an attorney for the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. His latest book is Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World.

Click here for the article.

An Open Letter to Judge George Greer

March 31, 2005

Dear Judge Greer:

By ruling as you did in the Terri Schiavo "right to die" case, you have assured yourself a place in history. By sending an innocent woman to a horrible death by starvation and dehydration, a woman guilty of nothing other than being an inconvenience to her playboy husband and a financial burden to the hospice that was "treating" her, you have earned the same place in history as those Nazi officials condemned to the gallows in Nuremberg in 1946 for gassing and starving innocent people to death. Weren't those officials "upholding the laws" of their country, just as you claimed to "uphold the law" in your rulings? Not even the most vicious criminals are condemned to die by the torture that you and your colleagues in the federal courts have inflicted upon Terri Schiavo.

Judge Greer, may I suggest that you visit a Holocaust museum and gaze at the pictures of those who were starved by the Nazis in the concentration camps. Then transfer that image to Mrs. Schiavo as she lay on her deathbed, her body wracked by starvation and dehydration, her agony increasing with each passing hour until her death thirteen days after her food and water were cut off by your order. Burn that image into your mind, Judge Greer, and don't ever forget it. Don't ever forget the grief of her parents, siblings, and all others who loved her and who could not stand to see her suffer as you condemned her to suffer. I hope you can live with yourself. And may the Lord consign you and all the others who committed this heinous act to the deepest, hottest, and vilest regions of Hell for all eternity!


Philip E. Galasso
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Read the letter here

From Rome - Beyond the Terry Schiavo Case

Sometimes Animals Enjoy More Legal Protection

LONDON, MAY 28, 2005 (Zenit.org).- During their visit to Rome last week Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, thanked the Pope and Vatican officials for the Church's help in their attempts to keep their daughter from being starved to death.

The withdrawal of food and water that led to Schiavo's death in Florida last March 31 was condemned in a statement by Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls. In a declaration issued the day of her death Navarro Valls described the event as "an arbitrary hastening of death." He also expressed the hope that the experience would lead public opinion to a greater awareness of human dignity and to improved legal protections for life.

The Schiavo case is by no means an isolated instance. Shortly afterward the Telegraph newspaper in British reported April 17 on an 81-year-old widow from the American state of Georgia, Mae Magouirk. In spite of having drawn up a living will she was deprived of food and water for 10 days after being admitted to hospital for heart problems, which, according to the Telegraph, were considered treatable by doctors.

Read the rest of the article here

Terri Schiavo's Estranged Husband Granted Estate on Day She Dies

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 23, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) -- Terri Schiavo's estranged husband Michael wasted no time in pursuing what was left of Terri's estate after she passed away on March 31. The disabled woman died after suffering from a painful 13 day starvation and dehydration.

Terri died just after 9:00 a.m. on the morning of the 31st and court papers filed with Circuit Court Judge George Greer show Michael's attorneys filed the estate request just hours later.

By 1:35 p.m., Greer had ruled in Michael's favor to receive Terri's estate.

However, the Empire Journal newspaper reports that Greer's estate order had one major flaw. It erroneously declared Michael Schiavo, not Terri, died that day.

"Not only have the bar associations of West Pasco, Clearwater and St. Petersburg lauded Greer for his alleged professionalism in the case, but Greer claims to be a stickler for the law," the Empire Journal wrote regarding the matter.

"However, in the Schiavo case not only couldn't Greer get the name of the decedent right, but he had the wrong date of death too," the newspaper wrote. "So much for professionalism."

Michael claimed -- years after Terri's collapse and only after their estate was awarded a $1.4 million medical malpractice judgment -- that he remembered a supposed conversation where Terri indicated she didn't want extra measures taken to prolong her life.

However, a good friend of Terri's vividly remembers watching a television program with Terri about a woman who was in a coma for years. Terri was upset when she told a joke about the woman and said there was no way doctors or lawyers could know the woman's wishes.

"Where there is life, there is hope," Terri told her friend.

The money was supposed to be used to take care of Terri, but much of it was used for Michael's legal bills and her parents say Terri has never received appropriate medical care or rehabilitative therapy.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Terri Schiavo's family comes home to grieve

By Susan Brinkmann, CS&T Correspondent
April 21, 2005

The family of Terri Schindler-Schiavo came home to its former parish, Our Lady of Good Counsel in Southampton, Friday, April 15 to receive the prayers and comfort of local friends and relatives.

Hundreds of people gathered for a memorial Mass that was concelebrated by several priests, including Msgr. James D. Beisel, Vicar of Bucks County; Father Clemens J. Gerdelmann, parochial vicar of OLGC; Msgr. Thaddeus Malanowski, who tended to Terri’s spiritual needs for many years, and Father Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life and the Society for Apostolic Life.

“I can’t even name all the people, all my friends, who were there every day for us,” Mary Schindler said. “I prayed to God every night that He would not let Terri suffer. Sometimes, I would pray that He would take her that night, just so she wouldn’t suffer, because I knew she was suffering.”

Although Terri’s husband, Michael, and his pro-euthanasia attorney, George Felos, persistently described Terri as peaceful during her 13-day ordeal without food or water, other witnesses describe her condition as “horrific.”

“She looked like the people who were released from the death camps in Nazi Germany,” her father said. “Her cheekbones were very pronounced, and her lips had shriveled so much that her teeth were bulging out, top and bottom, almost to the gum line. When you looked at her, all you could see were cheekbones and teeth. Her eyes were sunken deep into her skull, and her eyelids and under [her] eyes were reddish-blue. When she couldn’t breath through her nose anymore, she would gasp for air, and the inside of her mouth and throat was that dark maroon color … like raw meat. It was anything but dignified. It was sickening.”

How could parents endure such agony?

Read the rest of the article here

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Schindlers Could Contest Michael Schiavo As Executor, Share in Estate

New from The Empire Journal

Read the article here

Monday, May 23, 2005

St. Paul friar speaks on Terri Schiavo's last days

Curt Brown, Star Tribune
May 23, 2005

From a rather obscure life ministering to St. Paul's poor and disadvantaged, Brother Paul O'Donnell found himself thrust into the vortex of one of the most widely reported stories of the year.

O'Donnell, a black-robed Franciscan friar from a tiny St. Paul religious order, became the spiritual adviser to Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings. As Schiavo's feeding-tube case became front-page news, O'Donnell was at the family's side in Florida for news conferences and prayer sessions during the 13 days between the tube's removal and Schiavo's death March 31.

"You realize you're literally talking to millions and millions of people all over the world," O'Donnell, 45, said last week by cell phone from Rome, where he and five members of Schiavo's family were meeting with Vatican officials.

"As I travel in Italy, people recognize who I am and what I'm doing -- not that I did anything so great. But the fact that Terri Schiavo would still be in their minds six weeks after her death shows she truly touched the world."

O'Donnell is flying home to his Franciscan Brothers of Peace friary in the Midway neighborhood in time for a free speech at 7:30 p.m. tonight at St. Agnes Church in the nearby Frogtown area.

"I will share my perspective on what I call 'the Passion and Death of Terri Schiavo' and tell people what it was like for those two weeks when the feeding tube was removed," he said. "I'll share what Terri went through, what the family went through and what I experienced firsthand through her passion and death."

O'Donnell is among 10 brothers who took vows of poverty to dedicate their lives to helping the disadvantaged in St. Paul's inner city. When the group's founder and O'Donnell's dear friend, the late Brother Michael Gaworski, contracted bacterial pneumonia in 1991 and became severely brain damaged, O'Donnell's views on the issue were forged.

He has heard the other side of the argument, from Schiavo's husband, Michael, and those who insist that letting her die was the more humane option.

"It's profoundly sad that we still look with disdain upon the profoundly disabled and we make a judgment and say: 'Who would want to live that way?' "

"Given the choice, no one would necessarily want to live that way," O'Donnell said. "But people who are profoundly impaired are still made in the image and likeness of God."

O'Donnell, who met Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler, at a 2004 conference in Washington, said he is scheduled to give several talks such as the one Monday night, locally and nationally.

He has tentative plans to join members of Schiavo's family at World Youth Day in Germany this summer, where Pope Benedict is also slated to speak.

Read the article from the Star Tribune

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Schindler Family to Stand Up for 'Other Terris' Nationwide

By Melanie Hunter
CNSNews.com Deputy Managing Editor
March 31, 2005


Terri's brother, Robert Schindler Jr., called on parents everywhere to cherish every moment with their child "as a precious gift from God."

In a message to his sister Terri, Robert Schindler Jr., said, "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, your life and legacy will continue to live on as the nation is now awakened to the plight of thousands of people with disabilities that were previously unnoticed. Your family intends to stand up for the other Terris 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," he said.

"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," Robert Jr., concluded.

Read the rest of the article here

Impeach Judge George Greer

Sign this petition to help impeach Judge George Greer for ordering the death of Terri Schindler-Schiavo. The petition lists many violations committed by Judge Greer during his handling of Terri's case.

The petition has over 41,000 signatures.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Judge Greer Declares Michael Schiavo Dead

Exclusive report by The Empire Journal

Judge Greer signed a court order on March 31st declaring Michael Schiavo dead. Read the report here

Special Mass This Sunday For Terri Schiavo at Canada’s Martyrs Shrine

MIDLAND, ON, May 20, 2005 (lifesitenews.com) – A Mass in honour of and for the repose of the soul of Terri Schiavo is to be offered this Sunday, May 22, at Martyrs Shrine in Midland Ontario.

Martyrs Shrine is the magnificent shrine erected in honour of the famous North-American martyrs, credited with first bringing Catholicism to Canada.

Diane Lucas, a pro-life mother of nine, has taken the initiative to organize the event in response to what she says is Pope Benedict’s encouragement to direct our prayers of intercession towards the Catholic martyrs. About the Mass Diane said “What better place for it? Terri is a martyr. I am asking St. Theresa for a speedy canonization.” Diane also mentioned that Terri’s parents had asked after Terri’s death that no more flowers be sent, but that instead Masses should be offered up for her and for the pro-life cause around the world.

Terri Schiavo is the disabled Catholic woman who was subjected to a court-ordered execution by starvation just over a month ago. Pro-life advocates around the world are championing her as a martyr of the pro-life cause.

The Mass at the shrine will take place at 12:00 noon. It will be offered on the outside papal altar, where John Paul II offered the Mass during his 1984 visit to Canada.

Source is Life Site News

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Terri Schiavo's Death Changed My Life

What It Was Like in the Eye of the Storm
By Megan Dillon, Director, Media Relations, National Right to Life


On a Tuesday in late October 2003, I went to work just like I do every day. Only this day would not be like any other day. This day would change my life.

You see, in mid-October, upon court order, Terri Schindler Schiavo's feeding tube had been removed. Then, six days later, through a heroic act of the Florida legislature and Governor Jeb Bush, Terri's feeding tube was reinserted.

That Tuesday in October, my boss came into my office and explained to me that Terri's family, the Schindlers, and their attorney at the time, Pat Anderson, were overwhelmed with press calls. They were in desperate need of someone to help them organize all of the requests. Seemed simple enough to me - - so I volunteered to go down and help.

A few hours later, I was on a plane to Tampa.

Read the rest of the article here

Terri's Family Meets Pope Benedict XVI

Terri Schiavo family thank pope for support

8:32 AM ET
By Philip Pullella

Link to the article

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Terri Schiavo's parents on Wednesday thanked Pope Benedict for Vatican backing in their failed campaign to keep their brain-damaged daughter alive and gave him a framed picture of her.

"I can't even tell you how I felt," Terri's mother, Mary, told Reuters in an interview with other family members in St. Peter's Square just minutes after meeting the Pope.

"When I gave it to him he said: 'I know, I know about Terri' to me. I couldn't imagine the Holy Father saying to me 'I know, I know about Terri'. It was the most I could have ever, ever hoped for," she said.

Bob and Mary Schindler, their son Bobby and their daughter Suzanne, were in the front row at Benedict's general audience.

"When he said 'Terri' he held his hand to his heart like he was very sad," her father added.

Schiavo died on March 31 in Florida after a U.S. state court ordered the feeding tube, which sustained her for 15 years, removed at the request of her husband who said it was what she would have wanted.

Pope John Paul II, who died two days after Schiavo, had declared some life-extending treatments a moral duty for Roman Catholics.

Schiavo's case was followed around the world and sparked outrage at the Vatican, which compared the court to an executioner who "arbitrarily brought forward" the date of her death.

"As Roman Catholics, to see the Pope is the ultimate. We are trying to carry Terri's legacy on," her father said.

Terri's brother, Bobby Schindler, said the family was moved close to tears when they saw sick people being wheeled before the Pope to be blessed by him at the end of the audience.

"We could have done that. Terri is very similar to those people ... it was just sad that she couldn't be here with us to share it," he said.

Throughout the Terri Schiavo case, the Catholic Church defended the family's efforts to defend life, which the Church teaches starts at the moment of conception and ends at the moment of natural death.

"I think we are seeing a real attack on the culture of life and I think Terri's case exposed just how powerful and dangerous this 'death group' is and what's happening across America," her brother said.

"Our family has to continue to fight and speak out and try to expose just what this 'death group' is doing. I think having the Vatican showing their support really illuminates what is happening in America," he said.

Terri Schiavo's sister Suzanne Vitadamo said: "We did this for Terri. We believe she is sitting with the pope up in heaven. I'm sure she is looking down on us and smiling."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

From Rome - Vatican cardinal meets with family of Terri Schiavo

May 17, 2005
ROME The family of Terri Schiavo met with a top cardinal Tuesday to thank him for the Vatican's support as they sought to keep the brain-damaged woman alive.

Schiavo's father, Bob Schindler, said that support from Cardinal Renato Martino and other Vatican officials had helped the family "spiritually" in their unsuccessful battle against a court order to have Schiavo's feeding tube removed.

"Just knowing that he supported us gave us strength," said Schiavo's mother, Mary Schindler, following a 15-minute private audience with Martino.

Schiavo died on March 31, almost two weeks after the tube was removed.

The struggle between Schiavo's parents and her husband over whether she would have wanted to be kept alive with the feeding tube riveted Americans and sparked an international debate about end-of-life issues.

Martino heads the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and had urged in February that the feeding tube not be removed.

The Vatican condemned her death as "arbitrarily hastened," and called the removal of her feeding tube a violation of the principles of Christianity and civilization. Martino said Tuesday that Schiavo's death was "an insult to human dignity."

Also at the meeting with Martino were Schiavo's brother Bobby Schindler and sister Suzanne Vitadamo.

The family said they would attend Pope Benedict XVI's general audience Wednesday, and Martino said the pope would be informed of their presence.

In a statement following the meeting, Martino cited an address from Benedict earlier this month in which the pope said that "freedom to kill is not a true freedom but a tyranny that reduces the human being into slavery."

"We can expect from Benedict a very great and convinced defense of life," Martino said.

Read the report here Gainsville.com

Federal Judge In Schiavo Case Had Major Conflict Involving Felos

Exclusive from The Empire Journal

Conflict of interest between federal Schiavo judge, US District Court Judge James Whittemore, and attorney for Michael Schiavo, George Felos. Read the report here

Louisianna House committee OKs bill to restrict removal of feeding tubes

Associated Press Writer


A House committee approved a bill Monday that would restrict families' ability to remove a feeding tube from a terminal patient, despite objections that the measure would force many people with living wills to rewrite them.

Under current law, the term "life support" in living wills includes such tubes - they can be removed if that is the doctors' recommendation, family members agree and the patient's living will indicated that he did not want to be kept alive on life support.

Under Rep. Gary Beard's bill, the tubes would not be considered "life support." People whose living wills don't make a distinction between life support and feeding tubes would have to be kept alive with the tubes, even if their living will says a patient does not want to be kept alive on life support.

The measure was inspired by the case of Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who died in March, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed by court order, ending a four-year legal battle between her husband, who wanted the tube removed, and her parents, who did not. She had suffered brain damage in 1990 after a chemical imbalance caused her heart to stop.

"I'm trying to make sure that the horrible situation that happened in Florida ... doesn't happen in Louisiana," Beard, R-Baton Rouge, told the Committee on Health and Welfare.


'Grandma' Mae Magouirk dies

81-year-old was at center of post-Schiavo euthanasia controversy

May 16, 2005

By Sarah Foster
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com


Ora Mae Magouirk, the 81-year-old Georgia widow at the center of a contentious family fight over her medical treatment and right to live, died of a stroke today at approximately 8 a.m. Eastern, at a nursing home in LaGrange, Ga., according to her nephew, Ken Mullinax of Birmingham, Ala.

Mullinax told WorldNetDaily that his aunt's condition had improved considerably since her ordeal last month, but took a turn for the worst Wednesday when her vital signs began to weaken. On Sunday an apparent stroke hit her, causing her to have difficulty with speaking, and her blood pressure dropped to 60/30.

She died surrounded by family, including her brother, A.B. McLeod, 65, of Anniston, Ala., who had spent eight hours with her Sunday, Mullinax said.

World Net Daily

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Silent Witness: The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo's Death by Mark Fuhrman

The book will be released on June 28 by Harper Collins Publishing

Friday, May 13, 2005

Florida Voters Aren’t That Gullible, Everett Rice

Editorial from The Empire Journal about former Pinellas County sheriff Everett Rice. Rice announced his plans to run for Florida Attorney General. Rice is a long time friend of Judge George Greer, the judge who signed Terri's order of execution.

Read the editorial from The Empire Journal here

Schiavo case touched player deeply

May 15, 2005


DAYTONA BEACH -- Kenny Holmberg is one tough baseball player. The Embry-Riddle Eagle is as old-school as they come, a Charlie Hustle type who sprints on and off the field. He gets the most out of every minute he spends on a baseball field.

But for ERAU's senior shortstop, that toughness isn't even on the charts compared with the will he's seen from his parents. To know the Holmbergs' tragic story is to know where Kenny gets the determination that has made him the heart and soul of an Embry-Riddle baseball team that is 47-7 and headed to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics World Series later this month.

Diane Holmberg brought son Kenny into this world a little more than 22 years ago. When Kenny was just 2, Diane was on her way to teach Bible school in upstate New York, near Syracuse, where her husband, Dennis, was a coach for the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. A teenage driver crashed into Diane Holmberg's car. Kenny and 5-year-old sister, Brianne, were in the back seat and escaped injury.

Diane Holmberg suffered a brain injury that has left her in a vegetative state to this day. The high-profile Terri Schiavo case stirred long-held emotions for the family, but the controversy changed nothing in the family's decades-long journey of love and endurance.

Now 51, Diane has a feeding tube in her stomach and is cared for in a facility in Norwalk, Conn. Diane's family, including her father, Nardin Duncan, and brother, Jimmy Duncan, visit regularly. Kenny also has made trips in recent years to see his mother.

"The past two times I've been up to Connecticut, she definitely acknowledged that I was there," Kenny says with conviction. "And to me, for her not to see me grow up, for her to just see pictures of me, and then to recognize me, it just means so much. All I can hope for is she knows I'm leading a successful life. I'm in school; I'm going to get a degree; I'm doing well. And I know she's accomplishing something still. She inspires me."

Read the entire article here

Woman speaks first words in two years

May 12, 2005

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. — A woman who couldn't talk or feed herself after suffering head trauma in a traffic accident has spoken her first words in more than two years.

Tracy Gaskill, 30, began speaking and swallowing about three weeks ago, family members and medical personnel said. She had suffered internal injuries and head trauma when her pickup truck rolled over on a highway in September 2002.

"I have never seen this happen in my career," Dr. David Schmeidler said. "I've read about it happening, the severely brain damaged recovering suddenly, but never seen it until now."

Gaskill's family believes the care she has received and their daily visits and prayers helped her recovery.

"In the last year and a half, she's indicated that she knows us; she has been watching TV and smiling," said her grandfather, Don Gaskill. "More recently, she started nodding her head when we asked her questions. Then a few months ago, she'd laugh out loud."

There have been a few other widely publicized examples of brain-damaged patients showing sudden improvement after a number of years, at least temporarily.

Another Kansas woman, Sarah Scantlin, made headlines earlier this year when she uttered her first words since being left bedridden and unable to communicate after a drunken driver struck her in 1984. The Hutchinson woman continues to recover from her brain injury.

Last month, a brain-injured firefighter in upstate New York started speaking after almost a decade of near-total silence. Donald Herbert's wife has said that he has had moments of clarity but nothing as dramatic as the first day when he spoke to family and friends for hours.

Read the report here

Florida Republicans Who Voted Against Terri's Life

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Medicare Reimbursement Key in Schiavo Hospice Stay

New Today 5/12/05 At The Empire Journal


The Empire Journal reports about the Medicare fraud engaged by Hospice of Florida Suncoast.
Read the article here

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Florida House Mum About Greer Impeachment Demands

New report from The Empire Journal on impeaching Judge George Greer.

Greer signed Terri's execution order.
Florida House Mum About Greer Impeachment Demands

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Schindler Family Speaks Out in Their First Interview Since Terri Schiavo's Death

Read the transcript of the Schindler's interview with Sean Hannity on May 6th

Excerpts of the interview

SEAN HANNITY: Just moments ago, I sat down with Terri Schiavo's family. It was their first television interview since Terri Schiavo's controversial death back in March.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Thank you all for being with us. It's good to see you again. I spent a lot of time with you guys down in Tampa. How are you doing? How are you holding up?

ROBERT SCHINDLER, TERRI SCHIAVO'S FATHER: We're fine. I mentioned earlier that we have been just inundated with, you know, compassion. And people have been just magnificent.

HANNITY: Let me go back to you guys. And this is your sister. I want to go back to the day she died. Michael's attorney, Mr. Felos, said she never looked so beautiful, never looked so calm. It was a calm, peaceful and gentle death.

You were there up to almost the moment that your sister died. Is that how you'd describe it?

BOBBY SCHINDLER, TERRI SCHIAVO'S BROTHER: Absolutely not. It was the most barbaric — I use the word barbaric over and over. It was grotesque. I've seen my sister having to go through what she was going through. It was simply — I'm at a loss for words.

It was something that I can't believe we are allowing to happen to human beings, that we are actually starving and dehydrating to death. I mean, I can describe the way my sister looked, but it was just — it was horrible.
Watch the interview in Real format. The videos are in three parts.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Mark Fuhrman's Book on Terri Schivo's Death

Mark Fuhrman's new book on Terri Schiavo's death,

Silent Witness - The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo's Death

will be released on June 28th.

You can order a copy on Amazon.com .

In Silent Witness, Mark Fuhrman applies his detective skills to examine the medical evidence, legal, and police records. He conducts exclusive interviews with forensics experts and crucial witnesses, including friends, family members and care-givers.

Fuhrman will answer these questions:

*What was Terri and Michael Schiavo’s marriage really like?

*What happened the day Terri collapsed?

*What do medical records show about her condition when she was first admitted to the hospital?

*What does the autopsy say?

*What was in Michael Schiavo’s mind when he said he wanted to withdraw life support to end his wife’s life?

Fuhrman has complete cooperation of Terri Schiavo’s family, as well as their medical and legal advisors.

The legal issues and ethical questions provoked by Terri Schiavo’s extraordinary case may never be resolved. But the facts about her marriage, her condition when she collapsed, and her eventual death fifteen years later, can be determined.

With Silent Witness, Mark Fuhrman will go beyond the legal aspects of the case and delve into the broader, human background of Terri Schivao’s short, sad life.

Mark Fuhrman is a retired LAPD detective. He is the author of the New York Times Bestsellers Murder in Brentwood and Murder in Greenwich, as well as Murder in Spokane and Death and Justice. He lives in Idaho.

License of Schiavo Doctor Suspended

New report on the Schiavo case by The Empire Journal

"License of Schiavo Doctor Suspended"

Click here for the complete article.

Does Schiavo Case Signal "Culture of Death"?


By: John W. Kennedy

AG News - Conservative groups believe Terri Schiavo's March 31 court-imposed death by starvation signals a clear society shift in devaluing life.

"We are quickly slipping into a culture of death," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson criticized judges who failed to act to save Schiavo's life as "guilty not only of judicial malfeasance, but of the cold-blooded, cold-hearted extermination of an innocent human life."

Multiple legal challenges from Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, failed during the 13 days of Schiavo's slow death. Even though the U.S. House convened for an extraordinary special session vote during Easter recess and President Bush flew back to Washington from his Texas ranch to sign the bill, courts repeatedly refused to intervene to save the 41-year-old brain-damaged woman, who had been connected to a feeding tube for 15 years.

The Schindlers found broad support in groups rallying to the cause. "Pro-life groups, disability groups and even liberal feminist groups don't like the idea of a husband doing away with his wife," said family attorney Barbara Weller. Everyone from Jesse Jackson to 250 Alabama Assemblies of God youth made appeals to show Schiavo mercy.

Mary Schindler said 48 hours after Terri collapsed, Michael asked her and her husband to sign papers they thought only allowed Michael to be the spokesman to the doctor. "We didn't know we were giving up all rights to Terri," said Schindler, who criticized Michael Schiavo for stopping therapy for Terri 12 years ago. "All I wanted was for my daughter to just have a chance," Schindler told PE Report.

Dana Cody, executive director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation in Napa, California, said the disabled increasingly are being marginalized because of "quality of life" arguments.

"It's become standard operating procedure in the health care community," Cody said. "Seeing Terri die will advance the 'right-to-die' agenda."

Weller cited parallels to Nazi Germany with Circuit Court Judge George Greer's edict to end Schiavo's life. "If they can kill Terri, they will kill many more people," Weller said. "Once they start killing off one group of people who don't mean much to society, who knows where it will end."

Daniel Webster, the Republican senator in Florida who sponsored Terri's Law, which kept the woman alive an additional two years, noted that Schiavo had a heartbeat, brainwaves and - except for the feeding tube - appeared in excellent health. "She was no different than many other people who are severely handicapped," Webster said. "Her life was valuable and worth fighting for."

Link to the article

Schiavo findings won't be rushed

Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Dr. Jon Thogmartin sits Thursday at the Largo District 6 Medical Examiner's Office, 10900 Ulmerton Road.

Excerpts from the St. Petersburg Times report on the medical examiner who is working on Terri Schiavo's autopsy

May 9, 2005

"People around the world have talked about the life and death of Terri Schiavo, but Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Jon hogmartin will get the last word."

"For the past month, he has been working on her autopsy. She has taken over his office and consumed his working hours. He appeared for an interview in blue scrubs, looking every bit the wiry medical examiner with his bald head and tiny wire-rimmed glasses."

"He denied requests from Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, and her husband, Michael Schiavo, to allow their own pathologists to observe the autopsy."

"He has received hundreds of letters and e-mails about the brain-damaged woman who died March 31, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed. Many ask him to look for signs she wasn't brain-dead or signs of abuse, among the allegations made during the protracted battle between her parents and her husband over whether to keep her alive."

"E-mails and letters have streamed in accusing Thogmartin of bias."

"A Star Trek fan, when the tough questions come up, Thogmartin often jokes with his staff, "What would Capt. Kirk do?"

Click here for full article

Parents' plea to Michael Schiavo: 'Tell us where Terri's ashes are'

By Philip Sherwell in Washington
May 8, 2005

The family of Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman who died in March after her feeding tube was removed, say that they have no idea where her ashes have been laid to rest.

Giving their first interview since the tube was removed at the request of Mrs Schiavo's husband, the family claimed on American television that he was keeping her remains from them.

Bob and Mary Schindler, and their surviving children, Bobby Jr and Suzanne, claimed that Michael Schiavo had ignored a court order that he should keep them informed about her ashes and plans for a memorial service.

Mr Schiavo had said that her ashes would be buried at a family plot in Pennsylvania.

The interview on Fox News on Friday night was the latest skirmish in the bitter battle between the two sides of the family, who waged a long-running court battle over Mrs Schiavo's end-of-life wishes.

"We still don't know where Terri's ashes were laid," Bobby Jr said. "They were court-ordered, they were supposed to tell us, but we have not heard from Michael Schiavo."

Mr Schiavo's lawyer, George Felos, could not be reached for comment.

Mr Schindler countered claims by the lawyer that his daughter's death was "gentle" with a harrowing description of her condition after 13 days without food or water.

"She was struggling to breathe," he said. "The inside of her mouth looked like a piece of meat in a meat market. It was like meat that had been left out for a while.

"It was reddish maroon because her mouth was dry and her lips were cracking from the lack of hydration.

"This cannot happen again. If anyone would have witnessed it, they would have been so appalled that they would never allow it to happen again."

He said it had been "gut-wrenching" to watch her deteriorate.

"People were misled that it was a peaceful way for her to die," he said. "All you could see was her cheekbones. Her eyes were sunken in her head."

Terri Schiavo, 41, died in a hospice in Florida on March 31. She had suffered brain damage in 1990 after a chemical imbalance caused her heart to stop. She left no "living will" in the event that she became disabled.

Mr Schiavo argued that she would not have wanted to be kept alive after court-appointed doctors diagnosed that she was in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery. The Schindlers, however, disputed that those were her wishes and argued that their daughter would benefit from extensive efforts to rehabilitate her.

During the interview they referred to the case of Donald Herbert, the New York fireman who suddenly woke up after 10 years in a semi-vegetative state and spoke lucidly to his wife.

Mr Herbert, 43, was knocked unconscious by debris in a burning building in 1995, leaving him blind and mostly mute until last Saturday.

"We immediately thought of Terri," said Suzanne. "What if they had given up on him?"

Mrs Schiavo's case attracted international attention and sparked a heated political and ethical debate as a series of judges ruled against the Schindler family.

The US Supreme Court refused to intervene even after President George W Bush signed a law allowing federal courts to become involved. "The system is just atrocious," Mr Schindler said.

Her family said that they believed she had been the victim of violence when she collapsed at home and her heart stopped. They said that there was no proof that she had collapsed because she was suffering from bulimia, insisting that she had lost weight several years earlier.

Bobby Jr said that the family was only made aware in 2002 of a bone scan taken a year after the incident. This showed that she had broken ribs, vertebrae, femur and knees. Mr Schiavo said that she suffered the injuries during her early treatment.

The family has set up the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation to speak out on behalf of others in a similar situation.

"Anyone out there, listening and watching, they should never ever let this happen to anyone else," Mr Schindler said.

Click here for report

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Men Responsible for Terri's Execution

 Posted by Hello

George Felos, Michael Schiavo, Judge Greer, Bishop Lynch

Podcasts for Terri on Terri's Death

Terri's Death

While Terri Schiavo was dying from dehydration and starvation, crowds of people gathered in front of her hospice to show support and pray for her and her family. Some people came not to pray, but to support the Culture of Death. This is the story of what went on. Click here to listen to the stories on MP3.

Podcasts for Terri http://discipleswithmicrophones.org/podcasts/terri/

God Gives Terri Water

Judge George Greer, the Grim Reaper

Judge George Greer, the Grim Reaper, Executes Terri

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Michael Schiavo Defying Court's Orders

Family: Michael Schiavo defying court's orders

The parents and siblings of Terri Schiavo said Michael Schiavo is keeping them in the dark about where her remains will be laid to rest.

Associated Press

Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings said Friday that they still have not been told where the brain-damaged woman's remains will be laid to rest.

Appearing on Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes on Friday night, Bob and Mary Schindler, their son Bobby and daughter Suzanne Vitadamo said Terri Schiavo's husband is keeping her remains from them.

''They were supposed to tell us, and we still have not heard from . . . Michael Schiavo where Terri's been laid,'' Bobby Schindler said. ``Our family expected this. Michael has disobeyed court orders throughout the ordeal and continues to do so today.''

The Schindlers have held four memorial services for their daughter.


Michael Schiavo is under court order to notify the Schindlers of his plans for a memorial service. He had his wife cremated, and said her ashes would be buried at a family plot in Pennsylvania.

George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney, did not return a call Friday night.

Terri Schiavo, 41, died March 31 in a Pinellas Park hospice, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed by court order. She suffered brain damage in 1990 after a chemical imbalance caused her heart to stop.

She left no written instructions in the event she became disabled, and her husband said he never would have wanted to be kept alive in what court-appointed doctors called a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery.

The Schindlers, however, doubted she had any such end-of-life wishes. They maintained she would benefit from rehabilitation, despite most doctors saying her condition was irreversible.

Federal and state courts repeatedly rejected attempts by Florida lawmakers, Gov. Jeb Bush, Congress and President Bush to intervene on behalf of her parents.


Bob Schindler, Terri's father, said he was angry that lawmakers did not do more to help his daughter.

''I'm disappointed in Governor Bush,'' he said. ``My goodness, the system is just atrocious.''

During a seven-year legal battle, the Schindlers sought independent investigation of their daughter's condition and what caused it. Abuse complaints to state social workers were ruled unfounded.

About 40 judges in six courts were involved in the case at one point or another. Six times, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene.

As Schiavo faded, Congress rushed through a bill to allow the federal courts to take up the case, and President Bush signed it March 21. But the federal courts refused to step in.

Her autopsy results are pending.


Mark Fuhrman Probing Schiavo Case

Mark Fuhrman wrote "Murder in Greenwich - Who Killed Martha Moxley" which helped to solve the Moxley murder.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Famed detective Mark Fuhrman, whose independent investigation into the Martha Moxley murder led to the conviction of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, is probing the Terri Schiavo forced-starvation case."He spent a month on the ground in Tampa," revealed Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity Friday night. "He's talked to many of the principals involved in investigating the case and he's coming out with a book."

Hannity said he personally contacted Fuhrman in March to suggest he probe a myriad of unresolved questions about Ms. Schiavo's condition, including a 1991 bone scan report showing that Schiavo suffered fractures sometime prior to being found unconscious in her home in February 1990.

Schiavo's family has said repeatedly that they suspect Terri's condition was the result of a violent fight she had with her husband, Michael. Police never probed the case for evidence of assault because by the time the bone scan became public in 2002, the statute of limitations had run.

Fuhrman's investigation would be the first to review the case for evidence of a possible crime.

"All I can say," the talk host told his "Hannity & Colmes" audience, "is that this is not over. Stay tuned."

Fuhrman's book "Murder in Greenwich" was widely credited with blowing the lid off the Moxley-Skakel case.

Click here for report

Rose for Terri

Higher Judge Overturns Greer's Execution