August 28th, 2004.....The warm sunny day begins at 11:00 AM at Park Place Assisted Living in Clearwater where Terri Schindler Schiavo is held hostage as a patient by Woodside Hospice. Hospice is renting rooms at the assisted living facility while their building is under renovations. The Prayer Vigil was planned and facilitated by a dedicated friend and supporter of Terri, Mr. Paul Timmerman of Green Acres, Florida. Mr. Timmerman drove 4.5 hours to be joined by Monsignor Melanowski and others with hopes and prayers for saving Terri's life from her estranged husband who battles in court to have her feeding tube removed.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
As the crowd gathered the engine noise from a plane overhead is heard! A special aerial flight with banner for Terri was arranged and paid for by Sheree and Jim Lally from Kentucky. Sheree had wanted to do something special for Terri since she could not be at the vigil. She had the banner read, "Save Terri from execution! Vote Judge Greer Out!" The plane circled for 40 minutes over Terri before flying to the beaches. Special thanks to The Lally's for helping to light up the skies by making ALL of our voices known!
Miracles Do Happen! The day was hot and the sky was bright blue with the sun shining brightly. Making it difficult to photograph the plane and banner, I had mumbled to myself, "if only there were clouds, photographing the plane would be alot easier on my eyes." You can see from the picture what happened next.The cloud remained for the duration I was photographing the plane. The sky then returned to bright blue and sunny.
Retired Nurse Mary LaFrancis stands in front of Park Place Assisted living where Terri is held in a room on the 4th floor. Mary drove 23 hours non stop from Iowa to attend the prayer vigil and to help by making hundreds of telephone calls for the judicial campaign in support of Jan Govan. We thank you Mary and wish you a safe journey home to Iowa!
The day closes with thanks to all, continued prayers for Terri's freedom and a picture taken of a collage made by Cheryl Ford for Terri on Terri's birthday 12/3/2003. The collage depicts pictures of Terri's friends from all over the world. The center caption reads, "To Our Terri, From The World of Faces Who Love You!"
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Friday the 13th, Our Day With Charley!
By, Cheryl Ford RN
Friday the 13th! Evacuation in our area was to commence at 6 AM. We were in evacuation Area C, in Hillsborough County. Hurricane Charley was on the way and it was anticipated that the Category II hurricane was still heading straight for Tampa Bay!
Little time to prepare! Despite the evacuation notice, we still contemplated leaving our home. We did not wish to be inconvenienced with the hassles of packing up all the animals, going to a hotel, and not immediately being available to rescue any potential harm done to our home.
As did the majority of our neighbors, we had spent most of the prior night awake listening to the local news and preparing our house for its encounter with Charley. We were all very tired! Not knowing what to expect, we carried in all of our lawn furniture and hanging plants, wrapped everything in clear plastic, disconnected all the electrical appliances, foamed all the door seams, boarded up windows and some even sand bagged their driveways.
Twenty-eight telephone calls later, we finally located a hotel in Orlando with an available room. We reluctantly piled the 3 dogs and my son's rabbit into the car, slapped the breaker box to the OFF position...and out the door we all went hoping for the best.
The skies were only overcast at the time.
To the south we could see a roll cloud and bands of darkness. As we drove east on Interstate 4 on our way to our Orlando accommodations, we listened intently to the news reports about Charley's approach upon Tampa Bay. We sighed and moaned some more! Further east, the weather worsened on the roadway. We encountered torrential rains on I-4, leaving us with little visibility. We were a bit north of Lake Wales, when it was reported that a large tornado was spotted touching down in Lake Wales.
Following the tornado alert, there was another important announcement on the radio.
Hurricane Charley had been upgraded from a Category II to a Category IV hurricane. The news stated that Charley had also spontaneously changed the course of direction it had been on. The change had meant that it would bring hurricane Charley south of the Tampa Bay area. Far enough south to remove the potential water surge threats from the Hillsborough Bay. A Bay located one block from our home.
Hearing the news that Charley was coming onto the coast near Port Charlotte led us to believe that it would most likely follow a pathway northeast up the state, and eventually end up over Orlando where we had our hotel reservations. Paying for accommodations in order to feel the direct affects of a Class 4 hurricane was not our idea of fun.
We looked at each other with raised eyebrows, and in unison said..."Let's turn around and go back home."
Relieved to hear the hurricane was no longer a direct threat to us, we made it home safely and quickly unpacked the car. We spent the afternoon cuddled with our furry babes, watching the news in the comforts of our family room in our quiet neighborhood with boarded up homes.
We, in Tampa Bay were spared by the wrath of Hurricane Charley yesterday. However, there will be others!
Port Charlotte and other neighboring little towns were not as lucky.
Hurricane Charley had spent about 20 minutes visiting each little town in its path, ripping into them like he was an osterizer as he proceeded northeast across the state of Florida.
In a few hours time, sadly, several lives were reportedly taken and there was mass destruction costing in the billions.
Though our lives in Tampa Bay were spared this time, I learned something about hurricanes yesterday. I learned that a hurricane can have spontaneous direction similar to a tornado. I learned that it does not matter how much water you buy, how many flashlights you have; or how many windows you have boarded up, hurricanes do not discriminate!
In 100 MPH winds, limbs from neighborhood trees, building material and vehicles can quickly be turned into deadly missiles.
Nothing, or no one in its path is spared devastation of some form! A hurricane grants no mercy!
If you live in a neighborhood that happens to be in the path of a hurricane and can safely LEAVE, do so! Don't contemplate! Don't wait! Don't ignore evacuation notices!
After closely witnessing the path of rapid destruction and loss of human life Charley accomplished after terrorizing our neighbors to the south, instead of us here in Tampa Bay, I would not ever spend another moment contemplating the decisions of riding out a hurricane in our home. Nor would I opt to avoid an evacuation alert, just in order to save our home or personal possessions.
Sorry Charley and thanks for the lesson!
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Voices of America Fight4Terri
Tomorrow August 12, 2004
Join us at 10:00AM Central Time/11:00 Eastern Time
"These Orwellian Times"
Internet world wide radio.
Terri Schindler-Schiavo, the 40 year old disabled woman who has been held hostage in her room for well over three years by her estranged husband and legal guardian Michael Schiavo. Schiavo is fighting Terri's parents in the Florida courts to have her feeding tube removed.
Hear the comments and stories from listeners who have written in to Voices Of America Fight4Terri at Fight4Terri@aol.com to tell us their opinions about Terri's situation.
This segment of "These Orwellian Times" with your regular host Butch, will also include an interview with Terri's father, Mr. Robert Schindler, Sr.
Listen in and hear all about how Mr. Schindler and his family have been in legal battles with the Florida courts, trying to regain parental rights of their disabled daughter so to take her home and care for her.
Hear what it was like for Mr. Schindler and his family to watch Terri's estranged husband have Terri's feeding tube removed last October and go for 7 days without food or water.
The same tragic situation may happen to Terri again if the Florida Supreme Court over turns Terri's Law on
August 31, 2004.
Terri's Law was put into effect by Florida's Governor Jeb Bush last October so to have Terri's tube reinserted.
Send your comments to: Cheryl Ford RN at Fight4Terri@aol.com
Visit: Speak up For Freedom of Speach
firstname.lastname@example.org -- http://vetzine.blogspot.com/
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Bush Reply in Schiavo Court Case
Document Body Page Navigation Panel
Pages 1--18 from Untitled
Page 1 2
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
JEB BUSH, Governor of the State of Florida,
CASE NO.: SC04-925
MICHAEL SCHIAVO, as Guardian of the Person of THERESA MARIE SCHIAVO,Appellee.
REPLY BRIEF OF APPELLANT JEB BUSH, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
KENNETH L. CONNOR Florida Bar No. 146298
CAMILLE GODWIN Florida Bar No. 974323
Wilkes & McHugh, P. A. One North Dale Mabry, Suite 800
Tampa, Florida 33609 Phone: (813) 873-0026
Facsimile: (813) 872-1836 Counsel for Appellant 1
1 Page 2 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES ....................................................................... iv
I. SCHIAVO= S ANSWER BRIEF HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPETENT FACTUAL RECORD IN
THE LOWER COURT. 1
II. SCHIAVO AND THE LOWER COURT FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THE CRITICAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN AN IMPLICATION OF
PRIVACY RIGHTS AND AN INFRINGEMENT OF PRIVACY RIGHTS............................................................................................. 3
III. BY ENTERING SUMMARY FINAL JUDGMENT FOR SCHIAVO, THE LOWER COURT VIOLATED THE GOVERNOR= S FEDERAL
DUE PROCESS RIGHTS. ................................................ 6
IV. THE ACT DOES NOT ENDOW THE GOVERNOR WITH THE ABILITY TO NULLIFY FINAL ORDERS NOR STANDARDLESS
DISCRETION TO IGNORE HEALTH CARE CHOICES. ............. 7
V. THIS COURT SHOULD DECLINE TO ADDRESS SCHIAVO= S ALTERNATIVE GROUNDS FOR FINDING THE ACT
A. The Act Does Not Violate Equal Protection. 9
B. The Act Is Not An Unlawful Bill Of Attainder. 10
C. The Act Is Not An Invalid Special Law. 11 CONCLUSION 14
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE 15
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE 16 2
2 Page 3 4
3 Page 4 5
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
Cases Page( s)
Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General re: Florida Minimum Wage Amendment, 2004 WL 1574232 (Fla. 2004) ................ 4
Cesary v. National Bank of North Miami, 369 So. 2d 917 (Fla. 1979)............................................................................... 12
City of Miami v. McGrath, 824 So. 2d 143 (Fla. 2002) ........ 13
C. L. Whiteside and Associates Construction Company, Inc. v. The Landings Joint Venture, Inc.,
626 So. 2d 1051 (Fla. 4 th DCA 1993).................................... 9
Cox v. Florida Dept. of Health and Rehabilitative Services, 656 So. 2d 902 (Fla. 1995) ..................................................... 3
Dept. of Legal Affairs v. Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club, 434 So. 2d 879 (Fla. 1983) .................................................. 12, 14
Gentile v. Bauder, 718 So. 2d 781 (Fla. 1998)....................... 7
Hansberry v. Lee, 311 U. S. 32 (1940).................................... 6
In re T. W., 551 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 1989) ................................. 3
Mayes v. Moore, 827 So. 2d 967 (Fla. 2002) ......................... 11
North Florida Women = s Health and Counseling Svcs., Inc. v. State, 866 So. 2d 612 (Fla. 2003) ...................................... 3, 5
Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm, 115 S. Ct. 1447 (1995) ................. 11
Renee B. v. Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, 790 So. 2d 1036 (Fla. 2001) ................................................... 4, 5
Richards v. Jefferson County, Ala., 517 U. S. 793 (1996) ...... 6 4
4 Page 5 6
Schindler v Schiavo, 792 So. 2d 551 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001) (Schiavo II)......................................................... 7
Schrader v. Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, 840 So. 2d 1050 (Fla. 2003)................................................. 12
Sembler v. Oregon State Board of Dental Examiners, 294 U. S. 608, 55 S. Ct. 570 (1935)...................................................... 10
Shaktman v. State, 553 So. 2d 148 (Fla. 1989) ...................... 5
Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U. S. 97, 105 (1934)................ 6
State v. Peters, 534 So. 2d 760 (Fla. 3 rd DCA 1988) ............. 10
Thompson v. Haynes, 294 So. 2d 69, 71-72 (Fla. 1 st DCA 1971) 9
Statutes and Rules
FLA. STAT. ' 765.401..................... 8 Chapter 2003-418, Laws of Fla ................ 14, 15 Fla. R. Civ. P. 1. 280.................................. 6 Fla. R. Civ. P. 1. 430............................................. 6
Art. 1 ' 22, FLA. CONST .......................................................... 6 Art. 1 ' 23, FLA. CONST. .............................................. 3
U. S. CONST. amend. VII YYYYYYYYY ................................. 6 U. S. CONST. amend. XIV, ' 1YYYYYY... .............................. 6
Random House Webster = s Unabridged Dictionary, 961, 980 (2d ed. 2000) .................................................. 4
Black = s Law Dictionary, 1241 (7 th ed. 1999).......................... 9 5
5 Page 6 7
I. SCHIAVO= == =S ANSWER BRIEF HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPETENT FACTUAL RECORD IN THE
In his brief 1 , Schiavo repeatedly argues that no discovery or trial is necessary in this case because the facts are irrelevant. (AB, pp. 5, 14).
Notwithstanding this assertion, he also repeatedly makes explicit Afactual@assertions as components of his arguments. Examples of these unsubstantiated and outside the record declarations are found throughout the Answer Brief.
The first such allegation appears in the statement of the case and facts,where Schiavo asserts, supported only by reference to two newspaper editorials,that Akey legislators@ now regret their vote on the Act. (AB, p. 2). In the same paragraph, Schiavo also alleges that these Akey legislators@ were pressured to vote
as they did by Aphysical and political threats@ from persons who are part of a Awell-organized national campaign.@ Although cited in Schiavo= s ATable of Authorities,@these editorial columns were not provided in an appendix nor was any attempt
made to bring the accusations contained therein properly into the record before this Court.
2 In fact, the statements attributed to the only two legislators named are nothing less than rank hearsay and point out the need in this case for competent evidence. In contrast, although not considered by the lower court, the Governor submitted numerous affidavits signed by legislators, describing their concerns and
intent in proposing and in voting for the Act. (R. 950-952; 1115; 1067; 1005-1006; 1125-1129; 1136-1137; 1140-1143; 1146-1147).
1 Reference to the Answer Brief of the Appellee will be noted as (AB, page number)
2 Schiavo also never advises the Court that the sources are not even newspaper articles, but rather, opinion columns. 6 6
Page 7 8
Additional allegations in the Answer Brief include unsupported assertions that the Governor's allegations about Schiavo are false and Ascurrilous@ (AB, pp. 5,7); that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state, and her cerebrum has mostly been
replaced by spinal fluid (AB, p. 5); that denial of feeding Adoes not result in death by starvation@ (AB, p. 6 n. 5); that such a death is Apainless@ (AB, p. 6 n. 5); that
Terri's current life entails "never ending physical torture" (AB, p. 19 n. 17); that "Opponents to removal of artificial life support routinely charge family members with alleged financial 'conflicts' to impugn their motives." (AB, p. 7); and, that Terri would want to refuse food and fluids. (AB, p. 11 n. 7, pp. 30, 50).
The last contention, that Terri would want to refuse food and fluids, is crucial because it is the very question the Governor has been repeatedly precluded from investigating in this case. Clearly, Schiavo seeks to have this Court accept his incompetent, extra-record allegations as fact, while depriving the Governor of the opportunity to rebut the extra-record claims and prove or disprove the truth of his claims. Schiavo= s mere naked allegations of fact are wholly inadequate to
support his attack on the constitutionality of the statute. Cox v. Fla. Dept. of Health and Rehabilitative Services, 656 So. 2d 902 (Fla. 1995) (insufficient factual record to attack constitutionality where no evidence adduced). Further, his
reliance on such assertions underscores the need to afford the Governor procedural due process so that a competent factual record can be established.
I. SCHIAVO AND THE LOWER COURT FAILED TO RECOGNIZE
THE CRITICAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN AN IMPLICATION OF PRIVACY RIGHTS AND AN INFRINGEMENT OF PRIVACY
The lower court found the Act unconstitutional as an infringement on the right of privacy under Art. I, ' 23, FLA. CONST. (R. 1383). In so doing, the court
made the incorrect assumption that any act that affects or touches upon privacy 7 7 Page 8 9 3
rights is necessarily an infringement or violation of those rights. Florida cases discussing the right to privacy often use the terms Aimplicate,@ Ainfringe,@ and Aimpinge.@ See, North Florida Women = s Health and Counseling Service v. State,
866 So. 2d 612 (Fla. 2003); In re T. W., 551 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 1989). Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, reference to their dictionary definitions reveals important distinctions. 3 AImplicate@ is a neutral term meaning:
1) Ato show to be also involved;@ 2) Ato imply as a necessary circumstance, or as something to be inferred or understood;@ 3) Ato connect or relate to intimately; affect as a consequence.@ An act may Aimplicate the right to privacy either
negatively or positively. On the other hand, Ainfringe@ has a negative connotation and means Ato commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress;@ 2) Ato encroach or trespass.@ Similarly, Aimpinge@ is defined as Ato make an impression;
have an effect or impact; 2) to encroach or infringe; 3) to strike, dash, collide; 4)to come into violent contact.@ Random House Webster = s Unabridged Dictionary,961, 980 (2d ed. 2000).
These definitions support the Governor= s contention that
there is a pivotal distinction between an action which infringes or violates the right to privacy and an action which merely affects or implicates the right to privacy.
For the Act to be unconstitutional, it must violate privacy rights, not merely implicate them.
Certainly, all manner of legislative enactments implicate, involve, or touch upon the right to privacy without necessarily infringing upon or violating that right. Legislation affecting any acts may arguably implicate privacy concerns.
However, this Court has held that the strict scrutiny standard is only necessary if the challenged enactment was found to violate the right of privacy. Renee B. v.
3 Courts may utilize dictionaries to determine the plain and ordinary meaning of words. Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General re: Florida Minimum Wage Amendment, 2004 WL 1574232 (Fla. 2004). 8 8 Page 9 10 4
Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, 790 So. 2d 1036 (Fla. 2001) (rule precluding state funding of abortions did not infringe on the right to privacy and thus did not require the strict scrutiny analysis). In Renee B., the challenged rules
certainly affected personal and private decision-making regarding abortion, but the mere implication of the right to privacy did not amount to a violation of that right.
Although this Court, in North Florida, at times uses the terms Aimplicate@ and Ainfringe@ interchangeably, the substance of the opinion clearly shows that the Court first determined that the Parental Notice of Abortion Act implicated a minor= s right of privacy prior to finding that the act infringed upon that right. To do so, this Court reviewed a substantial factual record developed in the lower court via the adversary process. North Florida, 866 So. 2d at 616, 630-631. In this case, before finding an infringement on or violation of Terri= s right to privacy, there must be an adjudication of facts B particularly adjudication of the factual issue of her wishes under the present circumstances. See, Shaktman v. State, 553
So. 2d 148, 153 (Fla. 1989) (Ehrlich, C. J., concurring) (Awhether an individual has a legitimate expectation of privacy in any given case must be made by considering all the circumstances, especially objective manifestations of that expectation@).
Unless and until the Act is determined to violate Terri= s right to privacy, the Act should be viewed as presumptively constitutional.
III. BY ENTERING SUMMARY FINAL JUDGMENT FOR SCHIAVO, THE LOWER COURT VIOLATED THE GOVERNOR= == =S FEDERAL
DUE PROCESS RIGHTS.
The Governor has procedural and substantive due process rights guaranteed 9 9 Page 10 11 5 under both state and federal law. These rights include the right to discovery, the right to cross-examine witnesses, and the right to a jury trial or an evidentiary hearing with respect to factual matters. See, e. g., Art. 1, ' 22, FLA. CONST.; U. S. CONST. amend. VII; U. S. CONST. amend. XIV, ' 1; and Rules 1.430 and 1.280, Fla.
R. Civ. P. Although Schiavo asks this Court to decide this case only on state constitutional grounds (AB, p. 4 fn. 4), the Court certainly cannot ignore the obvious violations of the Governor= s due process rights under the federal constitution. See, Richards v. Jefferson County, Ala., 517 U. S. 793 (1996)
(violates the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to bind litigants to a judgment rendered in an earlier litigation to which they were not parties and in which they were not adequately represented) (citing Hansberry v. Lee, 311
U. S. 32 (1940)).
The purpose of due process is to ensure adequate safeguards for
constitutional rights. Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U. S. 97, 105 (1934). In this case, as explained in detail in the Initial Brief, the Governor has been wholly deprived of these safeguards. He has been denied the opportunity to examine or
cross-examine any witnesses and denied the opportunity to conduct any discovery whatsoever. Rather, he has been forced to accept as Afacts@ incompetent allegations and hearsay which have just as little probative value as the newspaper editorials Schiavo relies upon for his statement of facts in this appeal.
IV. THE ACT DOES NOT ENDOW THE GOVERNOR WITH THE ABILITY TO NULLIFY FINAL ORDERS NOR PROVIDE HIM STANDARDLESS DISCRETION TO IGNORE HEALTH CARE CHOICES.
Although Schiavo argues, in unnecessarily dramatic language, that the Act essentially renders court orders inoperative, (AB, p. 31), he patently ignores the fact that in Schiavo II, the Second District invited the guardianship court to modify 10
10 Page 11 12 6
its prior judgment if circumstances warranted such a change. Schindler v. Schiavo, 792 So. 2d 551, 559 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001). As the Second District Court explained, orders such as the order granting Schiavo authority to remove Terri= s feeding tube are not final, and may be challenged at any time. Id. This fact is
apparently irrelevant to Schiavo, who makes the stunning (and wholly unsubstantiated) claim that "determining Mrs. Schiavo's intent (again) is not material" and that even if a "hundred juries" determined that Terri wanted food
and fluids, that would be constitutionally irrelevant! (AB, p. 9, 16).
Schiavo also protests that if the Governor can conduct discovery on the facts pertinent to this case, "no judicial judgment is ever final because strangers can always refuse to acknowledge that judgment." (AB, p. 47). This simply makes no sense. Strangers are not bound by judgments between other parties.
Gentile v. Bauder, 718 So. 2d 781, 783 (Fla. 1998). Moreover, "strangers" normally will not have standing, or colorable arguments, upon which they can
challenge judgments affecting another person. On those rare occasions that such standing exists, it would violate due process to say such strangers are bound by a decision in which they had no representation.
Properly construed in pari materia with other laws, including Chapter 765, Florida Statutes, the Act does not provide the Governor with standardless discretion. Specifically, ' 765.401, FLA. STAT., refers to various proxies who may enter proceedings and act in circumstances where a patient has not previously
executed an advanced directive. By passing the Act, the legislature determined that the Governor should be permitted to act as a proxy in a very narrow set of circumstances. Further, there is a vast difference between a privy and a person
who is merely authorized to act as a proxy. A Aproxy@ is Aone who is authorized to act as a substitute for another.@ Black = s Law Dictionary, 1241 (7 th ed. 1999). In 11 11 Page 12 13 7
contrast, a Aprivy@ is Aa person having a legal interest of privity in any action, matter, or property.@ Id. at 1218. A finding of privity requires determination that two parties have a legally cognizable interest in the same proceeding. Id. at 1217. Determination of a person= s status as a Aprivy@ requires examination into the circumstances of each case. Thompson v. Haynes, 294 So. 2d 69, 71-72 (Fla. 1 st
DCA 1971). See also, C. L. Whiteside and Associates Construction Company, Inc.v. The Landings Joint Venture, Inc., 626 So. 2d 1051 (Fla. 4 th DCA 1993)(questions of privity and common interest are factual in nature). This is yet
another factual issue undecided by the lower court. V. THIS COURT SHOULD DECLINE TO ADDRESS SCHIAVO= == =S
ALTERNATIVE GROUNDS FOR FINDING THE ACT UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
Schiavo= s Answer Brief posits additional alternative grounds for affirmance of the lower court order entering summary final judgment. (AB, pp. 10, 40-44).
As Schiavo concedes, the lower court did not reach these issues, and in fact,expressly reserved the opportunity to address them at a later date if the Act was found constitutional by a reviewing court. (AB, p. 40). Just as with the other
issues in this case, no competent factual record was developed from which to formulate arguments. As such, this Court should decline Schiavo= s invitation to short-circuit the litigation process by attempting to address such matters at this time. However, in the interest of caution, the Governor will briefly address why these alternative arguments are without merit, particularly in the absence of a record.
4 A. The Act Does Not Violate Equal Protection.
4 Although only briefly addressed herein, these arguments and others were presented at length in the lower court and can be found in the Governor= s Corrected Brief, filed in the lower court on November 20, 2003. The Corrected Brief is found in the Record of this Appeal at R. 465-530. 12
12 Page 13 14 8
The analysis applied to the Act for purposes of determining whether it violates Florida and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection is functionally equivalent to that utilized when testing the Act for validity under
Florida= s right to privacy. Just as the Act passed muster under that challenge it also meets constitutional strictures under an equal protection analysis.
Classifications drawn by the legislative branch, which are intended as a response for perceived ills, need be drawn no broader than necessary in order to remedy those bills. State v. Peters, 534 So. 2d 760, 763 (Fla. 3 rd DCA 1988) citing
Sembler v. Oregon State Board of Dental Examiners, 294 U. S. 608, 610, 55 S. Ct. 570, 571 (1935). The limited scope of the Act is plainly tailored to the legislature= s response to a particularly egregious problem and is structured to address that problem. Here the legislature has determined that in order to protect and preserve life and to protect the disabled it must permit the Governor to reinstate nutrition and hydration to a person who has actually been determined to be in a persistent vegetative state and who has had those necessities withdrawn in
the context of a dispute over the patient= s condition and wishes. Such a limited intrusion and narrowly drawn class is fully in concert with the constitutional standards imposed upon statutes such as the Act. B. The Act Is Not An Unlawful Bill Of Attainder.
Schiavo claims that the Act is unconstitutional as an unlawful bill of attainder and thus is in violation of Article I, Section 10, Florida Constitution. Schiavo claims further that the Act by its terms necessarily Asingles out@ Terri and imposes a Apunishment@ upon her without benefit of a judicial trial. The Act could apply to any person who meets the conditions set out in Section (1)( a)-( d). None of these conditions is so limiting that only Terri can fall within them. Second, nothing in the Act evidences any determination on the part of the legislature that a 13 13 Page 14 15 9 person who falls within its ambit has had his or her Aguilt [
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Voices Of America Fight4Terri
Today, August 5, 2004
~Tune into net radio~
"These Orwellian Times"
10:00 AM Central Time
~Voices of America Fight4Terri~
Hear read the opinions and personal stories
from friends of Terri.
Followed at 10:10 AM Central Time,
an interview with Terri's father, Robert Schindler Sr.
email@example.com -- http://vetzine.blogspot.com/
Speak Up For Freedom Of Speech
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
August For Terri
Dear Fight4Terri Supporters:
I come to you at this time to literally PLEAD for your help.
The August 31st Supreme court ruling re: Terri's situation is right around the corner.
Election day to boot Judge Greer OUT is also on the same day!
We are having a mass campaign volunteer effort during the entire month of August to SAVE Terri.
We wish to spread Terri's story via handing out flyers, CD's, talking to neighbors, local churches and different agencies throughout the Clearwater, Florida area.
We are desperately seeking the help of MANY VOLUNTEERS who can also come to the Clearwater, Florida area anytime between now and the end of August to help pass out Govan flyers, work on computers, and man the telephone lines at the Govan headquarters.
If you need assistance with housing or a ride to and from the airport, please contact:
Cheryl at FIGHT4TERRI@AOL.COM
or Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a list of nearby hotels for your convenience.
We really do need your help here in Florida!
TERRI NEEDS YOU!
PLEASE HELP SAVE TERRI AND OURSELVES!
Remember, whatever happens to Terri can happen to any one of us. If Felos wins this case, it will set the precedent for someone to end your life without your permission. Wouldn't you want your rights and life protected should a medical event limit your abilities?
BECOME A PART OF KNOWING IT WAS YOU WHO HELPED TO SET TERRI AND OTHERS FREE FROM JUDGES WHO SUPPORT
KILLING THE DISABLED.
LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO BOOT JUDGE GREER FROM THE BENCH!
I THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THE EMAILS AND SUPPORT YOU HAVE CONTINUALLY SHOWN FOR TERRI.
I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU SHOULD YOU BE ABLE TO COME AND HELP IN THIS MASS CAMPAIGN EFFORT.
INHALE THE BEAUTY OF FREEDOM AND LIFE.
CHERYL FORD RN
The Caring Man
The Caring Man
by Cheryl Ford RN
I remembered the first time I had heard all about a caring man who resided in our country, who also traveled extensively throughout the world talking to people about hostage situations, torture, and freedom here in America.
I had heard all about how the caring man had explained to foreign countries how America does not tolerate torture, hostage situations, nor the killing of innocent people.
I heard how the caring man had an incredible gift articulating the values of human life. How he had a wife and children, and high regard for the family bond.
Many claimed how much the caring man truly supported and valued human life and how he would surely come to help Terri, a disabled 40 year old woman held hostage by an estranged husband named Michael, in the state of Florida.
I was encouraged by many to make contact with the caring man.
So one day, five months ago, I decided to painstakingly write and share with the caring man the story about Terri. I thought it best to also enclose a picture of Terri and her mother Mary, so to provide him with a better idea of the pain and love in Mary and Terri's faces.
I had explained in my letter to the caring man how loving and close Terri's family, the Schindlers' are to each other. How despite the travesty and torture which has occurred before their eyes to their hostage held disabled daughter, how close they still remained.
I explained how Terri had a lovely brother and sister who spent everyday of their lives pleading for their sisters life. How they ask everyone they meet to join in helping them to save their sister from being held hostage. From being tortured via starvation and dehydration by her estranged husband, and his pro-death attorney when they motion to the courts to again pull her feeding tube on yet a third try to kill her.
I explained in my letter to the caring man how the family had been begging the courts for the opportunity to take their disabled daughter home with them so to properly care for her in their warm and loving family home. I carefully explained how Terri loved life, animals, children and the outdoors, but had not been permitted out of her institutionalized room for well over three years.
I conveyed how her estranged husband, the so-called legal guardian, had claimed to love her, but was wanting to kill her because he felt she would not want to live like a disabled person. I shared how Michael, her estranged husband, had made such claims of her not wanting to live, only days after he had won over a one million dollar settlement that had been paid to him for her care. How he then had hired the pro-death lawyer, George Felos, to help him via the Florida courts to pull her feeding tube so she would starve to death.
I also shared with him how her estranged husband had melted down her wedding rings and made jewelry for himself out of the gold. How he had euthanized her healthy cats. How there was a nurses affidavit stating how Michael had inquired, "when is that bitch going to die?" How he, for nine years, has been residing in a house with another woman,while still legally married to Terri. And, how Michael and his concubine had two children together.
I told the caring man in the letter how I was also taught by my parents to be a good American and to help people when I saw that there were wrong doings in my own country.
I asked the caring man if he could please help Terri, a disabled hostage American woman, by coming to Florida and giving the same lecture he gave to the world about hostages, torture and the value of life to the judges in Florida.
I had thought to myself, if what I was told by many was really true about the caring man, about how he had really believed in saving human lives who were held hostage, then he surely would be interested in coming to Florida to help a disabled American woman who has been held hostage in one room for well over three years.
I concluded in my letter to him the address of where Terri was being held hostage and explained how Terri was being watched 24 hours a day, 7 days per week by a paid policeman so to prevent her family from taking her home, out of her room, or for even a walk in the sunshine.
I was given the caring man's email address, physical address and his fax line.
For five consecutive months, I sent him letters each month via three different ways, his email, fax, and postal mail.
I waited patiently, but sadly and regretfully no word came from the caring man.
Yesterday, on July 16, 2004, I received a most exciting email from another one of Terri's many supporters. The supporter stated that the caring man was actually in Florida and was delivering a speech about slavery! I was told that he was speaking less than 20 minutes from where Terri is being held hostage.
At first, I must admit....I became very excited thinking my prayers had been answered and how he, the caring man, had received my letters and was in Florida only to help Terri. Regretfully, I learned that was not the case.
So,I quickly made several calls to people who I thought might get word to the caring man, to remind him where Terri was located and to ask him to please visit Terri while in Florida. I so wanted him to view her hostage situation with his own eyes. One of the calls I made with the hopes of getting word to the caring man, was to the caring man's brother, the Governor of the state of Florida.
But to no avail, I could not get through.
As you may have guessed by now, the caring man who I had been trying desperately to reach by sending numerous correspondences to is the President of the United States,
Mr. George W. Bush.
I truly had hoped it was he, the caring man, who had finally come to Florida to show his "caring " to Terri. Terri, the well known disabled female American hostage who sits fighting for her life in one room, denied therapy, wishing to feel a ray of sunshine on her skin, fearing she will be starved again soon by her estranged husband, wanting to go home to her parents, and desperately needing the help from the caring man.
To my dismay, President Bush, after all of these months, arrived, visited, and departed Florida without one word, one call, or one mention about Terri.
The invaluable lessons of Caring, Torture, Hostage, Freedom and the recognition of human life that is lectured by the President of the United States of America should first be demonstrated on American soil before being preached to the rest of the world.
Monday, August 02, 2004
Why isn't Terri's story supported by the local newspaper???
Many write to me and ask, "Why isn't there positive media coverage for Terri in your area?"
The below article explains with good reason why there has been a lack of local media support for Terri Schindler-Schiavo.
We don't have free press...we have the good ol' boy system filled with corruption from those who are stationed in every arena from the courts on down to the media.
The news is reported not by the facts here in Florida, but by those who are in positions to censor and hold the truth!
St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Edition
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Tampa and State Section, Page 4B
"But Monday, the church withdrew its motion for a change of venue. The turnaround came after Judge W. Douglas Baird wrote a letter to the church's attorneys noting his wife is a reporter for the Tampa Tribune, and that his 'circle of social acquaintances" includes staffers at both the Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times."
For updated News about Terri
Speak Up For Freedom of Speech
Your Rights Are Your Security.
He Who Demands Your Rights
Aims To Take Your Security
Visit and talk to:
Listen to "These Orwellian Times"
www.crusaderadio 10 AM Central Time Mon-Fri
Michael Schiavo fails to show for deposition
For Immediate Release - 8/02/2004 12.00 PM (GMT-5)
Michael Schiavo fails to show for deposition
St Petersburg, FL – For a second time, Michael Schiavo failed to appear for a deposition that was scheduled for 11.00am today. Schiavo employed the same "no show" tactic in a similar instance a few years ago.
Schiavo’s deposition disregard is in defiance to a Clearwater court ruling that attorneys representing the parents of Terri Schindler-Schiavo can examine Michael Schiavo under oath. Schiavo has also ignored a Court order obliging him to disclose information to Terri’s family pertaining to Terri’s medical status.
In his recent July 2004 ruling, Judge Greer of Pinellas-Pasco County’s Sixth Judicial Circuit stated that both Michael Schiavo and Jodi Centonze, his fiancé since 1997 and mother of his two children, could be deposed by attorney Patricia Anderson in the guardianship case involving his disabled wife, Terri Schiavo.
Since the scheduling of this deposition, new developments have come to light.
On July 31, 2004, Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, visited her at Park Place Assisted Living Facility. Michael Schiavo (via telephone to the staff) denied Terri’s parents permission to bring a music CD into their daughter’s room for Terri’s listening enjoyment.
Additionally, the Schindlers noticed a wrist band on Terri from Mease-Countryside Hospital and inquired as to when and why their daughter had been hospitalized. A second phone call was placed to Mr. Schiavo, Terri’s guardian, to ask permission to disclose details to Terri’s parents. Again, Mr. Schiavo denied his permission.
A 1996 court order compels Michael Schiavo to disclose changes in Terri’s medical condition to her parents and to notify the staff that they may do just that. Once again, Mr. Schiavo decided not to follow that court order. This particular court order defiance is ongoing. Mr. Schiavo continues to deny the Schindlers information about their daughter’s medical condition.
Michael Schiavo has sought to end Terri’s life by dehydration and starvation since 1998, and also previously ordered that she be deprived of medical treatment for a life-threatening infection. Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler of Florida, have fought tirelessly to save their daughter’s life.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Voices of America Fight4Terri
Voices of America Fight4Terri
~ ~ ~
Write your opinion dedications or personal stories and have them read on weekly world wide internet radio.
America here is your chance. Speak out now!
Email Cheryl @ Fight4Terri@aol.com with your opinions about Terri, or dedications and stories about yourself or others who you have personally known who have experienced situations similar to Terri's.
All stories must be kept to 100 words or less and must include your first name and state.
Every Thursday morning at 10:00 AM Central Time hear your comments, dedications and stories read on worldwide internet WWW.CRUSADERADIO.COM, "These Orwellian Times"
Donations are appreciated and accepted and can be made
at Terri's website www.terrisfight.org
FACTS VERSUS MICHAEL SCHIAVO
FACTS VERSUS MICHAEL SCHIAVO
CHERYL FORD RN
Visit www.terrisfight.org for updates about Terri
Michael Schiavo, Terri's estranged spouse and guardian repeatedly has motioned to the court to pull Terri's feeding tube stating Terri is in a persistent vegetative state and would not want to live.
Terri's family, the Schindlers', have argued Terri is not in a persistent vegetative state and based upon her Catholic faith and love for life, they
have stated that Terri does indeed wish to live!
On two occasions, Schiavo, has been successful in having Terri's feeding tube removed.
In October 2003, Terri suffered for 7 days while being starved to death before the Governor of Florida was able to issue an executive order on October 22, 2003, introducing Terri's Bill. An order was then sent by the Governor for all health care personnel and medical facilities caring for Terri, to immediately reinsert Terri's feeding tube. Terri's feeding tube was reinserted after 7 days of no food and water.
October 2003, Michael Schiavo announced his plans to sue Governor Bush and then challenged Terri's Law as unconstitutional.
Michael Schiavo, for the last nine years has been residing with his concubine. He has maintained a common household with her and together they have produced two children.
In November of 1992, Terri was awarded 1.4 million in a malpractice settlement so to be able to receive all the therapy and medical attention she would need. Michael Schiavo, as Guardian, maintained total control over her settlement.
A few months after Michael received the money, he began denying Terri rehabilitative care and posted a Do Not Resuscitate Order on Terri's chart.
In an effort to present the entries and facts made by various health care providers, versus the statements that were made by Michael Schiavo in an article written by Tampa Bay Online on October 20, 2003, facts have been compiled from affidavits and Terri's medical records as they were stated by Terri's health care providers.
Statement By Michael Schiavo
Published: Oct 20, 2003
from Tampa Bay Online
Michael Schiavo: Last Wednesday, my wife's feeding tube was removed. For over 6 years, I have struggled with the Schindlers in court. On Wednesday, I joined them in grief. I understand what the Schindlers are going through at this time. I feel the same loss. For years after this happened to Terri, I tried desperately to find a cure for her. I went from one doctor to another. Almost all of them told me there was no possibility she would recover.
FACT - 05/20/1990 ---DR. NEWHART--
The brain cells that control body function were not as seriously affected as initially diagnosed Consequently, it is anticipated that Terri should regain full use of her body.
FACT - 06/27/1990 ---- DR. BARAS--
Patient had been seen by me at College Harbor and started to make improvement. Started to show some vocalization where she will say "no" and occasionally has some voluntary movement on command of eyes and mouth as reported by husband and mother.
FACT - 06-28-1990 --- DR. THACKER
Moaning type vocalizations initially; no sign of excess secretions requiring frequent suctioning; intermittently swallows, probably swallows her saliva without any trouble.
FACT -- 07-10-1990 ---- DR. BARAS --
Purposeful movement in right upper extremity as seen by P.T. O.T. and me Flexing right elbow not as a reflex, but voluntarily.
FACT-- 08/25/1990 DISCHARGE SUMMARY FROM BAYFRONT MEDICAL. Patient did show some improvement in range of motion.
FACT -- 01/01/1991 PHYSICAL THERAPY EVAL---Turns head from noxious stimuli.
FACT -- 01/29/1991---- DR. ALCAZARAN --Meadowbrook California. Noted increased alertness, turns head toward voice, turns head from tactile stimulation. Sucking, and rooting response to olfactory stimulation. Spontaneously vocalized. Good cough. Some visual tracking.
FACT- - 02-1/1991 ---Physical Therapy Notes --
Alert throughout treatment session, responds to pain, moaning, turns head from noxious stimuli.
FACT-- 02/15/1991 --- PSYCHOLOGY NOTES WRITTEN BY PATTI SHOOK ---Terri's eye opening responses were her strongest. Terri's tactile responses were her best, with other four modalities only 1 to 2 points behind. This level of functioning is appropriate for a sensory stimulation program.
FACT-- 02/1/1992--THERAPEUTIC NOTES BY SHERRI LAGE --
Patient appeared to focus on several pictures of family for 10 seconds, appeared to slightly track to left each session, but inconsistent Quick startle response to all auditory stimuli, occasionally moves head from tactile stimuli.
FACT -- 02/20/1991-- PHYSICAL THERAPY NOTES -- Patient has made significant gains since admission in all areas of range of motion.
FACT -- 03/19/1991--- SPEECH LANGUAGE NOTES --
Occasionally responds to request to verbalize, swallow and move arms.
FACT -- 06/17/1991 --- TREATMENT PLAN REVIEW --
Vocalizing when prone in PT., occasionally will say "stop" to nurse doing procedures.
Michael Schiavo : Any doctor that gave me a glimmer of hope that some new treatment or therapy would work was given free reign with Terri. I would do anything to make her well.
FACT-- 3/26/1991 ---Nurses Notes-
Terri's side rail on her bed found down after Michael left. When told about it, he replied that "that was their job.
FACT -- 1993 CAROLYN JOHNSON AFFIDAVIT
"No therapy per husbands orders. Dr's orders over ridden. Patient kept in isolation, no stimulation."
FACT-- APRIL 1995-JULY 1996 -- CARLA SAUER RN AFFIDAVIT
"Michael orders no rehab. No range of motion, no nothing."
"Patient alert and oriented, spoke regularly "MOMMA, "MOMMY' "HELP ME". "Throughout my time at Palm Gardens, Michael Schiavo was focused on Terri's death. Michael would say, "When is she going to die?, "Has she died yet?" and "When is that b***h(redacted) going to die?"
FACT --MARCH 1997-SUMMER 1997 -- HEIDI LAW, CNA AFFIDAVIT
" I know that Terri did not receive routine physical therapy or any kind of therapy. I was personally aware of orders for rehabilitation that were not being carried out. Even though they were ordered, Michael would stop them."
Michael Schiavo: I took Terri to California. I stayed with her while doctors performed an experimental procedure to implant electrodes in her brain to stimulate its function. I spent months working with her - hopeful of a cure.
Months later, the doctors told me the electrodes were not working.
FACT: Written in St. Petersburg Times Archives
Copyright Times Publishing Co. Feb 17, 1991
"She underwent surgery, performed by Dr. Yoshio Hosobuchi of the University of California at San Francisco in December, to implant a stimulator in her brain. The brain stimulator implant was a success, said her husband, Mike. "
Mrs. Schiavo is slowly emerging from the coma at the Mediplex Medical Center, a neurological care center in Bradenton, he said. She will undergo at least a year of speech, occupational and physical therapy.
Michael Schiavo: I took Terri to Mediplex, in Bradenton, Florida, which is a residential rehabilitation facility that specializes in brain injuries. She spent months there in intensive physical, speech, and occupational therapy and testing. Finally, the doctors and therapist told me and the Schindlers they could do nothing more for her. I hired a private duty aide 8 hours a day to take Terri on outings to parks and museums trying to stimulate her - looking for any sign of life, any flicker of hope. There was none - ever.
FACT 03/15/1991 Therapeutic notes Laura Mizell -- Patient has displayed an increase in eye opening since last 30 day summary, Patient responses to auditory stimulation are at the point that they are almost auditorily defensive. During recent outings, rugby games kept eyes closed to and from game...beach visit she was more aroused.
FACT 03/11/1991 Summary of all departments--- 2 point increases in vocalization and eye opening, motor responses. Tactile increased 3 points. Overall her general responsiveness score increased slightly from 19 to 23.
Michael Schiavo: Over the years, I had three swallowing tests performed on Terri in the hope that some of the therapies would allow her to be weaned off the feeding tube. The test all showed no change, and I was advised she could not swallow food. Even now, the nursing home staff says that sometimes Terri gags and chokes on the moisture from the swabs they use to moisten her lips.
FACT--March to mid summer 1997 -- Heidi Law Affidavit --
"Patient did not like the taste of the teeth cleaning swabs or mouthwash. Did like the smell and feel of her lotion. Liked to have her hair combed. Did not like being tucked in. She would suck on ice chips and swallow ice water, orange juice or apple juice in her washcloth to give her something nice to taste, which made her happy. On three or four occasions, I personally fed Terri small amounts of Jello which she was able to swallow and enjoyed immensely."
Michael Schiavo: "The reports you heard from nursing home aides that Terri was responsive years ago are not true. I would give anything if they were."
March 1997- Heidi Law CNA Affidavit---
"Terri had very definite likes and dislikes, Olga (another CNA) and I used to call her "Fancy Pants" because she was so particular about certain things." "Terri reacted very well to seeing a picture of her mother which was in her room. Many times when I came on duty it would be lying face down where she could not see it." "I witnessed a priest visiting Terri a couple of times. Terri would become quiet when he prayed with her. She couldn't bow her head because of her stiff neck, but she would still try. During the prayer, she would keep her eyes closed, opening them afterward."
April 1995-July 1996 --Carla Sauer Iyer RN Affidavit ---
"When I came into her room and said "Hi Terri," she would always recognize my voice and her name, and would turn her head all the way toward me, saying "Haaaiiii" sort of, as she did. When I told her humorous stories about my life or something I read in the paper, Terri would chuckle, sometimes more a giggle or laugh."
May 2001 - Trudy Capone LPN Affidavit --
When asked if she ever observed any eye movement on Terri's behalf that would indicate Terri was following people who visited with her eyes and if she seems to really know what was going on?
Capone responded..."Absolutely! Yes, yes..why do you think Michael would instruct us to give her medication when she was on her period?"
EXCERPTS THAT WERE TAKEN FROM MICHAEL SCHIAVO'S JOURNAL
4/16/1991 -- BECAME EVERY EXCITED, CRIED, FACIAL EXPRESSION, TEARS, WHINING.
4/17/1991 -- SITTING IN A CHAIR, HOLDING LEGS TOGETHER, HOLDING HER OWN HEAD UP, RESPONSE TO EVERY NOISE SHE HEARS, TASTED EXTRACTS, SWALLOWED. MIXED UP DAYS AND NIGHTS
4/25/1991 MS TALKING TO HER, SHE THEN LIFTED HEAD OFF AND AWAY FROM CHAIR. I ASKED HER IS SHE WANTED TO GET UP. SHE NODDED. I ASKED HER A MINUTE LATER, SHE DID THE SAME MOTION.
4/26/1991 JOHN (NURSE) SAYS EVERY TIME HE IS HERE TERRI SQUEEZES HIS HAND WHEN ASKED.
5/1/1991 - LAST FEW DAYS TERRI HAS BECOME A LITTLE MORE ALERT. SHE WILL MOVE HER HEAD FROM SIDE TO SIDE. WHEN OUT IN WHEELCHAIR, SHE WILL HOLD HER OWN HEAD UP FOR THE PERIOD SHE IS OUT. STILL MIXES UP DAYS AND NIGHTS.
5/2/1991- ASLEEP, SEEMS TO DO A LOT OF DREAMING, HEAD WILL MOVE BACK AND FORTH, TOES, LEGS, ARMS, FINGER, ECT WILL DO ALOT OF MOVING. TERRI DOES REAL WELL WITH HER EARLY MORNING STROLL.
SHE WILL HOLD HER OWN HEAD UP (UNLESS SHE FALLS ASLEEP) SHE WILL WATCH ALL THE NURSES DO THEIR THING.
Aug - Terri awarded $250,000 in out of court settlement.
Nov - Terri awarded $1.4 million in malpractice trial.
Nov - Michael Schiavo awarded $300,000 in malpractice trial.
Feb - Michael Schiavo denies Terri recommended rehabilitation treatment.
On August 31, 2004, a hearing will be before the Supreme Court in Tallahassee to determine whether Terri's Law is unconstitutional. If the law is declared unconstitutional, there will be no laws in place to prevent Michael Schiavo from having the freedom to pull Terri's feeding tube once again.
Please write to your President, Senators and Local Press.
Save a life! Please help us to SAVE Terri! Thank you.
Below is the above article in its entirety:
Statement By Michael Schiavo
Published: Oct 20, 2003
Last Wednesday, my wife's feeding tube was removed. For over 6 years, I have struggled with the Schindlers in court. On Wednesday, I joined them in grief. I understand what the Schindlers are going through at this time. I feel the same loss.
For years after this happened to Terri, I tried desperately to find a cure for her. I went from one doctor to another. Almost all of them told me there was no possibility she would recover. Any doctor that gave me a glimmer of hope that some new treatment or therapy would work was given free reign with Terri. I would do anything to make her well.
I took Terri to California. I stayed with her while doctors performed an experimental procedure to implant electrodes in her brain to stimulate its function. I spent months working with her - hopeful of a cure. Months later, the doctors told me the electrodes were not working.
I took Terri to Mediplex, in Bradenton, Florida, which is a residential rehabilitation facility that specializes in brain injuries. She spent months there in intensive physical, speech, and occupational therapy and testing.
Finally, the doctors and therapist told me and the Schindlers they could do nothing more for her. I hired a private duty aide 8 hours a day to take Terri on outings to parks and museums trying to stimulate her - looking for any sign of life, any flicker of hope. There was none - ever.
Over the years, I had three swallowing tests performed on Terri in the hope that some of the therapies would allow her to be weaned off the feeding tube. The test all showed no change, and I was advised she could not swallow food. Even now, the nursing home staff says that sometimes Terri gags and chokes on the moisture from the swabs they use to moisten her lips.
The reports you heard from nursing home aides that Terri was responsive years ago are not true. I would give anything if they were. Those aides cared for Terri during the time that I was desperately seeking a cure for her. I was so frustrated that I could not help Terri. I am sure that I was sometimes unkind to the aides - even shouted at them. This was not because I wanted Terri dead, but because I desperately wanted her alive. I blamed myself because I could not bring her back.
It seemed to me, during that time, that the aides never did enough for Terri. Some days they did not put her makeup on. I would storm into the nursing home insisting that they do so. I knew Terri always wanted to look her best. Sometimes, the aides did not get her dressed and sitting up until late in the morning. They did not always get her hair combed. They sometimes failed to give her vitamins and medications on time. At each of those failures, I became enraged and lashed out. I felt so helpless. Each small infraction reminded me how powerless I was to really help Terri. I admit that I yelled at the aides and I am now deeply sorry for that behavior. Much like the Schindlers now, I stubbornly resisted and suggestion that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state and would never get better.
I never wanted Terri to die. I still don't. After more than seven years of desperately searching for a cure for Terri, the death of my own mother helped me realize that I was fooling myself. More important, I was hiding behind my hope, and selfishly ignoring Terri's wishes. I wanted my wife to be with me so much that I denied her true condition.
Terri told me on several occasions before this happened that she would not want to live in her current condition. If we had been older, I am sure she would have signed a living will making it clear that she did not to be kept alive on tubes and machines. She never had the chance.
That left me to carry out her wishes. It has been hard. In fact, it is the hardest thing I have ever done. In the end, I did what I believe Terri would have wanted me to do.
Some people do not agree with the decisions the court made to remove Terri's feeding tube. I struggle to accept it myself. But I know in my heart that it is right, and it is what Terri wants. There is no longer any realistic hope of Terri's recovery. Perhaps there never was, but I had to try - just as the Schindlers have tried. The reality is that Terri left us 13 years ago, and none of us can bring her back.
Terri's parents and family may visit with her as much as they choose in the days to come. I, and my friends and relatives, will be there as well to spend time with Terri, as we all grieve. Please pray for us all.