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 A Report from Terri Schiavo's Room 
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Godzilla
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The Humane Holocaust

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Last edited by Sandman on Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:43 pm
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Sandman wrote:
Ken, what are you thinking of regarding women having been possessions? My first reaction is, that's not true, at least not in Jewish culture.



2000 years ago...women were definitely NOT equal to men. Most marriages, were arranged.

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Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:16 am
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KenHower wrote:
Sandman wrote:
Ken, what are you thinking of regarding women having been possessions? My first reaction is, that's not true, at least not in Jewish culture.

2000 years ago...women were definitely NOT equal to men. Most marriages, were arranged.
That's even true in many cultures today. That doesn't make women possessions. I have friend from India who are in arranged marriages, and they're very happy with the practice. Having gender roles and being a possession are different things. I just thought I'd comment. No big deal. I liked the rest of your post, for sure.

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Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:28 am
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Took 2 seconds, and dug this up.

The inclusion of women alongside material possessions suggests that women were considered little more than property, an impression that is borne out by the rest of Hebrew scriptures.

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Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:45 am
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KenHower wrote:
Took 2 seconds, and dug this up.
The inclusion of women alongside material possessions suggests that women were considered little more than property, an impression that is borne out by the rest of Hebrew scriptures.

That's cool. But having studied the Hebrew scriptures myself, I'm not sure I would agree with that author's assessment.

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Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:31 pm
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Why I call you bigots.

The use of my word "bigot" was controversial to some on this thread. I came accross this article that I think would be beneficial for those who took offense to read (in particular, TheSurgeon and GTRMAN):
[url=http://homepage.mac.com/francis.beckwith/Bigotry.htm]
None Dare Call It Bigotry:
Understanding the Post-Election Rants against Social Conservative
[/url]

Francis J. Beckwith

The re-election of President George W. Bush, according to many pundits, was the result of a larger than normal turnout by socially conserva­tive voters, most of whom are Christians. In the 11 states in which there were marriage protec­tion referenda on the ballots, social conserva­tives were provided with an extra incentive to go to the polls. Christianity Today reports that "exit polls show that 22 percent of voters cited 'moral values' as the one issue that mattered most when considering how to vote for President. In what will surely come as a shock to mainstream media, more voters cited moral values than either the economy/jobs (20 percent), terrorism (19 percent), or Iraq (17 percent)." [1]

The Pundits In the November 4,2004, New York Times, historian Gary Wills asked the rhetorical question, "Can a people that believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an Enlightened nation?" After using the term "fundamentalist" to refer to his fellow Americans who disagree with his politics, Wills asserts, "Where else do we find fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity? Not in France or Britain or Germany or Italy or Spain. We find it in the Muslim world, in Al Qaeda, in Saddam Hussein's Sunni loyalists. Americans wonder that the rest of the world thinks us so dangerous, so single-minded, so impervious to international appeals. They fear jihad, no matter whose zeal is being expressed."

Europeans, of course, do not have the best track record in being able to detect and elimi­nate despots, dictators, and ethnic cleansers. In fact, when given the opportunity -- especially in the cases of Germany and Russia in the past century -- many Europeans were downright giddy in helping to usher in and defend secular regimes that were hostile to people of faith and committed to philosophical materialism and mass murder. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler would have passed Wills's litmus test for Enlighten­men -- they disbelieved in the virgin birth and embraced naturalistic evolution. In the cases of Lenin and Stalin, they had their share of American intellectuals fawning over them, holding them up as models for democratic governance and economic fairness. Fifty million murders later we are now being lectured by Wills and others, the progeny of these American intellectuals, who now cite the "wisdom" of Europeans and ridicule us because we believe in the virgin birth rather than the philosophical foundation of the "promiscuous death."

After all, would you rather have your child­ren, or your neighbor's children, tutored on the racial views of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a believer in the virgin birth, or of Charles Darwin, who passes Wills's Enlightenment litmus test with flying colors? Compare King's "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal"[2] with Darwin's:

At some future period, not very distant as meas­ured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes... will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will inter­vene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.[3]

Maureen Dowd, Carl Bernstein, and Sidney Blumenthal were among the many liberal commentators who, with Wills, bemoaned the election results and the growing influence of social conservatives in American politics, issuing harsh judgments against them. Without argu­ment, these commentators ridiculed the beliefs of their fellow citizens, comparing them to the worst the human race has to offer: Al Qaeda, Jihadists, the Taliban, and so on. If issuing the most outrageous post-election religious slur were a reality-show competition, however, the prize would go to Jane Smiley:

Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you -- if you don't believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it. [4]

The Crime What is the crime for which social conservatives deserve these harsh judgments? They advocate protection of the unborn from unjust killing, the preservation of traditional marriage in order to advance the public good and permission to expose public school children to the weaknesses of philosophical materialism, which has become the unquestioned orthodoxy of an intellectual elite whose intolerance to heresy is so strong that to publicly entertain doubts about the dogma will result in being labeled a "creationist" even if you are not a creationist. Social conservatives have the temerity to apply the 1960s slogan "question authority" to those who invented the slogan and who are now in authority; therefore, they are marginalized as ideological heretics, described as irrational, simple-minded, unthinking, Bible-thumpers, no different in kind from the murder­ous religious fanatics of Islam who forbid women to read and write, execute and torture heretics, and support the 9/11 terrorists attacks.

The Ignorance These unrestrained admissions, these rare utterances of unvarnished candor, are a gift, for they reveal much about the cast of mind and quality of soul of those who issue such judgments. They show that these commentators are woefully ignorant of the literature published by social conservative intellectuals (most of whom are Christians) who have offered nontheological arguments for the array of positions that inspired the rank-and-file to vote in droves in 2004. Consider the three most divisive issues in the U.S. today: same-sex marriage, abortion, and stem cell research.

Concerning the latter two, social conserva­tive thinkers have offered highly sophisticated, secular arguments for why the unborn from the moment of conception are full-fledged members of the human community and ought to be pro­tected by our laws. Works by Robert P. George, J. P. Moreland, Scott B. Rae, Stephen Schwarz, and Patrick Lee come to mind. In fact, George, a member of the President's Council on Bioethics (PCB), authored, as part of the PCB's report, one of the finest defenses of the embryo's personhood,[5] relying exclusively on philosophical arguments that are nontheological. I recently published articles in two peer-reviewed academ­ic journals, Christian Bioethics [6] and American Journal of Jurisprudence [7] in which I make cases consistent with pro-life understandings of per-sonhood and law and proffer reasons and argu­ments for my cases that do not appeal to Scripture or the deliverances of biblical theology. I offer what some may call "secular" arguments.

The literature on same-sex marriage is even more impressive given the relatively brief time socially conservative intellectuals have had to wrestle with this issue. The works of Lynn Wardle, David Organ Coolidge, Gerard V. Bradley, Robert P. George, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Richard W. Garnett, J. Budziszewski, William Duncan, Hadley Arkes, and Richard Duncan offer first-rate "secular" defenses of traditional marriage and, in many ways, are more sophisticated and compelling than the works of those who defend same-sex marriage.

The Assumptions Why haven't Wills, Smiley, et al., dealt with these arguments, or at least informed their readers that such arguments exist and that offering such arguments is consistent with an understanding of the public square that is respectful of those with whom social conservatives disagree? Here's my theory: Wills, Smiley, et al., are not informed on these matters. They are relying on inherited stereotypes and widely held bigotry embraced by most of the people in whose circles they run. It's not that they know the truth and are suppressing it. They just don't know the truth because they don't believe it could in principle exist. They are committed to the proposition that if you don't hold to a liberal, materialist view of the state, then you are ignorant, evil, or incurably religious, or any two or all three. Given that commitment, they can't see the point of looking for something they believe can't be there. Social conservatives offer reasons and arguments, while their opponents, Wills, Smiley, et al., offer name-calling rationalized by entrenched prejudices propped up by false stereotypes, the very technique these "enlightened" citizens typically attribute to social conservatives.

Wills, Smiley, et al., need to get out a little more and exercise the understanding and tolerance they claim that social conservatives lack; for even a cursory reading of the relevant literature will quickly reveal to them that social conservatives are far more conversant with and respectful of the arguments of their opponents than vice versa. In what has to be one of the great ironies of our time, the friends of enlightenment turn out to be the enemies of reason. Their case amounts to a type of political gnosticism to which only a privileged few have access and the benighted many cannot comprehend. If Al Sharpton were writing their talking point, it would read: "It's an Enlightenment-secular-liberal thing, you wouldn't understand." If this isn't bigotry, nothing is.

Francis J. Beckwith is associate director of the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies and associate professor of Church-State Studies, Baylor University. His website is francisbeckwith.com

NOTES
1. Collin Hansen, ÒWeblog: ÔMoral ValuesÕ Carry Bush to Victory,Ó ChristianityToday.com, Novembers, 2004, available at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/144/31.0.html
2. Martin Luther King, Jr., ÒI Have a DreamÓ (speech, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., August 28,1963), available at http://www.mecca.org/~crights/dream.html
3. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 2nd ed. (New York: A. L Burt, 1874), 178.
4. Jane Smiley, "Why Americans Hate DemocratsÑ A Dialogue: The Unteachable Ignorance of the Red States," Slate, November 4,2004, available at http://slate.msn.com/id/2109218/
5. Robert P. George (with Alofonso Gomez-Lobo), "Statement of Professor George" in appendix of Human Cloning and Human Dignity: An Ethical Inquiry (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002) (http://www.bioethics.gov/reports/clonin ... tml/george).
6. Francis J. Beckwith, "The Explanatory Power of the Substance View of Persons," Christian Bioethics 10,1 (2004): 33-54: also available at http://homepage.mac.com/francis.beckwih ... ethics.pdf
7. Francis J. Beckwith, "Thomson's 'Egual Reasonable­ness' Argument for Abortion Rights: A Critique," American Journal of Jurisprudence 49 (2004).

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Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:44 pm
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If anyone thought these editorials were over the top, here's what they were predicting: WHO PAYS?

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Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:05 am
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Wow, some people are so thick. What the authors of those two articles don't seem to realise is that euthanasia is when someone wants to die, but can't physically kill themselves, so they ask someone else to do it. How is that immoral? It's exactly like suicide, and to suggest that people who commit euthanasia, are victims, is absurd (I'm not talking about the Schiavo case here.) If I said, "I want to die, and I want you to kill me," am I a victim? No! Are you committing murder? No!

Here in Blighty there's some talk a law being passed that allows people to sign a contract saying whether they want to die or not, should they ever be in some kind of coma, PVS, etc. What's wrong with that?

And regarding the author's suggestion that, "If a man consents to slavery, does slavery cease to be wrong?" Well, no, duh! But does it mean that it is not wrong to enslave that man? Well, yes, duh!

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Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:04 pm
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Speed_DemonX wrote:
Wow, some people are so thick. What the authors of those two articles don't seem to realize is that euthanasia is when someone wants to die, but can't physically kill themselves, so they ask someone else to do it. How is that immoral? It's exactly like suicide, and to suggest that people, who commit euthanasia, are victims is absurd (I'm not talking about the Schiavo case here.) If I said, "I want to die, and I want you to kill me," am I a victim? No! Are you committing murder? No!

Here in Blighty there's some talk a law being passed that allows people to sign a contract saying whether they want to die or not, should they ever be in some kind of coma, PVS, etc. What's wrong with that?

And regarding the author's suggestion that, "If a man consents to slavery, does slavery cease to be wrong?" Well, no, duh! But does it mean that it is not wrong to enslave that man? Well, yes, duh!


Yeah, you bring up a good point. Murder and suicide are different animals.

As a practical matter, though, part of the problem in opening the door to assisted suicide is that it opens up a lot of opportunity for masked homicide. The Terri Schiavo case was a good example. And even if it wasn't homicide, there was enough evidence present to give it that appearance. Yet the legal system didn't err on the side of her rights to live. It sided on killing her.

In the Terri Schiavo debate, I heard some people saying, well, I wouldn't want to live like that. So they entertain the idea that Terri doesn't like living as she is. So they're drawn toward vicariously committing suicide through her. That's the practical matter -- it isn't always easy to know what someone wants, and it's easy for people to project onto someone their desires. Maybe keeping this person around is an emotional burden, or a very real physical burden, so we rationalize taking away their food and water. (If we did this to someone who could speak for himself or herself, we'd call it homicide.)

There's also the ethical issue of whether it's ethical to help someone kill himself or herself. If it is, under what circumstances? I can think of a lot of conditions under which people attempt suicide that aren't what I would consider moral. Losing the will to live is not completely un-normal at times in one's life.

Another thing is, you can learn from history that this stuff is a slippery slope. We were warned in this country (the USA) 30 years ago that legal abortion would lead to these sorts of things, and we dismissed it as foolishness. Well, now it's here. The Nazis didn't start with death camps. They started with a philosophical and ethical shift that allowed them to rationalize and turn a blind eye to the killing of certain types of people.

This week I was in the jury pool for a murder trial. In the United States, one is assumed innocent of murder unless proven guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." But the Schiavo case demonstrates that the disabled are not granted such a benefit of the doubt. The legal burden for executing a disabled person is much lower than that for a person charged with murder. In fact, they aren't even granted a jury trial! A jury trial in the United States requires that 12 people agree unanimously that the defendant is guilty. That means, the burden of proof required to sentence someone is very great.

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Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:40 pm
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Sandman wrote:
In what has to be one of the great ironies of our time, the friends of enlightenment turn out to be the enemies of reason. Their case amounts to a type of political gnosticism to which only a privileged few have access and the benighted many cannot comprehend. If Al Sharpton were writing their talking point, it would read: "It's an Enlightenment-secular-liberal thing, you wouldn't understand." If this isn't bigotry, nothing is.
You said a mouthfull, right there!

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Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:27 pm
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This is just an FYI for whoever is interested. (Don't flame me for posting on this thread again.)


Transcript: Terri Schiavo's Siblings Speak Out
Friday, April 08, 2005

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 7, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Terri Schiavo's (search) family lost their long battle to keep Terri alive. But the battle with her husband, Michael Schiavo, is all but over.

Joining us now with an exclusive television interview, their first since Terri's tragic death, is Terri's brother, Bobby Schindler, and her sister, Suzanne Vitadamo.

Guys, once again, I just want to send my condolences to you, guys and your mom and dad. I've gotten to you and your family and I'm very sorry, as you know, that you all went through this.

Let's go back to the day that Terri died. Both of you were with her up until about 10 minutes before she died. I want to first address this idea that she was peaceful, that this was a calm and a gentle death, as Michael's attorney, Mr. Felos, said. Is that the case? Is that true?

BOBBY SCHINDLER, TERRI SCHIAVO'S BROTHER: Absolutely not, Mr. Hannity. You I don't want to get too graphic. But what my sister and I saw was absolutely horrific. For any family to have to experience what our family experienced the last two weeks, and particularly the last 72 hours was just barbaric. This whole death with dignity is an absolute lie. To see my sister suffering the way she was suffering before she died, is — I'm telling you, it's something I will never forget. And it's an image that will last with me forever.

HANNITY: Susan, I mean, you were with your sister. I mean, he said peaceful, calm, gentle and I've heard from Brother Paul and others that she was literally gasping and struggling and in pain. What did you see?

SUZANNE VITADAMO, TERRI SCHIAVO'S SISTER: That's pretty accurate. I mean, she was gasping. It was awful. She looked absolutely horrific. It was very difficult to be in the room with her. She looked like death. It was just awful.

HANNITY: Let me ask both of you this. Now, this — you guys have not spoken publicly about this. But you wanted to stay in the room with your sister because you knew that the hour of her death was now near, because she had entered this final stage, and it was apparent and obvious to the people working in the hospice. You guys knew that.
In this final 10-minute period, you wanted to be in the room, and Michael would not let you be there. I want to hear from both of you what happened. Suzanne, let me start with you.

VITADAMO: That's right. You know, they ushered us out of her room 10 minutes before she died. And we — in the hallway we got into a discussion with the policemen that took us out of the room. And we asked him to please let us stay in; we knew she was close to death. We didn't mind — we begged him, even if Michael was in the room, please allow us to be with her at her time of death.
And we said it would be peaceful. We don't mind if he is in the room, as well. And they actually — they ushered us off the property. According to Michael Schiavo (search), we were not allowed in the room with her. It was very, very difficult.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: It's Alan. Thank you both very much for coming back on the show. And to pick up on what we were just talking about, you know what they are saying on the other side is that, you know, in the interest of peace, and to make it as peaceful in that room as possible, that's why it was decided that you were asked to leave at that point.
Is that not an accurate reflection of what happened?

SCHINDLER: I disagree with that. This whole thing was staged. I believe it was two or three days prior to my sister passing away. There was already an obituary that was written. CBS report — "CBS news" reported this. And it came out portraying Michael Schiavo as a loving caring husband, being there at the last moment, cradling his wife. So the minute they threw us out of the room, we knew it was happening. And that's why we were begging the police officer to please allow us back in the room so we could be with Terri. We didn't care if Michael was there. And they told us that Michael Schiavo does not want you in the room, any family in the room, and they ushered us out of the building. It was absolutely disgraceful for us not to be allowed in there, and it was all staged so Michael could tell the media that he was there cradling his wife when she expired. And we're just awfully upset about this.

COLMES: So if there's any kind of a struggle between you and anybody else there, that totally made up?

SCHINDLER: There was a discussion. I became very upset with the police officer, because they were telling us that we could not be in the room with Terri when she was close to death.
And I asked the police officer — I told the police officer, "I know what's going on here. They're staging this. And I don't care about all of that. I just want to be in the room with my sister when she passes away."

VITADAMO: Mr. Colmes, I can tell you that Terri would have wanted her family by her side upon her death. I can tell you that.

COLMES: That would have included Michael, too, I guess?

VITADAMO: Maybe it would. But, you know, she definitely would have wanted us there, too.

SCHINDLER: We were...

COLMES: Go ahead.

SCHINDLER: The last hours of Terri's death, we were treated horribly. In fact, once Terri passed away and our family was told that we can go back in the room and be with her, after she had died.
There was three police officers in the room with us, would not leave the room. And we were told that they were ordered to be in the room with us, at which point my father became very upset, asking for five minutes of privacy, and the policemen refused to leave the room. I believe they were scared that we were going to take pictures of Terri after she had died, which again was absolutely disgraceful.

HANNITY: All right. We've got a lot more questions to ask when we get back, and some of the unanswered questions about the case. We'll continue with our interview — exclusive interview with Bobby and Suzanne, coming up right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLMES: All right. Bobby, let me go to you on this. An aid to Senator Mel Martinez (search) from Florida, Brian Darling (search) acknowledged writing a memo saying Terri's case was good for the Republican Party and Tom DeLay said he told the Family Research Council that God brought to us this tragedy. Does it disturb you at all that a political party would try to take advantage of this or try to gain anything because of what you've gone through?

SCHINDLER: Well, you know, I don't know, Alan. You know, what I saw in Washington when I was there, I saw people working very hard. They seemed very genuine and authentic that they wanted to help my sister. They were very concerned that Terri was not being afforded the same rights as a common criminal or someone that was on death row. And from the people I worked with — even — I met Mr. Darling, and he was exceptionally genuine, was working very hard, and I was received so well. And I believe it was in their best interests and in their hearts that they wanted to do something to help Terri.

COLMES: Suzanne, let me go to you on this, because it was described as a great political issue in that memo. Do you see it that way? And do you think that a political party — do you see them as trying to get advantage on this politically?

VITADAMO: Of course, I don't. I actually admire them for taking the initiative and stepping in where you have a disabled person whose — you know, these supposed wishes, there's a point of contention there. And, you know, she obviously was — had a court ordered starvation, very inhumane. And I admire them for stepping in and taking action.

COLMES: What do you — Bobby, what do you want to see Congress do now? Do you want to see legislation — do you want to see them now, after all this has happened, do something as a result of what you've gone through? What do you want to see them do?

SCHINDLER: Yes. I mean, this type of thing can never happen again. What our family went through. Terri is a disabled person. Her wishes were hearsay evidence. They killed her on wishes that nobody knew whether they were said or not. And I think it's important that we do something to prevent something like this from ever happening again. We are starving to death human beings with disabilities, and I think it's absolutely appalling and something has to be done to change the laws to make it as difficult as possible to kill somebody, you know, that's simply disabled.

HANNITY: Suzanne, there were issues remaining. I know the family didn't want cremation of your sister. It happened anyway. Michael went against your wishes. There was talk that he wouldn't tell you where the remains of the ashes were to be put. Is there any — has that issue been resolved?

VITADAMO: No, it hasn't. We have yet to hear anything regarding a memorial that he had planned for Terri that I think we were supposed to be notified about or where her ashes are being laid to rest. So we have not heard from him at all.

HANNITY: Both of you give me some quick answers to some questions, because I never saw a case where there were so many unresolved issues. You still both don't know why she collapsed, correct?

SCHINDLER: That's correct. To this day we still don't know.

HANNITY: You both don't — you both don't know why — whether she was bulimic (search) or not, in spite of all of the press reports, but you say that was not true, correct?


SCHINDLER: There was never any medical evidence at all that supported the fact that Terri was bulimic. It was something that — you know, it's still being reported on today, and it's just simply not true. We still to this day do not know what caused Terri to collapse.

HANNITY: And there were never any cardiac enzymes indicating a heart attack has been reported. Is that correct?

VITADAMO: That's correct. There was never — go ahead. She had no damage around the heart. Her enzymes were not elevated, and in the medical records, it does not say that she had a heart attack.

SCHINDLER: You know, I think...

HANNITY: Bobby, we both know that the issue of these broken bones has never been answered on this bone scan. And the radiologist has said a broken femur, broken back, broken vertebrae, broken knees and broken ankles. And that has never been resolved, correct?

SCHINDLER: Absolutely correct. We still don't know what caused those broken bones. And what's interesting, Mr. Hannity, if you look back on Michael's testimony and some of the interviews that he's done, he has three different versions, maybe more, of what happened the night Terri collapsed which is extremely suspect.
So we just don't know what happened to her the night — you know, the night she collapsed. We still don't know.

HANNITY: Where do we go from here, I guess, is the big question. I mean, your sister now is gone. These questions remain in your mind. It's unresolved. I know you both have spent 15 years trying to save your sister's life. I have to imagine this is hard for you. Are you going to try and pursue answers to the questions that I'm raising here, and what do you plan to do?

VITADAMO: Well, you know, right now, Mr. Hannity, we're really still in a grieving mode. We haven't even thought that far ahead. It's hard to say.
I can tell you, though, that what we have thought about is taking action and doing what we can as a family using the resources and abilities that we have now to stop this from happening to disabled people and to families like what happened with Terri.

COLMES: We thank you — we thank you both very much for being on the show tonight.

_________________
"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


Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:01 am
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