Skip to comments.Judge Sets Date To End Life Support
Posted on 09/17/2003 10:23:12 PM PDT by sockmonkey
CLEARWATER - Terri Schiavo's feeding tube shall be removed Oct. 15, the trial judge in the case ruled Wednesday.
Also, Robert and Mary Schindler will not be allowed to provide their daughter therapy they believe could help her swallow spoon-fed food once the feeding tube is removed from her stomach, Circuit Judge George Greer said in a second ruling issued Wednesday.
Greer said he sympathized with the parents but concluded that their request to try spoon-feeding her amounts to a bid to litigate the case from scratch.
``It is not even a veiled or disguised attempt,'' the judge added.
The Schindlers said they expected Greer to rule against them.
An attorney for Michael Schiavo, who has been seeking court permission to discontinue his wife's life support since 1998, said the decision to delay the tube's removal until mid- October is disappointing.
Terri Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when, at age 26, she suffered unexplained heart failure. Her husband's doctors say she is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery.
After a nonjury trial in January 2000, Greer ruled the evidence showed Terri Schiavo would not want to be kept alive by a feeding tube.
Her parents contend she reacts to them during bedside visits and could improve if given therapy.
The Oct. 15 date gives the Schindlers more time to come up with ``malicious and frivolous'' court pleadings aimed at keeping their daughter alive, said George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney.
Phone And Letter Campaign
Felos also accused the couple of mounting a ``malicious propaganda campaign against my client.''
A syndicated Christian radio show that airs in several Midwestern states has told listeners to call Gov. Jeb Bush and other state officials, along with Tampa Bay area media outlets, with calls of support for the Schindlers. The Schindlers also have a Web site with links to state officials and news outlets and have posted court records containing sworn testimony critical of Michael Schiavo.
In August, Bush said he had received more than 27,000 e- mail messages ``reflecting understandable concern for the well-being of Terri Schiavo.'' On Wednesday, Bush spokeswoman Alia Faraj said the deluge of calls and letters has continued.
``Thousands more have come in,'' Faraj said.
Bob Schindler said he expected Greer to deny his family's request for a chance to try spoon-feeding. At a hearing this week, Greer showed no interest in hearing testimony from a speech therapist who has had success weaning patients from feeding tubes, Schindler said.
``We don't expect anything from him. I'm not a bit disappointed or surprised,'' Schindler said.
In federal court, the Schindlers have until Sept. 22 to file an amended lawsuit aimed at keeping their daughter alive. Felos predicted that case will come before a federal judge before the feeding tube can be removed.
Time To Refine Arguments
Pat Anderson, the Schindlers' attorney, said she has ``many options left'' in addition to the federal lawsuit.
By setting the Oct. 15 date for the feeding tube's removal, Greer has given the Schindlers time to refine their legal strategy, she said.
``The Schindlers are relieved he did not order the starvation to begin at 5 o'clock today,'' Anderson said.
If the feeding tube is removed, Terri Schiavo is expected to die within a week to 10 days, according to court testimony.
In April 2001, the feeding tube was disconnected for two days on Greer's order, but feeding resumed after another judge briefly entered the case.
Since then, the Schindlers have appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court without success in overturning Greer's original decision that Terri Schiavo would want to die.
Reporter David Sommer can be reached at (727) 799-7413.
These people are ghouls.
Exactly, but what do you want to bet these same types carry picket signs at executions begging the state not to murder the condemned?
I have a cousin who is in about the same state as Terri, except he also has a trach tube.
If it weren't for his feeding tube, he'd die. Unlike Terri, however, my cousin's wife and daughter have taken him home, and are constantly exercising his limbs, talking to him, changing his diaper, and all with such love and devotion-to do anything else would never occur to them.
Schindler-Schiavo's Feeding Tube to Be Removed Oct. 15
By Jeff Johnson CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau Chief September 17, 2003
Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com) - Pinellas-Pasco County, Fla., Circuit Judge George Greer has set Oct. 15 as the day healthcare workers must remove a gastrostomy or "feeding tube" from Terri Schindler Schiavo.
Doctors say the 39-year-old woman, who suffered a brain injury in 1990 under questionable circumstances, is expected to die of starvation or dehydration within 10 to 15 days unless a federal court intervenes.
Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, began petitioning the local courts to stop providing her with nutrition and hydration in 1998 shortly after receiving a $1.2 million award in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed on Terri's behalf. Michael Schiavo has since fathered a child with another woman, with whom he is living, even though he is still legally married to Terri.
Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, filed suit in federal court earlier this month, alleging that Michael Schiavo and even Schiavo's attorney had committed numerous civil rights violations against Terri.
Additionally, the Schindlers have filed a motion to have Greer removed from the case and replaced with another judge because Greer allegedly improperly discussed details of a pending case with elected officials.
Those two actions may be the last chances to block the removal of Terri's feeding tube, as the Florida Supreme Court has already refused to intervene.
The Schindlers are seeking to remove Michael Schiavo as Terri's legal guardian and to begin providing therapy and rehabilitation to Terri that some medical professionals have said could improve her condition.
Schiavo has allegedly prevented Terri from receiving any range of motion, speech or other therapy since collecting the money from the lawsuit.
Conflict of Interest Charged in Florida Euthanasia Case
By Jeff Johnson CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau Chief September 17, 2003
Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com) - Supporters of Terri Schindler Schiavo, the 39-year-old disabled Florida woman whose husband is attempting to remove her feeding tube which would end her life, charged a possible conflict of interest in the case Tuesday, one day after the judge postponed a decision on therapy for the woman to help her re-learn to swallow nutrients given to her by mouth.
The group working to get therapy and rehabilitative services for Terri alleges an improper link between the husband's attorney, George Felos, and court-appointed physician Dr. Peter Bambakidis, who was charged with providing an impartial review of the medical evidence in the case. Felos refused to comment on the allegation.
"Supporters of Terri believe that attorney George Felos had a personal relationship with either the Bambakidis family or with Peter Bambakidis prior to Dr. Peter Bambakidis being assigned as an independent examining physician in April of 2002," said Pamela Hennessy, spokeswoman for the group.
Hennessy referred to marketing materials distributed by Felos in which he lists some of the professional and social organizations in which he holds membership.
"A member of the Florida Bar and Clearwater Bar Association, Felos served as a member of the Clearwater Bar Appellate Law Committee, as governor of the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA), and as chair of numerous National Association of Securities Dealers arbitration panels," the document states.
AHEPA is a Greek fraternal organization that counts among its members Gust Bambakidis, chairman of the physics department at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and the older brother of Peter Bambakidis.
The elder Bambakidis confirmed to CNSNews.com Tuesday that it was his brother, Peter, who testified in the Terri Schindler Schiavo case.
"He was down in Florida because he was, I think he was asked to be an expert witness in a case. I think that's what that was all about" Gust Bambakidis said.
Gust Bambakidis said his younger brother is not a member of AHEPA, which was confirmed by the group's national headquarters. The older brother also said that he does not know George Felos.
Peter Bambakidis did not return calls to his office seeking comment for this report.
Felos refuses to answer questions
Felos Tuesday refused to answer questions about his client's case or about any possible relationship with the Bambakidis family, saying CNSNews.com's coverage of the controversy was "atrociously biased so I'm just not going to participate in it."
"In one of your articles ... I was described, not by someone else, but by the author of the article as a 'euthanasia attorney,' or 'pro-euthanasia attorney,'" Felos claimed, "which is inaccurate. I don't support euthanasia, I never have, I've been very clear about my position."
Felos was unable to identify any article in which the alleged description of him occurred.
Of the 16 articles CNSNews.com has published regarding the Terri Schindler Schiavo case, only six have contained the word "euthanasia" and none have done so referring directly or indirectly to Felos.
He has been identified by CNSNews.com as "a noted author and advocate in Florida's so-called 'right to die' movement," and as "a well-known advocate of the so-called 'right-to-die'," along with variations of the phrase "Michael Schiavo's attorney."
Felos authored the book Litigation as Spiritual Practice, which includes in its promotion by Blue Dolphin Publishing the statement that "Attorney George Felos became the legal advocate of Estelle Browning's right-to-die and in the process plumbed the depths of death and dying and spearheaded a social revolution to enable death with dignity in the state of Florida."
Felos has been described as a "right-to-die lawyer" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Orlando Sentinel has described Felos as the author of "a book about his right-to-die advocacy."
Judge set to rule on removal of feeding tube, swallowing therapy
Pinellas-Pasco, Florida, Circuit Judge George Greer refused to hear the Schindler family's motion that Terri be given immediate therapy to help her re-learn to swallow food on her own, before her feeding tube (technically referred to as a "gastrostomy" or "g-tube") is removed. Greer told attorney Pat Anderson that the issue is still being considered as part of the decision about when the tube will be removed.
"He told litigating attorneys that he would deliver a ruling on the removal of Terri's feeding tube as well as the emergency motion for immediate therapy ... on Wednesday," Hennessy told CNSNews.com. "But he's not calling another hearing. It's assumed, at this stage, that he's going to deliver whatever ruling he has via facsimile or courier."
Terri Schindler Schiavo suffered a brain injury due to oxygen depravation in 1990 under questionable circumstances. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, first petitioned the court to remove her feeding tube in 1998 shortly after winning a $1.2 million medical malpractice lawsuit on his wife's behalf. Terri's parents and siblings are seeking therapy and rehabilitation for her based on claims by some medical professionals that she could partially recover with
additional care. http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=\Culture\archive\200309\CUL20030917c.html
"I am your God, you will not question me. I will decide who lives and who can be starved to death".
This slope is very steep, and man is gaining speed on his way down.
The case was assigned to Judge Lazzara. There was, according to the media, a hearing set for this past Tuesday.
All of the Terri threads are silent on the validity of the media story, and void of any action by Lazzara.
What gives???? Did the ACLA pull out of the picture? Was the media story bogus? Who is yanking who's string? What happened to Christopher Ferrara????? Why is there no comment about his appearing before Judge Lazzara this past Tuesday??? Did that actually happen????
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