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 A Report from Terri Schiavo's Room 
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Godzilla
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Post A Report from Terri Schiavo's Room
Below is a legitimate article by one of Terri Schiavo's parents' attorneys. I heard her tell the same story on a radio show this morning. Accoridng to her, Terri can actually eat and drink orally, but she's fed through a tube for convenience. But the court order forbids Terri to be fed orally. So basically, she's being executed.



Image Image

Last Visit Narrative

by Attorney Barbara Weller

posted at: http://cogforlife.org/schiavoweller.htm

When Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed at 1:45 p.m. on March 18, 2005, I was one of the most surprised people on the planet. I had been visiting Terri throughout the morning with her family and her priest. As part of the legal team working throughout the previous days and nights to save Terri from a horrific fate, I was very hopeful. Although the state judicial system had obviously failed Terri by not protecting her life, I knew other forces were still at work. I fully expected the federal courts would step in to reverse this injustice, just as they might for a prisoner unjustly set for execution—although by much more humane means than Terri would be executed. Barring that, I was certain that sometime around noon, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services would come to the Woodside Hospice facility in Pinellas Park and take Terri into protective custody. Or that federal marshals would arrive from Washington D.C, where the Congress was working furiously to try to save Terri, and would stand guard at her door to prevent any medical personnel from entering her room to remove the tube that was providing her nutrition and hydration.

Finally, I was sure if nothing else was working, that at 12:59,just before the hour scheduled for Terri’s gruesome execution to begin, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would at least issue a 60-day reprieve for the legislative bodies to complete the work they were attempting to do to save Terri’s life and to make sure that no other vulnerable adults could be sentenced to starve to death in America. I had done the legal research weeks before and was fully convinced that Gov. Bush had the power, under our co-equal branches of government, to issue a reprieve in the face of a judicial death sentence intended to lead to the starvation and dehydration of an innocent woman when scores of doctors and neurologists were saying she could be helped.

All morning long, as I was in the room with Terri and her family, we were telling her that help was on the way. Terri was in good spirits that morning. The mood in her room was jovial, particularly around noontime, as we knew Congressional attorneys were on the scene and many were working hard to save Terri’s life. For most of that time, I was visiting and talking with Terri along with Terri’s sister Suzanne Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and Terri’s aunt, who was visiting from New York to help provide support for the family. A female Pinellas Park police office was stationed at the door outside Terri’s room.

Terri was sitting up in her lounge chair, dressed and looking alert and well. Her feeding tube had been plugged in around 11 a.m. and we all felt good that she was still being fed. Suzanne and I were talking, joking, and laughing with Terri, telling her she was going to go to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress, which meant that finally Terri’s husband Michael would be required to fix her wheelchair. After that Suzanne could take Terri to the mall shopping and could wheel her outdoors every day to feel the wind and sunshine on her face, something she has not been able to do for more than five years.

At one point, I noticed Terri’s window blinds were pulled down. I went to the window to raise them so Terri could look at the beautiful garden outside her window and see the sun after several days of rain. As sunlight came into the room, Terri’s eyes widened and she was obviously very pleased. At another point, Suzanne and I told Terri she needed to suck in all the food she could because she might not be getting anything for a few days. During that time, Mary Schindler, Terri’s mother, joined us for a bit, and we noticed there were bubbles in Terri’s feeding tube. We joked that we didn’t want her to begin burping, and called the nurses to fix the feeding tube, which they did. Terri’s mother did not come back into the room. This was a very difficult day for Bob and Mary Schindler. I suspect they were less hopeful all along than I was, having lived through Terri’s last two feeding tube removals.

Suzanne and I continued to talk and joke with Terri for probably an hour or more. At one point Suzanne called Terri the bionic woman and I heard Terri laugh out loud heartily for the first time since I have been visiting with her. She laughed so hard that for the first time I noticed the dimples in her cheeks.

The most dramatic event of this visit happened at one point when I was sitting on Terri’s bed next to Suzanne. Terri was sitting in her lounge chair and her aunt was standing at the foot of the chair. I stood up and learned over Terri. I took her arms in both of my hands. I said to her, “Terri if you could only say ‘I want to live’ this whole thing could be over today.” I begged her to try very hard to say, “I want to live.” To my enormous shock and surprise, Terri’s eyes opened wide, she looked me square in the face, and with a look of great concentration, she said, “Ahhhhhhh.” Then, seeming to summon up all the strength she had, she virtually screamed, “Waaaaaaaa.” She yelled so loudly that Michael Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and the female police officer who were then standing together outside Terri’s door, clearly heard her. At that point, Terri had a look of anguish on her face that I had never seen before and she seemed to be struggling hard, but was unable to complete the sentence. She became very frustrated and began to cry. I was horrified that I was obviously causing Terri so much anguish. Suzanne and I began to stroke Terri’s face and hair to comfort her. I told Terri I was very sorry. It had not been my intention to upset her so much. Suzanne and I assured Terri that her efforts were much appreciated and that she did not need to try to say anything more. I promised Terri I would tell the world that she had tried to say, ”I want to live.”

Suzanne and I continued to visit and talk with Terri, along with other family members who came and went in the room, until about 2:00 p.m. when we were all told to leave after Judge Greer denied yet another motion for stay and ordered the removal of the feeding tube to proceed. As we left the room, the female police officer outside the door was valiantly attempting to keep from crying.

Just as Terri’s husband Michael has told the world he must keep an alleged promise to kill Terri, a promise remembered a million dollars and nearly a decade after the fact; I must keep my promise to Terri immediately. Time is running out for her. I went out to the banks of cameras outside the hospice facility and told the story immediately. Now I must also tell the story in writing for the world to hear. It may be the last effective thing I can do to try to keep Terri alive so she can get the testing, therapy, and rehabilitative help she so desperately needs before it is too late.

About four in the afternoon, several hours after the feeding tube was removed, I returned to Terri’s room. By that time she was alone except for a male police officer now standing inside the door. When I entered the room and began to speak to her, Terri started to cry and tried to speak to me immediately. It was one of the most helpless feelings I have ever had. Terri was looking very melancholy at that point and I had the sense she was very upset that we had told her things were going to get better, but instead, they were obviously getting worse. I had previously had the same feeling when my own daughter was a baby who was hospitalized and was crying and looking to me to rescue her from her hospital crib, something I could not do. While I was in the room with Terri for the next half hour or so, several other friends came to visit and I did a few press interviews sitting right next to Terri. I again raised her window shade, which had again been pulled down, so Terri could at least see the garden and the sunshine from her lounge chair. I also turned the radio on in her room before I left so that when she was alone, she would at least have some music for comfort.


Just before I left the room, I leaned over Terri and spoke right into her ear. I told her I was very sorry I had not been able to stop the feeding tube from being taken out and I was very sorry I had to leave her alone. But I reminded her that Jesus would stay right by her side even when no one else was there with her. When I mentioned Jesus’ Name, Terri again laughed out loud. She became very agitated and began loudly trying to speak to me again. As Terri continued to laugh and try to speak, I quietly prayed in her ear, kissed her, placed her in Jesus’ care, and left the room.

Terri is alone now. As I write this last visit narrative, it is five in the morning of March 19. Terri has been without food and water for nearly 17 hours. I’m sure she is beginning at least become thirsty, if not hungry. And I am left to wonder how many other people care.

_________________
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of freedom." - John F. Kennedy 1961


Last edited by Sandman on Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:44 am
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Just the idea of that poor woman beign killed by not feeding her makes me sick....hope she can survive.

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:47 am
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Godzilla

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Post Re: A Report for Terri Schiavo's Room
Sandman wrote:
Below is a legitimate article by one of Terri Schiavo's parents' attorneys. I heard her tell the same story on a radio show this morning. Accoridng to her, Terri can actually eat and drink orally, but she's fed through a tube for convenience. But the court order forbids Terri to be fed orally. So basically, she's being executed.



Image Image

Last Visit Narrative

by Attorney Barbara Weller

posted at: http://cogforlife.org/schiavoweller.htm

When Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed at 1:45 p.m. on March 18, 2005, I was one of the most surprised people on the planet. I had been visiting Terri throughout the morning with her family and her priest. As part of the legal team working throughout the previous days and nights to save Terri from a horrific fate, I was very hopeful. Although the state judicial system had obviously failed Terri by not protecting her life, I knew other forces were still at work. I fully expected the federal courts would step in to reverse this injustice, just as they might for a prisoner unjustly set for execution—although by much more humane means than Terri would be executed. Barring that, I was certain that sometime around noon, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services would come to the Woodside Hospice facility in Pinellas Park and take Terri into protective custody. Or that federal marshals would arrive from Washington D.C, where the Congress was working furiously to try to save Terri, and would stand guard at her door to prevent any medical personnel from entering her room to remove the tube that was providing her nutrition and hydration.

Finally, I was sure if nothing else was working, that at 12:59,just before the hour scheduled for Terri’s gruesome execution to begin, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would at least issue a 60-day reprieve for the legislative bodies to complete the work they were attempting to do to save Terri’s life and to make sure that no other vulnerable adults could be sentenced to starve to death in America. I had done the legal research weeks before and was fully convinced that Gov. Bush had the power, under our co-equal branches of government, to issue a reprieve in the face of a judicial death sentence intended to lead to the starvation and dehydration of an innocent woman when scores of doctors and neurologists were saying she could be helped.

All morning long, as I was in the room with Terri and her family, we were telling her that help was on the way. Terri was in good spirits that morning. The mood in her room was jovial, particularly around noontime, as we knew Congressional attorneys were on the scene and many were working hard to save Terri’s life. For most of that time, I was visiting and talking with Terri along with Terri’s sister Suzanne Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and Terri’s aunt, who was visiting from New York to help provide support for the family. A female Pinellas Park police office was stationed at the door outside Terri’s room.

Terri was sitting up in her lounge chair, dressed and looking alert and well. Her feeding tube had been plugged in around 11 a.m. and we all felt good that she was still being fed. Suzanne and I were talking, joking, and laughing with Terri, telling her she was going to go to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress, which meant that finally Terri’s husband Michael would be required to fix her wheelchair. After that Suzanne could take Terri to the mall shopping and could wheel her outdoors every day to feel the wind and sunshine on her face, something she has not been able to do for more than five years.

At one point, I noticed Terri’s window blinds were pulled down. I went to the window to raise them so Terri could look at the beautiful garden outside her window and see the sun after several days of rain. As sunlight came into the room, Terri’s eyes widened and she was obviously very pleased. At another point, Suzanne and I told Terri she needed to suck in all the food she could because she might not be getting anything for a few days. During that time, Mary Schindler, Terri’s mother, joined us for a bit, and we noticed there were bubbles in Terri’s feeding tube. We joked that we didn’t want her to begin burping, and called the nurses to fix the feeding tube, which they did. Terri’s mother did not come back into the room. This was a very difficult day for Bob and Mary Schindler. I suspect they were less hopeful all along than I was, having lived through Terri’s last two feeding tube removals.

Suzanne and I continued to talk and joke with Terri for probably an hour or more. At one point Suzanne called Terri the bionic woman and I heard Terri laugh out loud heartily for the first time since I have been visiting with her. She laughed so hard that for the first time I noticed the dimples in her cheeks.

The most dramatic event of this visit happened at one point when I was sitting on Terri’s bed next to Suzanne. Terri was sitting in her lounge chair and her aunt was standing at the foot of the chair. I stood up and learned over Terri. I took her arms in both of my hands. I said to her, “Terri if you could only say ‘I want to live’ this whole thing could be over today.” I begged her to try very hard to say, “I want to live.” To my enormous shock and surprise, Terri’s eyes opened wide, she looked me square in the face, and with a look of great concentration, she said, “Ahhhhhhh.” Then, seeming to summon up all the strength she had, she virtually screamed, “Waaaaaaaa.” She yelled so loudly that Michael Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and the female police officer who were then standing together outside Terri’s door, clearly heard her. At that point, Terri had a look of anguish on her face that I had never seen before and she seemed to be struggling hard, but was unable to complete the sentence. She became very frustrated and began to cry. I was horrified that I was obviously causing Terri so much anguish. Suzanne and I began to stroke Terri’s face and hair to comfort her. I told Terri I was very sorry. It had not been my intention to upset her so much. Suzanne and I assured Terri that her efforts were much appreciated and that she did not need to try to say anything more. I promised Terri I would tell the world that she had tried to say, ”I want to live.”

Suzanne and I continued to visit and talk with Terri, along with other family members who came and went in the room, until about 2:00 p.m. when we were all told to leave after Judge Greer denied yet another motion for stay and ordered the removal of the feeding tube to proceed. As we left the room, the female police officer outside the door was valiantly attempting to keep from crying.

Just as Terri’s husband Michael has told the world he must keep an alleged promise to kill Terri, a promise remembered a million dollars and nearly a decade after the fact; I must keep my promise to Terri immediately. Time is running out for her. I went out to the banks of cameras outside the hospice facility and told the story immediately. Now I must also tell the story in writing for the world to hear. It may be the last effective thing I can do to try to keep Terri alive so she can get the testing, therapy, and rehabilitative help she so desperately needs before it is too late.

About four in the afternoon, several hours after the feeding tube was removed, I returned to Terri’s room. By that time she was alone except for a male police officer now standing inside the door. When I entered the room and began to speak to her, Terri started to cry and tried to speak to me immediately. It was one of the most helpless feelings I have ever had. Terri was looking very melancholy at that point and I had the sense she was very upset that we had told her things were going to get better, but instead, they were obviously getting worse. I had previously had the same feeling when my own daughter was a baby who was hospitalized and was crying and looking to me to rescue her from her hospital crib, something I could not do. While I was in the room with Terri for the next half hour or so, several other friends came to visit and I did a few press interviews sitting right next to Terri. I again raised her window shade, which had again been pulled down, so Terri could at least see the garden and the sunshine from her lounge chair. I also turned the radio on in her room before I left so that when she was alone, she would at least have some music for comfort.

Just before I left the room, I leaned over Terri and spoke right into her ear. I told her I was very sorry I had not been able to stop the feeding tube from being taken out and I was very sorry I had to leave her alone. But I reminded her that Jesus would stay right by her side even when no one else was there with her. When I mentioned Jesus’ Name, Terri again laughed out loud. She became very agitated and began loudly trying to speak to me again. As Terri continued to laugh and try to speak, I quietly prayed in her ear, kissed her, placed her in Jesus’ care, and left the room.

Terri is alone now. As I write this last visit narrative, it is five in the morning of March 19. Terri has been without food and water for nearly 17 hours. I’m sure she is beginning at least become thirsty, if not hungry. And I am left to wonder how many other people care.


Bullshit..

This article is just a means at tugging at people's heart strings. Terri Schiavo doesn't even have a cerebrum. She has no higher brain functions. The person who she was is dead. Her body just doesn't know it yet.

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:47 am
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This goes to show.....YOU NEED TO HAVE WHAT YOU WANT DONE IN WRITING.


My problem is...Her husband's motives are NOT pure. Sorry...he's living with another woman and has children with her. She should be a divorce for adultry.

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:50 am
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Post Re: A Report for Terri Schiavo's Room
GTRMAN wrote:
Bullshit.

I wish it was. I also saw her brother on TV last night. He's very articulate, and his report is the same.

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:50 am
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KenHower wrote:
This goes to show.....YOU NEED TO HAVE WHAT YOU WANT DONE IN WRITING.


My problem is...Her husband's motives are NOT pure. Sorry...he's living with another woman and has children with her. She should be a divorce for adultry.


How do you know what his motives are? :roll:

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:53 am
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Godzilla

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Post Re: A Report for Terri Schiavo's Room
Sandman wrote:
GTRMAN wrote:
Bullshit.

I wish it was. I also saw her brother on TV last night. He's very articulate, and his report is the same.


They can THINK and say whatever they like. It doesn't make it true.. They're desperate and they're clinging to anything that may help their case..

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:54 am
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that was long i didnt read it all. but can someone Please tell me, why doesnt she get a divorce from her husband (or he divorce her) and let her parents take care of her if thats what they want to do? Cause ive heard they will take her home with them, i dont see the big deal. Also if they want to kill her they should shoot her in the head, not let the poor girl starve to death.


Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:55 am
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Post Re: A Report for Terri Schiavo's Room
GTRMAN wrote:
They can THINK and say whatever they like. It doesn't make it true.. They're desperate and they're clinging to anything that may help their case..


As they should...it's their daughter. I would expect nothing less.

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Regards,
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Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:56 am
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GTRMAN wrote:
How do you know what his motives are? :roll:


http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp? ... 0903b.html


Carla Sauer Iyer was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at the same convalescent center in the mid 1990s, and also cared for Terri. She described Mr. Schiavo as being "focused on Terri's death.

"Michael [Schiavo] would say, 'When is she going to die? Has she died yet?' and 'When is that bitch going to die?'" Iyer charged. "Other statements which I recall him making include, 'Can't anything be done to accelerate her death, won't she ever die?' When she wouldn't die, Michael [Schiavo] would be furious."

Conversely, Iyer said that when she would have to call Schiavo to inform him of a downturn in Terri's condition, Schiavo would be elated.

"Michael would be visibly excited, thrilled even, hoping that she would die," Iyer recalled. "He would blurt out, 'I'm going to be rich,' and would talk about all the things he would buy when Terri died, which included a new car, a new boat and going to Europe, among other things."

Iyer also described incidents of Terri Schiavo talking, moving voluntarily and responding to external stimuli, descriptions that Iyer said were removed from Mrs. Schiavo's medical records. Both Law and Iyer reported Terri verbally communicating, also contradicting Michael Schiavo's claim that his wife was in a Persistent Vegetative State.

"During the time I cared for Terri, she formed words. I have heard her say 'mommy' from time to time, and 'momma,'" Law recalled. "She also said 'help me' a number of times."



There's more. Read the article.

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:57 am
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GTRMAN wrote:
KenHower wrote:
This goes to show.....YOU NEED TO HAVE WHAT YOU WANT DONE IN WRITING.


My problem is...Her husband's motives are NOT pure. Sorry...he's living with another woman and has children with her. She should be a divorce for adultry.


How do you know what his motives are? :roll:




I don't....But it sure doesn't appear to be in her best interest. He's responsible for another family.

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Ken Hower Wrote: My advice to everyone.....DO NOT purchase any of these photographs....Tim Findlay can jack off to his hearts content over his killer pictures...alone.

Regards,
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Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:57 am
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SRV463 wrote:
that was long i didnt read it all. but can someone Please tell me, why doesnt she get a divorce from her husband (or he divorce her) and let her parents take care of her if thats what they want to do? Cause ive heard they will take her home with them, i dont see the big deal. Also if they want to kill her they should shoot her in the head, not let the poor girl starve to death.



Precisely....her Parents have been willing to accept responsiblity. Let them.


You couldn't treat a dog and not go to jail treated this way.

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Ken Hower Wrote: My advice to everyone.....DO NOT purchase any of these photographs....Tim Findlay can jack off to his hearts content over his killer pictures...alone.

Regards,
Ken


Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:59 am
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Post Re: A Report for Terri Schiavo's Room
GTRMAN wrote:
Sandman wrote:
GTRMAN wrote:
Bullshit.

I wish it was. I also saw her brother on TV last night. He's very articulate, and his report is the same.


They can THINK and say whatever they like. It doesn't make it true.. They're desperate and they're clinging to anything that may help their case..


How can you support her being killed? Dont you know its morally wrong?


Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:02 am
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I don't see what the big deal is... I do and I don't. Wanting to keep her alive, if you can call it that, is purely for selfish reasons. And you can understand that. She's already dead, tho. Machines are keeping her alive. She's never going to get any better. Why not let somebody that can actually be treat have a bed? Sad but true.

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:29 am
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Perhaps you guys would be interested in a less biased viewpoint on her mental status ...

From an article in the Miami Herald (http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/nation/11176634.htm)

Quote:
LEGAL GUARDIAN


Schiavo's plight still weighs on former guardian

The man appointed in 2003 to act as a guardian for Terri Schiavo has not forgotten the harrowing task of trying to imagine himself in her place.

BY CARA BUCKLEY

[email protected]


TAMPA - Two dark scenarios haunt Jay Wolfson even now, 1 ½ years after his brief appointment to be a neutral arbiter, a guardian, an unbiased observer, the one man asked by the state to stand in Terri Schiavo's shoes.

One is that the severely brain-damaged woman is in a terrible lightless place, aware of nothing at all but a yawning, endless hopelessness.

The other is that even though he never elicited a response from her, despite all the pleading and cajoling he did at her bedside, that he might have missed some subtle, near invisible signs that she was somewhere in there, aware.

''Imagine not having hope, and being aware that's all you had, was no hope. The horror. It's like not being, but knowing that you're not,'' Wolfson said recently in his Tampa-area office. ``That's one thing. The other is, what if she's knocking on a door somewhere and I was walking through all the wrong corridors and I missed it. What if?''

Wolfson was appointed by a Florida court in fall 2003 to be Schiavo's guardian ad litem, or guardian at law, to deduce Schiavo's best interests and represent neither her husband nor her parents but Terri Schiavo herself.

NO VESTED INTEREST

This makes Wolfson the rarest of people, especially now, as the furor over the removal of Schiavo's feeding tube rages. He is one of the very few people to have spent extended time with Schiavo and gauged her level of awareness without having a vested interest at stake.

In the end, after spending long hours at Schiavo's bedside for 20 days out of his 30-day appointment, and after pouring over 30,000 pages of legal documents, Wolfson came to the conclusion that medical evidence behind Schiavo's diagnosis was credible, and that she indeed was in a permanent vegetative state.

It was not the conclusion he hoped to make.

''You want to weigh in on life as opposed to death,'' said Wolfson. ``You want some way to elicit a response.''

Wolfson's appointment was made after the Florida Legislature passed ''Terri's Law'' in 2003, a move that allowed doctors to reinsert her feeding tube despite a judge's ruling it be removed. The law has since been struck down as unconstitutional.

His tenure as Schiavo's guardian at law began on Oct. 31. Wolfson, who has law and doctoral degrees and is currently a distinguished service professor of public health and medicine at the University of South Florida, was tasked with deciding whether Schiavo's feeding tube should be removed and whether more tests should be done to assess her ability to swallow.

TIME WITH SCHIAVO

He scoured 13 years worth of legal documents and extensively interviewed Schiavo's husband, Michael, and her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. His time with Schiavo was spent trying to determine whether she was aware of and interactive with the world.

At first, walking into Schiavo's room, he was struck by her presence, even though he knew in advance she drifted between wakefulness and sleep.

''She's a person, like you or I, and the first disconcerting part is that she's awake,'' Wolfson said.

And when awake, Schiavo's eyes would roll about the room. She made random noises that sounded like groaning or the start of a laugh or cry. But court documents had revealed that Schiavo's cerebral cortex, where reason and emotions are housed, had degenerated to fluid. So Wolfson set about trying to determine whether Schiavo's noises and jerks were merely reflexive or if they indicated something more.

He played Elton John CDs for her and Bach and Mozart and music from the late 1980s when she was in her 20s, prior to her collapse. He held her hands, squeezing them, and stroked her hair and face.

He put his face up close to hers and tried to make eye contact, pleading desperately, trying to will her into giving him any kind of sign.

'I would beg her, `Please Terri, help me,' '' he said. 'You want to believe there's some connection. You hope she's going to sit up in bed and say, `Hey I'm really here, but don't tell anybody.' Or, 'I'm really here, tell everybody!' ''

But Schiavo never made eye contact. When Wolfson visited her when her parents were there, she never made eye contact with them either, he said. And for all of Wolfson's pleadings and coaxing, he never got what he most wanted: a sign.

''I felt like there was something distinctive about whoever Terri is,'' Wolfson said. ``But I was not clear that it was there, inside the vessel.''

During those 30 days, Wolfson was plagued by nightmares. He imagined waking up in her body and being locked in. Sometimes he woke up screaming.

Wolfson concluded that the medical and legal evidence behind Schiavo's diagnosis of being in a persistent vegetative state, or PVS, was credible. But he still felt that for all their expertise, those medical experts would never truly know where Schiavo was, or if she was anywhere.

Wolfson was dismayed to learn Friday that Barbara Weller, an attorney for the Schindlers, claimed that Schiavo tried to speak. ''Terri does not speak,'' he said. ``To claim otherwise reduces her to a fiction.''

One thing Wolfson never doubted was that for all their intense, mutual antagonism, both Michael Schiavo and Terri's parents loved and adored her.

EXCELLENT CARE

She was cared for incredibly well, Wolfson said. Her hair was always combed, and after 15 years of being incapacitated, she never developed a bedsore. In fact, Wolfson said, until about seven years ago, Michael Schiavo had Terry's makeup and hair done regularly and her clothes changed every day, to the point were hospice staff protested that he was being overly demanding about her care.

Also, Wolfson concluded, Terri Schiavo would never have tolerated the enormous, ''omnipresent'' acrimony between her husband and parents.

In the 38-page report he wrote afterward, Wolfson said the rift could only be bridged, and the best decision for Schiavo made, if both sides agreed to fresh, independent medical testing. This would include an assessment of whether Schiavo could swallow anything other than spit, which is a reflexive or automatic activity. Only if new testing showed she could not, or it showed that Schiavo showed no hope of improvement, Wolfson wrote, should the feeding tube be pulled.

Both parties were on the verge of agreeing to these new conditions, Wolfson said, but Michael Schiavo's lawyer was fighting the constitutionality of Terri's Law, the very law that resulted in Wolfson's appointment. Once Terri's Law was struck down by the Florida Supreme Court, Wolfson's conclusions became legally moot.

Wolfson still refuses to give his own opinion on whether Schiavo's feeding tube should or should not have been pulled. But he will say, as a parent of three sons, that after doing everything one can, sometimes the time comes to let go.

''When it evolves beyond that person into issues that are other people's issues or are broader issues, it becomes less objectifiable,'' said Wolfson. ``It's hard to be objective anyway. This is the kind of thing you don't wish on anybody.''

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:35 am
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Doc, what is your professional opinion?

I'm torn....Is she brain dead? Machines are feeding her, correct? So she would then starve to death? It's not like an iron lung is keeping her alive.


Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:50 am
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She won't recover.

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:13 am
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EKG wrote:
Doc, what is your professional opinion?

I'm torn....Is she brain dead? Machines are feeding her, correct? So she would then starve to death? It's not like an iron lung is keeping her alive.


It is very difficult to obtain accurate information ... the press generally doesn't do a very good job reporting accurate medical information (because the reporters don't have the education required to understand it, and because most of the general public wouldn't understand it even if the reporters did). Based on the account in the Herald article (by a person who is unbiased, but who is also not a trained medical specialist), I would say she is in a persistent vegatative state. That is not the same as being brain dead. It means she is awake, but her higher brain function is nonexistent. She is not meaningfully aware of her surroundings. It is unlikely that she could swallow food without aspirating some of it into her lungs ... although a formal swallowing evaluation would be needed to know that for sure and I don't know if that has been done. She is, however, breathing on her own and could live many years if provided food and appropriate care. The chance of her mental status improving with therapy is extremely unlikely.

Personally, I strongly support a patient's right to die. If she truly expressed her wish not to be kept alive in such a condition, I would favor respecting her decision and stopping her feeding. Although it would be more humane to give her a lethal injection, starving to death is not particularly painful and in her present state I doubt she would even be aware of it.

I am less than convinced that her husband is being truthful about her wishes, however. Cases in which there is nothing in writing about the patient's wishes or a clear directive as to who will make their medical decisions are very difficult. I don't know what the correct answer is in this case.

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:14 am
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I absolutely and 100% agree with Doc.

I believe in a patients right to die....but in this case...the patient can not speak, there's nothing in writing.

I say ERR on the side of LIFE....not death. She has people willing and able to continue her care

I believe her husbands motives are less than pure. If she has any life insurance....he shouldn't get a CENT. I hope the fucker is going broke on legal fees.

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Last edited by KenHower on Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:25 am
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Quote:
Although it would be more humane to give her a lethal injection


I agree, but would this assisted suicide?

edit: I am not saying she should die. What I meant is if the decision was made, starvation seems like suffering.


Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:25 am
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