16 March 2005

The Schiavo Saga - The Facts

Over the last few years, much misinformation has been diseminated by special interest groups that have hijacked a tragic family squabble and turned it into an international circus. Here are some common questions with the appropriate facts.

What is Terri's condition and how did this happen?

On February 25, 1990, Terri Schiavo suffered a heart attack and her brain went many minutes without oxygen. In 1993, Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband, received on her behalf a $1 million settlement from Terri's doctors for their failure to diagnose Bulimia which led to her heart failure. In December 2003, Dr. Jay Wolfson issued a report to Governor Jeb Bush which identified the likelihood that Terri's cardiac arrest was caused by Bulimia.

Terri has never regained consciousness and is currently in a persistent vegetative state. She is unable to live without receiving nourishment from a feeding tube. Medical experts and the courts have determined that there exists no new medical treatment that could improve Terri's condition.

Is it true that Terri exhibits expressions, recognizes her parents, and is trying to speak, which may become possible through therapy?

As stated above, Terri's condition is irreversible and absent a miracle from God, she will never recover. Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, have aired a video that appears to show Terri as responsive to her mother. In another scene of the video, Mr. Schindler holds a balloon and Terri appears to follow the balloon; however, Mr. Schindler is unable to get Terri to follow the balloon with her eyes a second time. The trial court thoroughly studied the video and found that Terri's "actions were neither consistent nor reproducible."

Has the court determined that Terri wished to not be kept on life support?

Unfortunately, Terri Schiavo did not have a living will, so there is no documented record of her wishes. Michael and other witnesses, however, have testified that Terri made oral statements that she did not wish to live on life support. The court heard testimony from Michael, the Schindlers, and other witnesses and ruled that Terri would not have wanted to remain on life support.

Would Michael have any personal motive for removing Terri's life support?

Many allegations have been made against Michael, but none have been substantiated. Following Terri's heart attack, Michael lived with the Schindlers and worked together to care for Terri. When Michael determined that Terri could not recover and decided to remove her life support, the Schindlers changed their opinion of Michael. There is no proof that Michael has any motive to end Terri's life.

A rumor that Michael was an abusive husband has been circulating among political activists for years, but physicians have never found any evidence that this is true. The Second Court of Appeal found, to the contrary, that Michael was a caring husband who loved his wife. There are accusations that Michael wants to end Terri's life, so she could never recuperate and testify against him for domestic violence. Physicians have determined that Terri will never recover from her condition and would therefore never be able to testify against Michael for any wrongdoing. Still, doctors have not found any evidence to support the accusations of domestic violence.

Another rumor is that Michael wants Terri to die so he could receive payment under her life insurance policy. There is, of course, no way to know for sure; however, it does seem obvious that Michael is not looking for a quick payoff. In recent weeks, Michael Schiavo has been offered payments of $1 million and $10 million if he surrenders his authority to terminate life support for Terri. He has refused both offers and instead continues to care for his wife.

Source: http://abstractappeal.com/


Anonymous Alfred said...

Why aren't the newspapers and the news reporting these facts? Journalism is dead in America. If it bleeds, it leads. Anything for ratings, except the truth. I wish the press would get on the ball and start working on this stuff.

11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous TDog said...

This is interesting. A lot of this is new information to me.

10:37:00 AM  
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