- As national pro-life groups and prominent leaders converged
in vigils outside Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, Terri Schiavo
is inside the building in her bed, still hooked up to the feeding tube
that has been center-focus of this so-called "right-to-die" case
for the past several years. Ms. Schiavo is profoundly disabled and cannot
communicate with words at this time.
- But she knows. She feels. There's expression in those
eyes. Just one look at her in a video with her mother and everyone except
the Scarecrow on his way to Oz knows it, too.
- Recently, another presumed "brain-dead" woman
made news in Kansas. In a coma after becoming the victim of a drunk driver,
Sarah Scantlin snapped out of a twenty year silence and began to speak.
Memories are now coming back to her. By legal definition, Miss Scantlin's
life is valid. Yesterday, it was not. Was she ever in a persistent vegetative
state, or PVS? She'd respond to questions by blinking once for no, twice
for yes, but since she couldn't speak no one was ever sure she understood
- That's the problem. No one is ever sure. The only ones
who claim to know what's best for the profoundly disabled are those who
seek to benefit the most by having them legally murdered.
- On Monday, February 21, new hearings will commence before
Judge Greer with regard to the Schiavo case. The Empire Journal reports
that David Gibbs III, attorney representing Terri's parents Robert and
Mary Schindler, will argue that new medical tests be ordered for Terri
based upon a new brain imaging study published in the journal Neurology.
These tests could determine whether Terri Schiavo is, in fact, in a PVS.
Since Judge Greer believes she is, ruled to have her killed and has thus
far refused the admission of any medical evidence that would save Terri's
life, I'd be shocked to see him budge.
- Greer has been acting in the dual role of judge and guardian
ad litem. He previously denied a petition by Terri's parents that their
daughter be given a swallowing test, and has denied them the right to visit
Terri. He continues to promote the interests of Michael Schiavo by refusing
Terri the right to independent counsel, a right which even serial killers
like Ted Bundy received.
- Whenever people discuss euthanasia, you'll always find
those who will defend the odious practice. However, no one defends domestic
violence. That leads to the 6 ft. 6 inch, 250 pound problem: Michael Schiavo.
The evidence compiled against him suggests a history and pattern of domestic
abuse against Terri -- and other women -- that is strong and significant.
An immediate criminal investigation is warranted.
- The main evidence comes from a bone scan taken on March
5, 1991. As Terri's guardian, Michael Schiavo denied her family access
to Terri's records, the results of which were not made available until
November, 2002. This scan indicated numerous broken bones in various stages
of healing, including compression fractures, a broken back, pelvis, ankle,
bone bruises and ossifications.
- Board certified radiologist Dr. Walker read the scan
in 1991 and interpreted the results as abnormal, which he attributed to
either an accident or earlier trauma. Based on the remodeling process of
her bones, Dr. Walker stated in his deposition that a) the injuries indicated
by the scan occurred on or around the time that Terri Schiavo collapsed;
b) the abnormalities on the bone scan were not typical of someone suffering
cardiac arrest and collapsing to the floor, and c) the fractures indicated
by the bone scan are not typical of patients bedridden only thirteen months.
As recorded in Dr. Walker's November 21, 2003 deposition, Terri might have
been the victim of foul play via a blow to her body, being thrown into
a sharp furniture corner, or assaulted with a blunt object.
- On October 24, 2003, renowned forensic pathologist Dr.
Michael Baden was interviewed by Greta van Susteren on Fox News. He disclosed
that with low potassium and no elevated enzymes, it would be extremely
rare for a young woman to collapse as Terri did from a heart attack. When
asked what the bone injuries suggest to him, Dr. Baden replied, "Some
kind of trauma. The trauma can be from a fall, or the trauma can be from
some kind of beating that she obtained from somebody somewhere. It's something
that should have been investigated in 1991 when these findings were found."
- Other medical testimonies are in agreement. One medical
expert testified that a diagnosis of a heart attack was never made. Another
testified that Terri's rigid neck indicates she may have been the victim
of strangulation. Psychiatrist and expert witness Carole E. Lieberman,
M.D., M.P.H. offered preliminary thoughts and provided a chilling profile
of Michael Schiavo as an abusive husband.
- Prior to Terri's collapse, there were serious financial
problems in her marriage and her husband Michael tried to control her behavior.
He was fired from six jobs in two years, some of which he held only two
weeks. They often lived on her income, which Michael often spent on himself.
He monitored her odometer and isolated her from her family and friends.
On the day of her collapse, Michael and Terri had a bad fight after he
accused her of spending too much money at the hairdresser.
- Dr. Lieberman concludes: "He (Michael) should most
definitely be investigated as the perpetrator of the 'incident' that caused
Terri's collapse and her current condition."
- Michael Schiavo insists that Terri stated early in their
marriage that she never would want to be kept on life support.
- Even if that were true, Terri is not on life support;
she breathes on her own.
- Since Terri has no written will, everything Michael Schiavo
says is hearsay. He violated numerous Florida statutes and the Americans
for Disabilities Act by failing to perform his duties as his wife's guardian,
most notably by denying his disabled wife basic medical care as part of
a malpractice settlement award he received.
- However, of all Michael's offensive actions against his
wife, what I deem most suspicious was his decision to have Terri cremated
immediately upon her demise. In all the documentation on this case, there
is not a single account of Terri Schiavo having ever expressed a desire
to be cremated. Michael's excuse is to say that she wouldn't want a standard
burial because she "doesn't like bugs." I'm not buying. The likely
reason is that Michael has something to hide -- like the cause of her numerous
bone injuries, perhaps? -- and he doesn't want an autopsy to uncover any
- So, what really happened on February 25, 1990? We know
that Terri fell in her home and sustained serious injuries. We know that
Michael Schiavo, who was trained in CPR, oddly did not administer CPR to
his wife. We know for the past fifteen years his only mission has been
to deny any rehabilitation for Terri.
- Dr. Carole Lieberman observed, "If Terri were to
be allowed to die, as Michael has been desperately struggling to achieve
for years, it could help him escape detection. This would be a grave miscarriage
- That's exactly the way Michael Schiavo and the Florida
judicial system want it.
- Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or
philosophy of GOPUSA.
- Bonnie's Bio: http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/brogoff/bio.shtml
- Other columns by Bonnie: http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/brogoff
- Copyright 2005, Bonnie Chernin Rogoff.
- Here's your chance to stop judicial tyrants who blithely
- the death of an innocent, handicapped woman while denying
- right to be fairly represented in court, refusing to
- family's love or religious convictions, or even taking
- expert medical or forensic opinion into account. Send
- to activist judges everywhere by setting a precedent
- nationally publicized case. Here's where to make your
- http://www.petitiononline.com/ijg520/petition.html Impeach