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Thursday, March 31, 2005

More info on Terri Schiavo

The following interesting tidbits of information were extracted from the RWN faq. I've tried to include two perspectives on each topic. If you have any interesting summary links I am happy to include them.

How was Terri Schiavo injured?
On February 25, 1990 Terri Schiavo collapsed. There is controversy over what happened.

The theory most often bandied about is that Terri had bulimia which led to a potassium imbalance, which in turn led to a heart attack. The malpractice suit that Michael Schiavo won was based on this diagnosis. That fact that Terri lost a large amount of weight in the months before her attack contributes to the credibility of this theory.

Michael Schiavo's relationships
In a late 1993 deposition, Michael Schiavo admitted that he had engaged in 2 intimate, romantic relationships with women other than his wife. Assuming those were the only two relationships he had, and given their length (3 & 8 months), he must have begun dating a little less than two years after Terri's injury.

Currently, Michael Schiavo lives with his fiance, Jodi Centonze. They've lived together for a decade and have had two children together.

Previous attempt to terminate Terri
Michael Schiavo admitted in a November of 1993 deposition that earlier in the year, he had requested that doctors not treat a urinary tract infection that was potentially fatal to Terri. The doctors were not able to comply with Michael's request because it would have been illegal.

Medical misadventure payout and the Schindlers (Terri's parents)
"They moved in together after Terri's collapse in February 1990, and Michael called the Schindlers ''Mom and Dad.'' A year later, the Schindlers encouraged their son-in-law to get on with his life and date. They even met some of the women he saw (*** Note: The Guardian Ad Litem report also confirms the Schindlers encouraged Michael to date ***).

But things changed in early 1993 and they had a bitter falling out over the money won in the malpractice suit and Terri's rehabilitation:
"Michael initially expected a multimillion-dollar award, and the Schindlers said he promised them a share, which would enable them to care for Terri at home. By then, the Schindlers were almost broke. After selling his share of a successful industrial equipment company, Bob Schindler lost his savings in a Florida business venture that went sour.

The couple declared bankruptcy in 1989, Bob Schindler testified. He told a court that Michael Schiavo promised to help. But Michael said he never committed to sharing any award money with the Schindlers, especially when the award ended up being far smaller than hoped. Roughly $700,000 was earmarked for a trust fund for Terri, and $300,000 for Michael.

The Schindlers still expected part of Michael's share to help care for Terri. On Valentine's Day 1993, they confronted Michael in Terri's hospital room. The discussion quickly turned ugly. Michael said the Schindlers demanded the money, so he lied and said he did not have it. Disgusted, the Schindlers left, their trust in Michael irrevocably breached.

''The fact that he was going back on his word upset me,'' Bob Schindler testified in 1993. ``I was devastated.''
On Terri's intentions before the accident
In a 1993 deposition, he testified that Terri had said she would never want to live by artificial means. He imposed a ''do not resuscitate'' order. Hospice staff challenged the order's legality, so he reversed it.

The testimony of Terri's court appointed guardian, Richard Pearse:
"Pearse said he was troubled by the fact that Michael waited until 1998 to petition to remove the feeding tube, even though he claims to have known her wishes all along, and that he waited until he won a malpractice suit based on a professed desire to take care of her into old age. As her husband, Michael would inherit what is left of her malpractice award, originally $700,000, which is held in a trust fund administered by the court. Accounting of the fund is sealed. But Michael's lawyer, George Felos, said most of it has been spent on legal fees associated with the custody dispute. Pearse also said he did not find Joan and Scott Schiavo's testimony credible."
On the Persistent Vegetative State diagnosis
According to the New York Times:
"At least six neurologists have examined Ms. Schiavo, and in affidavits or testimony four of them agreed that she was in a persistent vegetative state and highly unlikely to recover."
But after reviewing the video footage, 33 physicians (including 15 board-certified neurologists) have signed affidavits stating that Terri's condition should be reevaluated.

On whether rehabilitation has been attempted since 1990
According to the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation:
"Terri hasn't had meaningful therapy since 1991, but many credible physicians say she can benefit from it."
But according to the Kansas City Star:
"Terri underwent more than three years of rehabilitative therapy after her collapse in 1990."

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 3/31/2005 03:50:00 AM


Blogger spooks said...

People who go looking for (for example) UFOs or psychic phenomena, tend to believe they have found them.

Your "to terminate", might be someone else's "allow to die"

The "right to life" brigade are sickos from the "right to die" point of view. Terri - no not Terri, everyone - has a "right to die".

Keeping this person alive for year after year after shameful year, is sick, sick, sick.

3/31/2005 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Its still my 'terminate'. Its up to you to make moral decisions. Listing everyone elses doesn't cover for you.

In this case many people are staying clear, which I can understand given the public can never know the truth about certain aspects of this case, just like the Peron case.

So long as the law is followed in the end, the rest of us will know where we stand.

3/31/2005 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger spooks said...

I'll tell you this much. My living will prevents a similar atrocity – if for no other reason that I would not be so selfish as to waste all these resources on myself. For some of course ... ... ... well, they do call it the "me generation".

3/31/2005 08:16:00 PM  

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