Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
In fact, it even makes the "story" that much better (to the audience that actually believes them): What better story of "betrayal" could there be than one in which the guy they claimed to trust "misled" them and got away with it?
C'mon. The only reason he got away with it is they refused to acknowledge the obvious. The only people that will be doing the "misleading" will be them, not Michael. And they need to be called on it. To anyone who has looked at his interview footage skeptically for even a second, there is obviously a guilty man standing there.
So, what is the power of the media to script the story?
The way I see it it's imperative that we go to members of the press now and get recorded tape of them expressing their real and visceral disdain for helping Terri on the record. If someone could go with a Heidi, a Carla, or another Schiavo nurse in tow, that would be great. Or done over the telephone: capture conversations with those we talk to (politely, sensibly, honestly - but deliberately). Something along the lines of:
US: "Hello. Yes, did you know that there are nurses willing to testify that Michael Schiavo has tried to murder his spouse on several occasions while under his care? We'd like to get them on your TV station as soon as possible - it's literally a matter of life and death."
THEM: "Sorry, we don't do smear journalism."
US: "But this is testimony sworn under oath."
THEM: "Well, anyone can lie in court."
US: "Our witnesses would be willing to take a lie detector test."
WE NEED THAT on tape. Any unjustifiably snide or angry reactions ought to be captured as well. One for each network ought to do it.
We also need to find out how much they really know, now.
Realize that if she dies before we start this campaign, and then the media covers it, we will have let them off the hook on one of the biggest issues over individual rights in this country. We won't really be able to ask them, "Where were you when Terri's life was at stake?", because they won't allow the charge to stick. Once it's "over", after the rush of victory (for having won the issue over "principle"), then their "righteous crusade" will begin to dig to the bottom of a MURDER mystery (now) by a "shocked" press that "didn't see it coming." And we will have enabled them to take that position without accountability.
No. Not this time. We want to know, right now, to see where they stand. If we do it and get the usual knee-jerk response - on film or on tape - and THEN they try to flip later on - we have the goods with which to hold them accountable.
Controlling the Autopsy With A Thought?
The prominent euthanasia attorney and author, George Felos, is well [self-]publicized for having the power to control with his thoughts. Well, he gave it a try Monday evening. Via the AP (via Michelle):
George Felos ... said that the chief medical examiner for Pinellas County, Dr. [Jon] Thogmartin, had agreed to perform an autopsy on Schiavo. He said that her husband wants proof of the extent of her brain damage.
No, her husband still wants to cremate the body. This poster on BlogsForTerri reminds us:
It is a Florida law that says an autopsy must be done if the body is to be cremated! How thoughtful of them.
Well, thank goodness for due process. But don't get your hopes up. Anything that can "go wrong", will "go wrong". The notion that the husband wanted a thorough, professional, criminal autopsy is absurd, ditto for his lawyer, and what would recently have changed their minds? (Obviously, comments such as "When's that bitch gonna die?" from the good husband leaking out into the public.) If he really wanted that kind of autopsy, the attorney wouldn't have had to dodge questions he didn't want to field, such as:
Reporter: "Will there be full a body scan for her supposed broken bones?"
Felos: "You're watching too much CSI!" [he laughs]
No, we're hearing too many of your nurses testifying under oath. The code of silence has already begun to unravel. (You didn't control that with a thought, did you?) And haven't we already said this is a case for CSI Tampa, not euthanasia court? With that comment, thankfully the press have picked up the scent once more. We almost lost you there for a minute, George.
Let's recap what we know:
- The husband has abused (and was alleged to have tried murdering) his wife after she was hospitalized. And now there is reason to suspect he caused the brain damage deliberately, of all horrors. I guess perhaps he wasn't hoping for a complete recovery after all. (I'll revisit item #2 on this post here, obviously.)
- The bone scans that reveal the devastating bone injuries suffered by Terri in many parts of the body were done in 1991. It's 2005. If Michael has been abusing her, it stands to reason that many more bones have piled up in his closet in the meantime. And that just focuses on one specific type of problem; the question for a proper autopsy should be, what are all of the various injuries (from 1990 until now) likely to be?
- The 1996 CT Scan that indicated late-stage cortical atrophy is likely to be a hoax and cannot possibly be her brain scan, unless she is a medical miracle - a Stage 3 patient with a Stage 1 brain scan. So it stands to reason the other side will move mountains in order to minimize the useful detail that emerges, and to minimize or dispute the consequences of any inconsistencies found.
- The troika has used due process to avoid due consequences before. Their prime facilitator is the good Judge Greer. It wouldn't be surprising if a favor's been called in already (whether it's necessary to actually pick up the phone anymore is another question). What's not clear is exactly what favor would be needed:
- The life insurance company may not receive the scope, quantity or level of detail they need in order to rule effectively. (Ed: Can the judge seal the autopsy report?) Yet they may not be able to deny the claim because the judge declares the death "natural" by fiat and provides the Schiavos with the support they need to sue for collection - and win. Fraud is a distinct possibility here. We know it happens every day and less than half of all cases are ever discovered (let alone prosecuted). So the insurance company may be bullied into paying up and may already realize it's coming. (Let's hope I'm wrong.)
- Though the state of Florida requires an autopsy before a body is cremated, it may be more a formality than a true body of work.
- It is not clear who controls the show at the M.E.'s office. Unless the press establishes beforehand where the weak links are, it may be difficult or impossible to predict exactly what they have planned - especially if the judge seals it afterward. (No autopsy report, nothing to contest: "Death with dignity.")
So: We know these people already. They clearly haven't changed overnight. Given what we know (or think we know, or don't know) we have to assume that Michael Schiavo has everything to lose - and nothing to gain - by having an honest autopsy performed. His lawyer's press conference will set off alarm bells for anyone really following this case, but for the moment, it may have succeeded in deflating the risk they were facing from the crowds. So they thought.
With a "thought", George Felos has just controlled the suppressed outrage and anger of millions of people all over the world by saying a few words in front of the cameras. But it wasn't his "thought" that cowed the crowd; it was his promise. If he breaks it, he's bought it. The crowd will hold him accountable. Peacefully.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Does Anyone Have Sean Hannity Show Friday - Clip?
Does anyone have a sound clip or transcript from the Sean Hannity show Friday where the nurse Sean had as his guest revealed:
- The judge had instituted the gag order preventing the nurses from saying anything "positive" - not from lying or telling the truth, but from revealing anything "positive" about Terri (even if it was fact)?
- There are more nurses at the hospice ready to come forward, support Terri's claim that she's neither Stage 1 (beyond hope) nor Stage 2 (hope), but Stage 3 (expect meaningful improvement)?
I'm need to link to both on the latest post I will be putting up. It challenges those choosing to end Terri's life to make a choice: either tens or hundreds of eyewitnesses are ALL lying in a cruel, hysterical right-wing hoax, or else the CT Brain Scan evidence is clearly a hoax. Both cannot possibly be true. (More on the EEG in a follow-up.)
Would also take any text transcripts of the nurses' and/or witnesses' interviews with Sean Hannity or Hannity & Colmes. Thanks!
Diagnosis Of "Aggressive Brain Atrophy" Is Wearing Off With Time
Since the time of the alleged scan, however, almost nine years have passed. And yet, according to a mountain of eyewitness and diagnostic testimony, Terri has displayed none of the symptoms of a late-stage hydrocephalus patient: fetal position, closed eyes, no sounds, no pain, no memory, no emotions and so forth.
The question some have struggled with is: what explains the rapid deterioration in the brain between 1993 and 1996 (over three years) if the brain has apparently been healthy enough to forestall death for another nine years (with the kinds of interactions revealed in her medical charts no less?)
No credible medical explanation has ever been given for such a rapid decline from a full-sized brain. Nor for the type of miraculous (and temporally consistent) abilities seen in Terri's neurological exams and personal interactions over time.
More importantly: if someone were going to substitute the brain scan of a late-stage hydrocephalus patient in place of Terri's - perhaps in order to improve the odds of a favorable verdict - why would they employ such a risky strategy, knowing their deception would backfire on them when the brain "suddenly" refused to deteriorate any further?
Obviously: No one expected Terri's appeals to drag out for eight years. At the time the medical data was presented in court, someone faking the medical records would not have to plan on Terri remaining alive much longer. They could figure that a quick death (by whatever means) would tie in nicely with the diagnosis presented in court: that of a terminal and hopeless patient. If someone were to raise any suspicions about the evidence, they could argue the court found in their favor (the favorite argument of the Schiavo clan even today) and count on disposal of the evidence to protect the crime.
There is an inescapable lesson in this: By having successfully delayed Terri's [court] appointment with death, we have falsified two claims made by the medical data presented in court:
1. Late-stage cortical atrophy ("liquified brain") - new exams and eyewitness testimony [that were never planned to be granted, as all subsequent exams happened upon appeal under protest from Michael] refute it on its face;
2. Aggressive nature ("three and a half years from onset to catastrophe") - elapsed time in clinical stability since then refutes the claim on its face.
That means the CT scan evidence must be bogus.
Realize that, by delaying her termination for this long, we have successfully employed one of the most powerful tools for detecting medical records fraud (at least of the kind used to justify homicide on the basis of "aggressive" pathologies): time.
Had the case not been successfully held up in court, the deception might never have been established.
[P.S. The only truly amazing thing is that it is 2005, yet none of those who provided the original medical documents have been challenged on it.]
[CLICK to read article: What if the CT Brain Scan Isn't Terri's?]
Michael "Why Won't That Bitch Die" Schiavo On The Lam Since Larry King Interview
Since that time his brothers Brian and Scott have done all of the media interviews for Michael. At least one has asserted publicly that Terri has "not [been] conscious" since the alleged 1996 CT scans showed massive brain damage and late-stage hydrocephalus (as well as a shunt she'd never had installed).
The way they described Ms. Schindler was, "peaceful. She's very peaceful."
"Wait a minute. How dare you smear him with a charge like that? Don't you think it might be because he needs to be at his wife's bedside during this tragic time for him and his family?"
Countercharge #1: Then why did he do his interview with Larry King after the feeding tube was removed? Not only was it after the removal, it was on the day of the removal.
Countercharge #2: Why has Michael turned down all offers to do an interview at the hospice? We now know Larry King was one of those turned down for such an interview.
Conclusion: Word has gotten back to the Schiavo camp. They no longer trust that Michael can talk to the press without incriminating himself further.
A note to readers not familiar with the sworn affidavits of several nurses (links to follow) that have come forward to testify against Mr. Schiavo: The phrase "Why won't that bitch die?" is purportedly one of the many statements he was overheard saying in anger while caring for his injured wife in the 1990's.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Finally the Story Breaks!
Just Because Greer Is Good On Some Issues, Doesn't Mean...
Let's hope tomorrow AFTERNOON'S decision will be the right one.
Incriminating Relationships of "Judge" Greer Revealed
Judge George Greer is not impartial. He has worked side by side as county commissioner with Barbara Sheen Todd (county commissioner) for eight years. Barbara Sheen Todd is on the board of the hospice. Also, Judge Greer's fellow judge, Judge John Lenderman is the brother of Martha Lenderman, also on the hospice board. Greer accepted as the basis of his rulings, the questionable testimony of Michael Schiavo that Terri would wish to be killed, yet Michael never stated this until he had received the 1.2 million dollar settlement.
Allow me to separate this out so we can dwell on its cosmic significance:
Greer also accepted as the basis of his rulings, the "opinion" of a third doctor who is the brother of a close associate of George Felos, right-to-die attorney, and very significantly, former Chairman of the hospice board.
So let me get this straight: This "impartial" doctor is the tie-breaker that tipped the balance in favor of the husband, and against the family?
[UPDATE: No retraction. Highly aggravating circumstances. The tie-breaker (Dr. Peter Bambikidis) was facing an "uphill battle" given that Michael's doctors and ("Terri's") physician Victor Gambone (picked by Michael) - already a simple majority - were supporting a "guilty" verdict. Given the inherent conflict of interest emdedded in a 3-2 situation favoring a diagnosis permitting death to be ordered, Bambikidis was obligated to recuse himself from the case or - better - recommend someone with no association whatsoever in order to remove the decision-making power from Judge Greer (or call his bluff).
Open questions: How much time did Bambakidis spend on his diagnosis? (Answer: 30 minutes or less.) What tests were performed? Was Terri awake during that time period? Did he even check? And was he there to do an independent evaluation - of the kind performed by Dr. Hammesfahr (10 hours) - or was he basically there to stop in and "confirm" PVS, a diagnosis which takes several hours at a minimum to establish?
Since nurses have begun to come forward in larger numbers to testify, the state-appointed doctor had an immediate change of heart after meeting Terri for the first time, and the video- and audiotapes clearly demonstrate conscious response, the notion that that a diagnosis of PVS is a proper one is becoming harder and harder to sustain. And the question for the judge remains: why/how was Bambikidis - a physician from Ohio - both on the "short list" to begin with AND the one selected?
The question for SunCoast hospice or Felos' related business interests remains: Have they - or Felos's relatives in Ohio - ever consulted with Dr. Bambikidis on so much as carpal tunnel? These rumors and many others will not be put to rest until the doctor explains his rationale for a PVS diagnosis - and that explanation passes muster in peer review circles.]
So the fix was in. [Still asserted. The only question is whether collusion was specified or just implied.] He's basically the one that condemned Terri Schiavo, not just to death (which all felons have the right to appeal), but certain death (which in the hands of Judge Greer could be guaranteed never to review the exculpatory evidence in novo).
(It's disgusting even to say "in novo" - there was plenty of data available in 1997 exonerating Terri.)
That makes his provenance - and the conflicts of interest he may possess - highly relevant. In fact, except for the willful exclusion of valid evidence in favor of a questionable CT scan, that doctor was the only variable affecting the outcome.
Dr. Cranford & his colleague were playing the other doctors to stalemate (as two from each side were allowed to interpret the evidence), and Michael Schiavo controlled the evidence. He denied permission for tests when the other doctors found them necessary. No data, no case.
The Butcher's Bill of Dr. Blinky
As for the National Review Online article, I stand by my record. The record is very clear that I did not testify that Robert Wendland was in a PVS, and the same applies for the case of Michael Martin in Michigan. Both these patients were clearly not PVS (see [long legal article reference deleted]). In all the major right to die cases on a national level in which I have testified or been heavily involved with (including Brophy, Rosebush, Torres, Cruzan, Busalacchi, Ellison, Butcher, Martin, Wendland, and now Schiavo), my neurological diagnosis and the final opinions of the courts were identical (except for some legitimate differences of opinion on the degree of cognitive functions in Wendland). So my record stands for itself.
No, it stands by itself. Out standing in a field. Care to explain to 33 neurologists why you can't prove Terri's 1996 brain scan is even legit?
To whom on God's green earth does it matter what your "record" says when you won't do your job here?
A Compelling Letter - And The Umpteenth Brush-off By Local Big Media
Terri Was Advised Not To Go Home The Last Night
This is a letter written by Kathleen to the St. Petersburg Times
Dear Mr. Levesque,
I am sure that you wrote your article on Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo in what you believed was the truth. However, I can stay quiet no longer.
It is a proven fact that Mr. Schiavo had at least one affair and fathered an illegitimate child while still married to Terri before she was injured,
He is paying child support. Since her injuries, it is also a proven fact that he has been with numerous women one with whom he now has one child with another on the way.
No one has investigated nor seems to even care that the night that this happened to Terri they had had a huge fight. She had confided to family members and friends that he had become abusive and controlling. She was advised not to go home that night but to spend the night with a girlfriend but she went home. Hours later he called Bob Schindler saying Terri was on the floor hurt. He did not call 911 first.
There are medical records that sustain the fact that Terri suffered multiple broken bones that night and came to the hospital with a rigid neck. I have all that info if you are interested and would be happy to send to you.
To say that Mr. Schiavo loves Terri is nonsense.
He lost the ability to say "my wife" with any credence a very long time ago.
I wish that just one person would print the truth about this guy. I truly believe that the only reason he wants her dead so much is because he never wants her to come out of this and point the finger at him for battering her almost to death. He wants to finish what he started that night.
You probably won't investigate any of this. No one seems to care what happened to Terri but at least I know I have tried.
Sincerely, Kathleen Walker
St. Petersburg, Fl.
An Early Timeline...
Feb 1990 - Terri Collapses in her home. May 1990 (3 months since collapse) - Terri discharged from Humana Hospital in St. Petersberg, Florida.
Dec 1990 - Terri taken to California for experimental implant.
Jan 1991 - Terri moved to Bradenton Mediplex Rehabilitation Center.
Feb 1991 - Terri moved to home with husband.
Apr 1991 - Terri's condition is assessed as improving.
Apr 1991 - Terri's husband advised to move her to Gainesville Rehabilitation Center to receive advanced therapy to continue Terri's recovery.
Jul 1991 - Terri moved to Sable Palms Nursing Home.
Aug 1992 - Terri awarded $250,000 in malpractice settlement.
Nov 1992 - Terri awarded $1.4 million in malpractice trial.
Nov 1992 - Michael Schiavo awarded $600,000 in malpractice trial.
Feb 1993 - Michael Schiavo denies recommended rehabilitation treatment.
Feb 1993 - Schiavo and Terri's parents have falling out regarding lack of therapy for Terri.
Feb 1993 - Schiavo withholds medical information from Terri's parents.
Feb 1993 - Schiavo posts Do Not Resuscitate order in Terri's medical chart.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
End of Day 6 - Why Is Jeb Bush Diddling While Terri Dehydrates?
What you do on the Terri Schiavo case may determine your political prospects a whole lot more than a contempt charge from a judge who's about to be thrown in jail for criminal conspiracy and judicial fraud anyhow, or at least should be. Once people realize to what lengths this judge went to ignore the evidence, your contempt charge will be thrown out. Or should be. We will help you get it removed - even those of us who aren't always on your side politically.
It's time for you to take action. Perhaps the courts will consider the de novo review request, perhaps they won't. If they did it might provide you with cover. But it really can't matter at a time like this. You know who's guilty here.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Dershowitz Opines: "Feeding Tube" Decision Can Be Applied Retroactively
Feiger was his usual "feigsty" self, arguing his usual point - that it's the right-to-life lobby that is responsible for a person's having to be starved rather than yield to lethal injection. He brought up Dr. Kervorkian's name again for the Nth time...
Al Franken got into it with the host (more on that sometime.)
Joe ended by pointing out society is judged by how we handle the weakest and most helpless among us. (Ed: Especially tragic when she has been deprived of basic medical care.)
Gupta Still Sticking With "Severe" Brain Damage
In the melee Dr. Hammersfahr's reputation was challenged by Mr. Caplan who said, among other things, that his name ought to be (and probably is) registered on a website designed to report medical "quacks". (That he didn't make the same case for Dr. Cranford is revealing.)
Smith leveled the counterclaim that Dr. Hammersfahr had performed a competent and thorough diagnosis.
Pat Boone was also on the show as a guest. I thought he did a wonderful job. He talked about his own son who was the victim of both a brain injury and a competent but incorrect diagnosis. The message: stick with your charge, they may improve (as his son has). He was the first willing to remind viewers that the diagnosis of heart attack through potassium imbalance was only speculation, and that many suspicions linger about the night of Terri's incident. He reminded the audience that once the ambulance crew arrived on the scene and saw the mess they immediately called the cops. Those cops intended to press charges for attempted murder until the "bulimia -> potassium imbalance -> heart failure -> cerebral hypoxia" excuse weakened their authority to act.
Dr. Gupta is still of the opinion that Terri's EEGs showed relatively flat activity. I recently read a blog post discussing how there are conditions with the patient might obscure an EEG in a patient like Terri. He isn't convinced of the new claims. He discounted doctors' testimony not because it was wrong, but because they (allegedly) did not evaluate the victim in person.
Smith retorted that the newest court-appointed neurologist arrived at the examination convinced that she should have her feeding tube removed, and in a "seven-page single-spaced" report argued that the diagnosis had been wrong and that he had been compelled to change his mind.
What he should have addressed were the charges that Dr. Cranford and others spent less than an hour each, some much less so, on their own examinations of Terri.
We know all this already. A lot can be summed up in the difference between proving something and disproving it. It takes much less evidence to falsify PVS than it does to prove it. You or I can disprove PVS for [most of ;] the people we interact with everyday. Surely it's wrong to assert that the verboten videos don't show compelling evidence of lack of PVS. But that's kinda what Gupta did.
End of Day 5 - Jeb Bush and the Supreme Court
incriminating evidence of Michael's willful and deliberate mistreatment of Terri to come out so soon, nor were they expecting to be challenged on the evidence at the 11th hour. Unfortunately their legal "case" is considered to be on sound legal footing.
But what if the evidence unwinding the "bulimia" fiction is mentioned to the Supreme Court, and they get - for the first time - the inkling that Michael was responsible for the whole incident? Would the argument that he was her "guardian" still hold water?
It's crazy if the law allows this to be the case. Once he is suspected they have to assume he had a strong motive to lie, and therefore his hearsay testimony would be treated as worthless if not mendacious and even more incriminating.
I hear that the Supreme Court has the affidavits of the nurses who treated Terri in the early years of her condition, and it is believed they will consider them. Hooray. If they decide to hear the case at all. (More than one nurse has some shocking things to say about Michael, and it's on the evidentiary record. He has admitted in the early days of her condition that he didn't know what Terri wanted with regards to life or death. Bingo! And we know she's a Catholic. The Pope has backed her up on that. ;)
The other side is making the argument that, since "we don't know the answer to that question yet, and in the meantime we don't know whether she 'would have wanted' (gimme a break!) to be fed or not, we have to err on the side of the status quo."
Which is no feeding tube.
It is believed the Supreme Court will see past those arguments on the grounds that they are a tautology. If the judge can control what evidence is presented, and he can get doctors to say whatever they want, then Terri is condemned to death by default. They are on to Judge Greer and his judicial malpractice too by the way (though whether they feel they can do anything about it is a different question). Not certain, but they may have the word that evidence was willfully overlooked by the judge, and this may sway the court to unwind the stack of litigation and consider the case in novo in light of the excluded evidence. (But can they reinsert the feeding tube to keep her alive while they argue it because of the technicality that Judge Greer and George Felos are counting on?)
If that's a possibility then here's what I'd like to see: IF the Supreme Court agrees to hear the "new" evidence (14 years old and newer ;), and Jeb Bush can lean on this to stiffen his spine significantly THEN Jeb Bush should stick his comfortable neck out, call their bluff, and take executive privilege for JUST the sake of reinserting Terri's tube and keeping her alive (he can wait for the rest until later). For he will have the will of the people behind him, against the judge's lame authority, at least once the news breaks in Big Media about what's been going on. Once the news leaks Jeb Bush will win the upper hand against Judge Greer, I'm convinced of it. It's an article of faith with me.
Keep in mind I'm not a scholar of the law. ;-)
Can Anyone Snag Greer's Ugly Mug?
If We Save Terri's Life, She's Not Out of the Woods Yet
As long as Michael controls her interactions with the outside world she will not be a free woman. As long as he controls her fate she will not be allowed to improve. The actions done to save her life, all of the effort, will be [almost] for naught if that man or the staff at the "6-months-to-live" hospice in which she's imprisoned are allowed to continue their torment and neglect. Their "care" is likely to kill her well before her time.
This is not only a battle to Let Terri Live, it's a fight to Bring Her Home. It's a fight for her right to be protected from willful cruelty and spousal, medical, legal and judicial fraud. Let's not forget that for a second when we pray for the reinsertion of her feeding tube.
[Update: A thoughtful poster points out the dilemma of posting this. It is not for naught that Terri's life is spared, not for a second. I just fear her imminent death of semi-natural causes if that happens unless Michael Schiavo is removed as the guardian. The stories told by the nurses who cared for her about the insulin bottles in the trash and needle marks on Terri's body [H&C 3/23/05] don't sound promising for her future welfare.
Those tactics haven't been reported by anyone recently because (I suspect) they're not being used. I suspect they're not being used because there is a presumption she is going to lose her right to live anyway. Imagine what might result if her right to live is reinstated but guardianship remains unaltered: there is motive to try again and sufficient opportunity to do it. Even if this doesn't happen, the environment that put her in this condition (viz. the marked deterioration in her condition since the incident with no credible excuse provided by anyone to this day) doesn't change one iota.]
Accepting Awards From the Scientology Lobby Ought To Be A Career-Limiting Move
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
What can I say, Hannity did a great job. The only wiggle room he left Cranford was the "doctor's" assertion that "this has been going back and forth for 15 years, it's the longest right to die case in history." (Though Hannity followed up with a compelling argumentative point.) I take issue with Cranford's spin on three counts:
- The doctor is flat wrong on the "15 years". Michael only "discovered" Terri's "wish to die" 7 years into the case, making the "longest right to die case in history" only a 7- to 8-year-long case. Presumably Dr. Cranford was aware of this fact already. That would either make his statement deliberately misleading or would implicate him in a conspiracy well before the case was filed in 1997. Surely he's not suggesting that?
- This is no longer a "right to die" case. It has become a Spousal Abuse Victim's rights case.
- The only question revisited during the entire fifteen-year period is "who gets to decide?", not whether Terri's condition was midiagnosed or whether Michael was the one who injured her. So the point is meaningless. Shame on him; he should know better. And he calls himself a doctor?
That would make it one of the longest, if not the longest, cases on the record of willful manipulation of a woman's rights by spousal, medical, legal & judicial fraud.
Schiavogate - The Big Cover-Up
CNN Bombshell: "We Didn't Know What Terri Wanted, But This Is What WE Want"
Analysis of Michael's Freudian Slip on CNN's Larry King Live reveals that Michael Schiavo instituted the death order, not Terri.
Rudimentary analysis of CNN's Larry King Live interview with Michael Schiavo reveals Terri Schiavo could not possibly have approved the death order as Michael claimed on ABC's Nightline three nights earlier.
Viewers watching the Larry King Live interview were braced for yet another episode of Same Spiel, Different Day. Except this time,
Michael Schiavo got caught telling the truth:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
KING: Have you had any contact with the family today? This is a sad day all the way around, Michael. We know of your dispute.
M. SCHIAVO: I've had no contact with them.
KING: No contact at all?
M. SCHIAVO: No.
KING: Do you understand how they feel?
M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what WE want...
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The truth is tinged in red. (By the measure of what he said the rest of the comment has to be fiction.)
This is simply not to be believed. Do we realize what he just said?
As argued in an earlier post, he has now incriminated himself beyond reason. After admitting on ABC Nightline he would turn down $10 million if necessary in order to kill Terri - meaning that he was either a really noble guy or a very guilty one - we learn that her "wish to die" wasn't hers but HIS. (And whomever "WE" refers to, presumably the attorney.) And it gives us the answer to our rhetorical question:
Q: Who needs her dead so badly - Terri or Michael?
A: Now we know it's Michael. If it were Terri he wouldn't have slipped and said what he did, for reasons I'll clarify in a later post.
So Michael tacitly admitted he has no reason other than ulterior motives to give up the $10 million. All his self-righteous strutting, his brave defiance of the Federal courts, his heroic sacrifice of a fortune for his precious girl's wish to die, his lawyer's pandering to the cameras (and to the news polls supporting her termination 70% to 30%) - all of it was B.S. Three days later, a Freudian slip of the tongue brings it full circle: Terri Schiavo's constitutional right to die has been invalidated on national television by the messenger himself.
It's possible that the $10 million was a media scam; perhaps the money was "pledged" by an attorney who never expected to pay up. (Is anyone certain?) Or maybe there's a responsible citizen somewhere who wanted either to save Terri's life or call Michael's bluff. Well guess what: either way, Michael just shot himself in the foot. (Wonder if the dart's dipped in hemlock.)
KING: You're not -- it didn't cost you anything. This is not something where you're looking to save money?
M. SCHIAVO: No. There's no money involved. We need to move on from that question.
I believe him. ;) And I agree with him. There's something much more at stake to this man than money, and now we know it ain't Terri's wishes. He turned down $10 million (or so he says) and says he doesn't want to dwell on the question. Good idea. Let's dwell on this for a while instead shall we? (Slips are habit-forming.)
ABC: Schiavo Either Incredibly Noble Or Incredibly Guilty
Michael Schiavo Escalates Himself To
"Either Incredibly Noble or Incredibly Guilty" Status With Rejection of $10 Million Award
This is incredible.
BURY: As I understand it, some people have actually offered rewards. In fact, just in the last week or so, I read that someone was willing to pay you $1 million to give up your guardianship to the parents.
SCHIAVO: Yes, there was an offer. And there was an offer two weeks before that by an attorney in Boca Raton that offered me $10 million. It's not about the money. This is about Terri. It's not about the Schindlers, it's not about the legislators, it's not about me, it's about what Terri Schiavo wanted.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Okay. I'm calling your bluff. It's about what Terri wanted, is it?
With this amazing statement Michael Schiavo moved the bar all of the way from a simple case of, "Well, let's just do what Terri hinted that she would want," to the stratospheric height of, "I'm on a solemn mission from God to make sure I carry out her last dying wish, even if I have to piss off the parents and turn down a $10 million offer [to let her live with them] to do it."
Realize that the stakes have just gone up, way up. He's just admitted that it's literally a matter of life or death - to someone - that she be killed.
Q: So is that person Terri, or is it Michael?
Realize that by doing this he's just asserted that he's either really noble, or really guilty. There's no "in between" left; he himself has removed all middle ground on which to retreat. If he's proven to be wrong about Terri's wishes then he will have incriminated himself beyond reason.
Clarifying Michael's Motives
"How can Michael Schiavo be remotely diabolical like you suggest if he spent so much time, love and effort on Terri's rehabilitation in the early days of her failed recovery?"
1. His goal after the incident (whether pathological or practical) was not necessarily to kill, but to imprison.
Why is a good question. The fact of the matter is that he did it. From start to finish he sought to control, and succeeded in controlling, access to Terri. The parents were never given a reason for his odd behavior, even in the early days when they still believed he had Terri's best interests at heart. Soon after the parents arrived at the hospital to be with their daughter, Michael arranged exclusive guardianship for himself with the help of an attorney.
To this day he has thwarted their attempts for independent access to her, even though he has moved onto a new girlfriend and kids and expressed no reason to remain except to carry out Terri's since-discredited wish to be euthanized. This iron control has extended from the very beginning, through the time of "good faith" into the settlement award phase and the subsequent cessation of her treatment right up to the present day.
The reason is not well-understood and points to the need to protect himself from incrimination. Realize that if he was responsible for her 1990 collapse, his options were to
- Nurse her to full recovery while remaining her link to the outside world
- Restrict all contact with the outside world as long as she was alive and responsive, or
- See her dead
in order to avoid criminal charges. That is not to say it happened this way, only that he'd have needed to do so if he is indeed guilty of felony assault (or worse).
He'd also have had to woo the family until the 4-year statute on attempted murder expired so they didn't suspect foul play in the meantime. He'd also have needed to control access to the medical records so the Schindlers didn't find out what had really been going on.
We can assume this effort was successful. Terri's brother asserts they sought criminal charges against Michael once the missing bone scans surfaced in 2002, twelve years after the incident. The Florida state prosecutor indicated there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Michael Schiavo for attempted strangulation but it was too late to press charges. Realize that Mr. Schiavo would not likely be her "guardian" at this moment, and perhaps not a free man either, if it were legal in Florida to prosecute the crime.
It was possible he may have not been intending to kill her. Attempted murder may have been the charge but a more appropriate charge may have been felony assault. However, once the "accident" occurred he may have had a need to keep her quiet.
2. He may have had reason early on to hope for a complete recovery.
Terri was responding well to initial treatment and started speaking some basic words even without the kind of therapy Dr. Hammesfahr believes might rehabilitate Terri.
[UPDATE: If she could speak at an early point then it is presumed she should also be able to speak today. If anyone asserts differently, they must explain why this would be the case. If she was speaking before, but is now in PVS and unable to communicate (let alone speak), they must also be able to explain why she has "deteriorated" to that point since the initial injuries were sustained. To date no one has brought forward such medical evidence. Nor has any credible medical argument been made as to why this would be the case. This is a separate issue and should be investigated immediately.] -RD
Note in particular that the 1991 bone scans (that surfaced in 2002) showing her back and neck trauma, broken femur and broken ankle (as well as other abnormalities) were not taken until 53 weeks after the collapse, so it's not well understood exactly when each of those injuries occurred.
It's also worth pointing out that Michael was Terri's exclusive guardian even during the initial stages of her convalescence. This made it difficult for the Schindler family to assess what their son-in-law was up to, what the results of their daughter's medical tests indicated (including the bone scan obviously) and what opinion they ought to have of their son-in-law's motives or vested interests, as all information was passed along second-hand by Michael. They were cut off and out of the loop for reasons known only to Michael.
According to Terri's sister [H&C 3-21-05] the effort, obvious attention and loving interest he showed toward Terri in the early days faded after he received the malpractice award in 1993, then vanished altogether once he established relations with a live-in girlfriend. It was then that suspicions began to mount with the Schindlers about exactly what information he'd been sharing with them since the incident. If they'd suspected strangulation in the beginning it might have been possible to subpeona the medical records, but by then it was too late for them even to press charges against him for the incident.
In spite of this there is a good reason to obtain those records now: to prove there is sufficient basis for removing Michael as the guardian. It may not be possible to convict Michael of the initial crime but the records might provide further clues to augment other incriminating evidence such as his =inconsistent statements on the night of Terri's collapse= and subsequent abusive behavior toward other women.
After the new medical data was revealed - where the theory of "oxygen deprivation through heart attack precipitated by potassium imbalance caused by bulimia" (an inference chain at least 4 levels deep) was thrown into question, there is now a question (not considered by the courts) as to whether medical malpractice was ever even involved. It is possible that the $1.5+ million settlement amounted to insurance fraud.
If the potassium imbalance that purportedly "stopped her heart" was the result of physical trauma then it was likely precipitated by hyperalkemia, not bulimia. The imbalance such as it was may not have played a role in either heart failure or her brain injury. The diagnosis of heart attack or heart failure is in dispute as well.
What if ordinary strangulation was the primary means of oxygen deprivation? It requires a lot of physical force to sustain the neck injuries established on her bone scan. Michael may deserve the benefit of the doubt on the specific charge of attempted murder by strangulation because not enough is known about the precise injuries suffered and what they reveal. But the totality of the evidence reveals that something happened, something that Michael has not adequately explained.
3. A motive to deprive her and then kill her may have grown out of the need to move on with his life on the one hand, yet keep her silent on the other.
Realize that if (1) he had hurt her on the night of the incident, and (2) she awoke with her memory intact, he would have a lot of explaining to do. The reports that he loved her deeply, even jealously, are likely to be true. So it's fair to say that when there was hope of a significant recovery, he was looking forward to two things:
1. Helping her recover
2. Putting himself between her and her family, recovery, and all else
Only those two things together could, even partially, save his bacon. He wouldn't necessarily be redeemed but if she still loved him (or were still scared of him) he might at least have an opportunity to control the situation, or mitigate the fallout somewhat, before the parents learned of it. If he managed to get her back on her feet he might have imagined they could resume their life together. That would mitigate any consequences he might face.
But once it became clear that (1) she was really injured, her recovery would be slow, and he might really be blamed for it if she were able to communicate and (2) death became an option available to him, but only under the condition that she be in PVS, it's very likely that he abandoned his attempts to "restore" her to a sufficient state of health to get him off the hook, and made every attempt to make her situation appear worse than it really was. Not that it happened for sure, but there was a strong motive for it.
It's likely the shift happened on both fronts nearly simultaneously, from one logically consistent state to another. The earlier strategy was one of mitigation through recovery. The new strategy was mitigation through deprivation and, ultimately, death.
Note that both strategies necessitated his utter control of the situation and of Terri's communication with the outside world. And both were motivated by self-preservation. That is the incriminating behavior pointing to both an assault of some kind that started this and a subsequent refusal to let the parents or family be a part of Terri's life, or turn over his since-discredited guardianship to them, whether it was during her rehabilitation phase or her long phase of deprivation.
Does it make sense now?
[UPDATE 3/25/05]: To some degree Michael's winning the settlement award - which, according to witness Francis Casel, changed his persona from that of a "snivelling wimp" to that of a strutting thug - combined with her "lack" of progress (why is still an open question) from an initially promising course of treatment - made the point moot. Both pieces fell into place. He got the award AND she was containable. (Though tenacious: "Why won't the bitch DIE?" was something said at least once according to sworn witness Carla Sawyer Iyer.)
After that it was all over for Terri. Minimal (legal) medical care prohibited on the orders of Michael, insulin vials & needles discovered in the trash shortly after Michael had been there (and reported to the police), induced severe hypoglycemia (which critics argue would not have been treatable with a "half-measure" like dextrose under the tongue, etc. - so the "he said", "she said" debate rages on) - the whole bag of horrors.