30 March 2005

Terri Schiavo: some dumb questions

Edited, see end of blog.

I admit I came across Terri's situation by following a banner through to TerrisFight.

So here I am mercifully NOWHERE near America, just reading everything I can find. It has been really interesting to get rude or fervent feedback on some of my observations because it has opened my eyes to the varying statements taken as fact by different people.

OK so there are loonies on both sides, people who havent got time to look at the woman and imagine she is their sister because they are too busy seeing political posturing, or twisting the situation for their own purposes. Some want to kill Terri even if she isnt a vegetable, others want to kill her husband, or his new partner, Felos or Greer. Others, on both sides, care very deeply.

There are people calling us hypocrites, saying if you care about Terri, why dont you care about X,Y or Z. Well from here, let me tell you I do care and every new atrocity that you highlight, going on quietly and undefended in suburban USA just makes me more and more horrified at the state of your so-called 'glorious nation'.

It seems, from here, that most of those shouting 'hypocrite' seem to be advocating caring for nobody as a viable alternative.

Anyhow, I have a great many questions left unanswered, based entirely on the information presented as fact on other sites. Here they are. Maybe some of the evidence I am looking for really does exist, maybe you feel I have been misled, in which case please post the URL in a comment. Don't just rant at me, educate me. Call me what you like but give me proof of your reasoning.

  1. If Terri was supposed to be bulimic, why is there no medical record of that, why wasnt it established by doctors when she first went into hospital?
  2. Ditto heart attack - there is apparently NO evidence that she ever suffered a heart attack more than say-so; why?
  3. Were there really bruises reported around her throat consistent with strangulation on the night that she was first rushed to hospital?
  4. Did her first CT scan in hospital really show less damage than the second scan? Who did what to her, to increase the damage in the interim?
  5. What made Michael Schiavo remember she wanted to die, if he spent the two years prior to that recollection saying he was going to stay by her side, see her have therapy and live for a long time, even in the court case for compensation and medical costs?
  6. Why was she allowed to be moved into a hospice for so many years when hospices are supposed to be for people who will die naturally inside six months or so?
  7. Why was she allowed to stay in a hospice (a place to be made comfortable, not better), for the first two years without the legal certificate?
  8. Why was she allowed to go there at all if George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney, was at the time the Chairman of the Board of Directors there? (see also 24)
  9. Why did Judge Greer help Michael Schiavo get Medicaid for Terri so she could 'legally' stay in the hospice instead of going back to a proper hospital or therapy unit?
  10. How do you get Medicaid in the first place if you have a million dollars available for care already?
  11. Why did the judge accept the diagnosis of PVS when the doctor whose name was typed on the report (by whoever typed it) NEVER SIGNED the paper?
  12. Why did Judge greer dismiss the personal testimony of that same doctor, that Terri was NOT in a PVS?
  13. When that report was created, why was it acceptable to the court without an MRI or PET scan or any of a number of tests to confirm or deny the diagnosis?
  14. If the Schindlers feel that the judge has overlooked vital information, either accidentally or deliberately, does the system really require them to petition against the findings to the SAME judge?
  15. Doesnt that sound like:
    Petitioner: We petition that Judge X is incompetent or corrupt. Judge X: Oh no I'm not, petition dismissed.
  16. When you complain that evidence has been overlooked and finally get your case to a higher court, will the new lot really only make their minds up based on Judge X's version?
  17. WHY If Terri really is a vegetable, would Felos or Schiavo notice ANY difference in her now - how can a vegetable look more or less peaceful?
  18. If Terri is in a PVS why are Schiavo and Felos making a big hoo-ha about music and flowers in her room - what blind bit of difference would they make to a braindead carcass?
  19. Why would Michael Schiavo give his wife (quote) a "stuffed cat" to cuddle? I hope to hell that means a cuddly toy.
  20. If she is braindead, why would she need that?
  21. If she isn't brain dead, but aware, would she realise the reference to him having her pet cats put down and a sinister implication in the gift?
  22. There is no law allowing a judge or carer to forcibly withhold food and water taken naturally by mouth - why has Judge Greer forbidden efforts to feed Terri naturally and how has he been allowed to do that?
  23. Why would he need to forbid that if she is a vegetable? You can lead a horse to water.....
  24. Doesnt Judge Lenderman's own sister being a Board member at the hospice constitute a conflict of interest?
  25. Why would the Pinellas County Sheriff (who left in 2004 to take up position in the House of Representatives) take time, four days before he left, in the middle of the Schiavo case, to EMPLOY Michael Schiavo, knowing that he had refused to investigate allegations of abuse against Schiavo?
Like I said, just a few questions, I'm sure I have more.

From here, it stinks. It stinks to High Heaven.

What stinks worse is the concept that people don't suddenly turn into bad guys, or conceited double-dealers for just one case. Nor do they do it if they stand alone. If all these apparent breaches of law, conduct, propriety etc etc are true, then they would be habitual, comfortable, the 'way things are', and in that case it may take years to unearth the other examples.

Terri may just turn out to be the standard bearer, the light, hope and vindication for a myriad other ordinary people whose deaths were quicker and quieter.

Going to Florida this summer? My personal advice - DON'T.
If however you feel you must set foot in the place, please, make a living will before you go. You wouldn't want to hit your head............

Edit: Assume Michael Schiavo does really love his wife. Assume Terri Schiavo really didn't want to live like this. Now refer to question 13.
  • Wouldn't a loving husband, who has all the money he needs, have every test under the sun performed on his dear wife before giving up hope?
  • Wouldn't he automatically explore every single avenue to see whether or not she could improve, before coming to the conclusion that she could never get any better?
  • Does Michael Schiavo giving up on tests at the stage recorded, particularly when money was no object, make him look like anything BUT a man who loved his wife?

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