The Schiavo case

The Schiavo case

 

On Feb. 11, 2000, Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer claimed that there was ”clear and convincing evidence” that Terri Schiavo would want to disconnect her feeding tube. Theresa (or Terri) Marie Schindler Schiavo, a woman in persistent vegetative state (PVS) for 15 years who suffered a severer brain damage on Feb. 25, 1990 and is suffering the third removal of live support, thus could pass away at any moment now because nutrition and hydration supplies was cut since March 18, 2005 3:00 p.m. EST. This removal is request by Michael Schiavo, the husband and legal guardian of the 41-years-old woman against the wish of her parents. The parents of Terri keep appealing to restore her feeding tube and, despite of the rejection of the court, should regain the guardianship and the right of choose the future of their daughter because of the revealing of new evidences about her medical status, her willing and, as a result, the legacy of the request.

 

For one, her medical status is still in debate; hence the current condition should be clarified before any decision about life termination. While Washington Times reported ”Nineteen Florida judges and six court appointed physicians have concluded Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state, allowing the removal to proceed Friday after seven years of court wrangling.”(Washington Times, March 23, 2005).However, CNN reported that “in the affidavit filed on behalf of the state, Dr. William Cheshire, a board-certified neurologist at the Mayo Clinic, stated that his review of Schiavo raises serious doubt about the current diagnosis. He said she displayed context-specific reactions to stimuli, such as upbeat music, colorful objects or the arrival of people into the room.” (CNN, March 24, 2005). 

 

For another, no documentation will of Terri existed to support her husband’s word, which indicates that she does not want to live artificially. “She didn’t leave any written instructions.” He admitted (AOL Journals, March 15, 2005).In another show named “Larry King Live”, he gave another claim: “We didn’t know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want.  ”(CNN, March 18, 2005). Although this statement is not made in front of a court, the contradiction put the "clear and convincing" evidence finding into doubt., which made by Judge Greer to withdraw the feeding tube from Terri.

 

Furthermore, Although Michael Schiavo rejected offers to when Michael Schiavo, a husband who has been living with another girlfriend for 10 years and has two children by her, might have disqualified himself for a legal guardian by failing to implement the guardianship plans and requesting the death of his wife. In fact, there have been 3 guardians ad litem appointed for Terri in last 15 years, namely John H. Pecarek, Richard Pearse, Esq. and Dr. Jay Wolfson. As a result, decision made by such a doubtable guardian should have less importance than her parents wish to keep their daughter alive.

 

After these analyses, the feeding tube should be reconnected before the contradictions, namely physical condition and will of Terri Schiavo, are solved. It would be too late if it is not reestablished immediately. Since her husband is not a qualified guardian, her parents should receive her guardianship and then decide her fate.

 

 

Reference:

l         AOL Journals  (March 15, 2005).Transcript: Michael Schiavo on  ‘Nightline’ ..http://journals.aol.com/justice1949/JUSTICEFORTERRISCHIAVO/entries/630  (March 24, 2005)

l         CNN (March 24, 2005) Florida judge rejects state custody bid in Schiavo case< http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/03/23/schiavo.jeb.bush/?section=cnn_allpolitics> (March 24, 2005)

l         CNN (March 18, 2005) Transcript: Larry King Live<

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0503/18/lkl.01.html >(March 24, 2005)

 

 

l         Washington Times. (March 23, 2005) House GOP files Supreme Court brief on Schiavo<http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050323-051313-8081r.htm&gt; (March 24, 2005)

About Sheng Jiang 蒋晟

Microsoft MVP in Visual C , 2004- Forum moderator of the Visual C and .Net forums on CSDN Forum moderator of Chinese forums on Microsoft's MSDN forums
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