Terri Schiavo has been momentarily rescued from the embrace of death. Now the spin and the damage control begins for those who plan. . . and plot. . . and scheme.
A man in a black robe has spoken; one man, whose judgment decides Terri Schiavo's fate. Her life hangs in his balance. His decision regarding the appointment of a new guardian for Terri: Terri's parents and her 'husband' have five days (from October 22nd) to agree upon a guardian ad litem or he will choose one for them. Actually, the choice is already made, as you will read in the Orlando Sentinel article below this.
NOW. . . would Michael Schiavo, who's spent the last ten years and the lion's share of Terri's medical fund trying to get her dead, ever agree to a guardian her parents suggested?
Or could the Schindlers (Terri's parents) dare even consider agreeing to anyone Schiavo would choose?
Not in a million years! It isn't going to happen and the judge knows that. Of course, the judge answers to a higher power, and we know that power isn't from the Heavenly abode.
The new court-appointed guardian ad litem has been named as Dr. Jay Wolfson, director of the Florida Health Information Center at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He is also a lawyer. The University of South Florida is intimately connected to Hospice and Hospice of the Florida Suncoast (the corporate owner of the hospice where Terri was being dehydrated and starved, and where she is once again interned).
The USF website gives information on continuing professional education to be held November 6th by the University of South Florida's Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-Life Studies. The University of South Florida, Dr. Jay Wolfson's employer, has a partnership with, among other hospice organizations, the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.
Read here about Wolfson's attack on a secretary in 1994, and an insurance claim against him. Sounds like a real nut case.
Terri Schiavo's situation is not so unique, as we're all beginning to realize. Death by dehydration has become the fad today all over the country as a way to rid the system of useless eaters. Why? Because "all fifty states allow it", according to Kenneth Goodman, director of bioethics at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He told LifeNews.com that Terri would "not feel a thing". Goodman then added:
"There is nothing unusual about terminating hydration and nutrition.
"The reason why Florida law allows it, and the other 49 states allow it, is obviously that this can be done in a way that is pain-free and dignified. That is why it is legal.''
Really? She won't feel a thing? It's pain-free and dignified? How is that? According to Dr. David Stevens, countless ethical physicians and according to people who've lived through that unspeakable horror with their loved ones, death by dehydration is an agonizing death.
Terri has been receiving sustenance again after being deprived of water and food for six and a half days. That's approximately one hundred fifty-six hours! Try it! Miraculously, according to reports Terri has suffered no kidney damage and her father, Robert Schindler, Sr. says "she looks great!".
The $64,000 question is: 'Why have all fifty states made this agonizing method of killing off useless eaters legal?"
Answer: Creatures like Goodman obviously lobbied for the law, lulling the rank and file legislators into a dream state, convincing them that dying by dehydration is a great way to go. Or. . . they just voted for a bill that their bought-and-paid-for legislative leaders told them is a "yes" vote. They cannot rock the boat, for if they make too many waves they lose their committee seats, perks and even their office.
People live and die by legislation. Orwellian laws are born of apathetic, uninformed 'law-makers' who don't write the bills, don't read the bills, and never give a thought to the monstrous results of their negligence.
Sadly, the lure of office, money, prestige and whatever else rings their bell is much more important today than the life of an unknown woman -- or hundreds of thousands of 'unknowns'.
When we review the particulars in Terri's case, it reads like pulp fiction. A slew of good ol' boys from judges, doctors and lawyers to their countless accomplices have ridden roughshod over the laws and constitution of Florida state, as well as the 'constitution for the united states of america', obviously unaware of the sanctity of life. . . of the life of one Theresa Marie Schiavo. Terri was incidental to their bigger agenda.
The only difference now is that Terri's case has been pulled out of the pits of hell where the players have thus far frolicked unnoticed by the sleeping giant (the voice of the people) into the light of day. Hundreds of thousands of e-mails, phone calls, faxes and letters have poured in to the governor, state legislators, judges, and the controlled media. Too many people know the facts and are making their voices heard. Too many to be ignored.
The first act of damage control was to pass emergency legislation calling for immediate cessation of the deprivation of life-giving sustenance to Terri. That act got the governor off the hook who had stated time and again that he couldn't intervene because "the laws gave authority over guardianship issues to the courts", and his intervention would "violate the constitutional separation of powers".
Hogwash! Those statements were made in total contradiction to nearly everything stated in the Memorandum of Amicus curiae presented to the court on October 7th by Jeb Bush's Legal Department, the same Legal Department he claims has informed him that he cannot intervene.
The emergency legislation wasn't necessary to 'give the governor authority to intervene', although it did serve to appease the uninformed and make the government machine look good; we might go so far as to say it looked benevolent. AND. . . and this is a big 'and': it gives them the opportunity to challenge the whole event on constitutional grounds while the amicus curiae brief is all but forgotten, along with the FACT that the governor can and should intervene.
I am disturbed that the family and attorneys aren't pushing that fact, along with the six opinions by other lawyers from outside of Bush's administration.
And. . . don't be fooled: this whole charade would never have happened without the outcry -- the roar, actually -- from that sleeping giant that could not be ignored. They would have gone on happily killing Terri without a hitch.
Even the controlled media is beginning to pick up the tempo a bit, asking questions, dropping a few tidbits of truth -- only because they show their face too clearly if they continue to ignore the information being fed into their offices.
When a hitch does occur, then the think-tanks get busy.
"What do we do here? How do we use this to our advantage?
"No problem. We've covered the bases, and now we play our ace in the hole. The Florida constitution! The 'right to privacy' issue. After all, a citizen has the right to die if they so choose! The Court has already determined that Terri Schiavo wants to die because Michael Schiavo said so. That is 'clear and convincing evidence', and by Satan, we'll uphold that right! Our WILL be done!"
Surely the educated sophistocrats use more subtle language than that. Nevertheless, that is exactly what they're saying. And that is what they are plotting. If Terri's attorneys miss this boat Terri is condemned -- by un-law -- to die.
The following article is a masterpiece of laying the foundation for their scheme. The hue and cry is: "the legislature had no authority to interfere"; Terri has the "right to die under the privacy clause in the Florida constitution"; and "the courts will settle it once and for all".
It is clear that not only does the governor have authority and power to intervene, he has a MANDATE under the Florida state law, the Florida Constitution, and the constitution for the united states of america to intervene, and to enforce his authority to the extent of calling on the state militia if necessary.
He needed no emergency legislation giving that authority. The authority exists by virtue of the laws already on the books, that are in pursuance to the constitutions mentioned, and passed by the law-making branch of the Florida state government.
It has been announced that Schiavo's lawyer, George Felos, will file a brief Monday challenging the Constitutionality of the emergency bill passed by the legislature.
For full particulars on our assertion that there is no conflict with the law, nor was the legislative action necessary, see the item titled Jeb Bush Knows He Can Intervene For Terri. We've quoted extensively from his amicus brief, citing specific laws already in force in Florida.
It couldn't have been made any more clear that the law was broken by Judge Greer when he mandated the withholding of sustenance from Terri, and again when he forbade oral feeding. Both of those actions are forbidden under the Florida statutes. The order to forbid oral feeding could be offered as proof that the courts and Michael know Terri is not unconscious. A vegetable cannot eat and drink, so therefore, the order would be unnecessary.
Remember, Terri isn't out of the woods yet. Quite possibly our calls, e-mails and faxes will be even more urgent this time round. 'Terri's Bill' gave the governor authority for a "one-time stay" which could be interpreted either:
1) that it was solely for the case of Terri Schiavo OR
2) the governor could intervene only once.
My sinking feeling is they will construe it as a 'one-time-only' intervention for Terri. Then, if the courts decide the actions taken by the state legislature and the governor were unconstitutional, there could end up being no further remedy for Terri. At that time, her only hope would be to be rescued by the militia. Thousands of people coming to her aide, carrying her away to safety, for after all, that IS the real meaning of the militia, isn't it? Able-bodied men and women defending our country, our countrymen (and women) and the constitution.
Be ready Monday to gear up the outcry (roar) once again. Have your ducks in a row, and make the contact count, by using facts, reason and logic. Cite the laws, let them know we know what they're doing -- if it becomes necessary. -- Jackie --
Sunday evening: 11:15 PM
October 26th, 2003
Posted on Wed, Oct. 22, 2003
Judge agrees to special guardian for brain-damaged Florida woman
By Sean Mussenden and Maya Bell
The Orlando Sentinel
© 2003, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).
CLEARWATER, Fla. - (KRT) - A judge agreed Wednesday to appoint a special guardian for Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman whose tragic case has set off a legal firestorm in Florida.
But it was unclear exactly how broad the guardian's powers will be, or how he or she might affect Michael Schiavo's ability to make medical decisions on behalf of his wife.
Doctors began rehydrating Terri Schiavo on Tuesday night on the orders of Gov. Jeb Bush, who overrode the orders of a judge who six days earlier had her feeding tube removed. Hospital officials would not comment on her condition or say if her feeding tube had been restored.
At the same time, Terri's Law, as some are calling the hastily approved legislation that gave Bush the authority to restore her feeding tube, set off an intense constitutional debate. The legal experts seemed to concur on one point: No matter what the lower courts decide, that decision will set off a round of appeals that could be decided rather quickly and probably by the Florida Supreme Court.
As her spouse, Michael Schiavo has acted as his wife's guardian for years. After a decade of wrangling with her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, he won the right to unhook her feeding tube.
He has said - and several courts [judge(s)] have agreed - that his wife would not have wanted to be kept alive artificially. Her doctors say she is in a persistent vegetative state, brought on after a potassium imbalance caused her heart to stop in 1990. [or her husbands beating]
In 1992, Michael Schiavo won a more than $1 million malpractice judgment against his wife's doctors. Most of that is gone - spent on her care and legal fees. [Now lives with another woman and has two children.]
Terri's Law mandates that the Circuit Court appoint a separate guardian, called a guardian ad litem, to make recommendations to the governor and the court about her care. Pinellas Circuit Judge David Demers ordered Wednesday that a guardian be appointed, and gave Terri Schiavo's husband and parents five days to agree on one.
If they don't, Demers said he would appoint Dr. Jay Wolfson, director of the Florida Health Information Center at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Wolfson did not return a phone message left at his office Wednesday night.
Pat Anderson, attorney for Terri Schiavo's parents, wants the special guardian to have broad powers, including determining rehabilitative treatments and who can visit Terri Schiavo.
George Felos, an attorney for Michael Schiavo, did not return phone calls Wednesday.
On Tuesday night, doctors began rehydrating Terri Schiavo after six days, though scant information was available Wednesday about how her body was taking to the sudden reintroduction of liquids.
Bobby Schindler, Terri Schiavo's brother, tried to visit his sister at Morton Plant Hospital late Tuesday night, but was turned away by hospital staff who said they were acting on orders of Michael Schiavo. Wednesday afternoon, however, an attorney for Michael Schiavo faxed a letter to the hospital allowing the family back in.
It was unclear how lawyers for Bush and Attorney General Charlie Crist plan to argue that Terri's Law is constitutional. Assistant Attorney General Jay Vail, who argued in favor of the law at a brief court hearing in Clearwater late Tuesday night, said he could not comment Wednesday.
At the Tuesday night hearing, Felos asked Circuit Judge Douglas Baird to declare the new law unconstitutional and block Bush from ordering restoration of the feeding tube. Baird said he had not had enough time to review the law and ordered Felos to return with more detailed arguments within five days.
Felos argued that the law was unconstitutional for several reasons, most significantly that Bush had violated Terri Schiavo's protected right to privacy by forcing medical treatment on her. Felos also argued that the new law was passed solely to let Bush override the court's order, which he said violated the constitutional separation between the Executive and Judicial branches.
"It's unconstitutional on its face, its unconstitutional as applied to her," Felos said.
Vail, arguing for the state, told the judge that while, "this may not be the most perfect statute," it mandated the appointment of another guardian for Terri Schiavo, which would add another layer of scrutiny to any medical decisions made on her behalf.
He said the state agreed that she had a right to privacy and to reject medical treatment, but that the privacy right could be curtailed in certain situations that were of compelling state interest.
Whatever Baird decides, an appeal is virtually certain, legal observers said Wednesday.
The first stop would be to a court intimately familiar with the Schiavo-Schindler dispute, the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland.
Over the past six years, the 2nd District, which hears all appeals from Pinellas County, has issued four rulings in the case, consistently finding that Michael Schiavo had established clear and convincing evidence that his wife's wishes were not to be kept alive by artificial means.
This time, the appeals court would consider a different issue: Did lawmakers have the authority to pass a law allowing the governor to intervene and thwart a court order?
Legal experts who unequivocally believe the answer is no predict the law could fall on two or three of the grounds raised by Felos on Tuesday night. They agree with him that the law violates Terri's right to privacy, the doctrine of separation of powers and a requirement that special acts be properly advertised before they are enacted. The last argument is technical, but it could derail the law, which was passed in record time.
But the appellate courts must decide if the law was indeed a special act.
Bruce Winick, a constitutional expert at the University of Miami, said there's little doubt it is. "It's a special law passed for one case, so that theory has legs," he said.
But he and several other observers said the separation of powers argument is the most potent, because it has implications far beyond the Schiavo case. At issue is the state Constitution's mandate that Florida's government be separated into three branches - the legislative, executive and judicial branches - and that "no person belonging to one branch shall exercise any powers" pertaining to either of the other branches.
"The law allowed the governor and the Legislature to take over the courts and that is profound," said University of Florida law professor Joe Little. "When has that ever been done in the state of Florida? Never. Think of the possibilities: All of a sudden we have a tyrant who can do whatever he wants, and the courts cannot protect you."
But Bruce Rogow, a noted constitutional lawyer at Nova Southeastern University in Broward County, Fla., said the law just might withstand constitutional challenge.
"Is it a bizarre act of the Legislature? Absolutely," Rogow said. "Is it a violation of the separation of powers? Arguably. But does the Legislature have the right to pass a statute to remedy an ongoing situation? I think the answer to that is, probably. So I dissent on the constitutional argument but concur on the profound absurdity."
How long the courts will take to sort out the issues is anybody's guess, but legal observers expect the case to move quickly. Some even speculated that the 2nd District might certify the issue directly to the Florida Supreme Court as a matter of great public importance.
Whether the case will eventually make it way to the U.S. Supreme Court, observers said, will depend on the what the Florida courts rule. If Florida judges base their decisions on a federal issue, such as due process, they could be reviewed by the nation's high court. [End article]