Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Truth About Michael Schiavo, II

Again I point readers to the previous work of Wesley J. Smith. You'll recall that, in 1992, when he was arguing for more money in his malpractice lawsuit, Michael Schiavo argued that Terri would live a normal life span and that he intended to be a loyal husband to her for the rest of his days. Because of this testimony, Michael Schiavo received $1.3 million, $750,000 of which went into a trust to fund Terri's rehabilitation.

Shortly after receiving this money, Mr. Schiavo suddenly remembered that Terri didn't want to live a normal life span. As Smith reported:
One evening, during the second term of President Ronald Reagan, Terri Schiavo and her husband Michael decided to watch a television movie about Karen Ann Quinlan. . . .

While discussing the movie, Michael claims that Terri stated she would not want to live hooked up to a "machine" (she's not), or be a "burden" (her parents don't consider her a burden and want to care for her). Michael's brother, Scott, backs up his claim, while his sister-in-law, Joan, told the court that Terri had approved of pulling the life support from the dying baby of a mutual friend and said that if she ever wrote a "will" she would say that she didn't want "tubes."

Little did Terri know that these purported statements, uttered under very casual circumstances, would become the justification used by her husband in his six-year drive to remove her feeding tube and end her life. Indeed, based on these casual statements, Judge George Greer of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Clearwater, Florida ruled that Michael had established "by clear and convincing evidence"--the highest evidentiary standard in civil law--that Terri would rather dehydrate to death over a period of 10-14 days than live on food and water supplied by a feeding tube.

That's the full extent of Michael Schiavo's "clear and convincing evidence" that his wife wants him to murder her. Terri's parents, on the other hand, testify that she had no such desire, leaving us with a he said/she said case--at best.

And that's before you examine the rest of the mountain of evidence that Michael Schiavo has a profit-motive for this killing. And that's before you learn that Michael Schiavo has, since Terri became disabled, fathered two children with another woman, to whom he claims to be engaged, which suggests that he has even more motive to be rid of Terri and which, at the very least, suggests that he is sufficiently compromised that there is no moral universe in which he is fit to be her guardian.


Jay D. Homnick said...

To you, Jonathan, I must tell this, the hardest thing for a writer to say: "I could not have said it better myself."

I think that if the Congressional bill succeeds in saving her, the blogosphere will again have played a significant role, although it is not likely to be acknowledged.

Anonymous said...

Michael Schiavo should be commended rather than condemned. You have this completely backwards and wrong. All the medical evidence has been weighed, all the testimony about what Terri would have wanted has been heard, and each time this goes to court they always reach the same decision: she is a vegetable and wouldn't have wanted to live that way. Apparently you and Tom Delay and president bush know better, though. Thank goodness you're here to save us all from ourselves. This nothing but ideology, sentimentality and political expediency being given greater importance than the facts of the case.

Jay D. Homnick said...

So the Liberals rode and weighed in - with their customary civility! What would the "little guy" in this country do without these loving and compassionate folks?

Anonymous said...

This case, beyond no recent other, truly demonstrates what each of our political party's agendas are (or more simply, their "true colors"). Most of the Democrats either did not show up (cowardess)when called upon to reconvene in Washington DC on the weekend of Mar 19-20, or stood in the way of saving Terri Shiavo from a miserable, tortuous, sadistic murder at the hands of the Florida judiciary. They realized that any legislation passed would need unanimous consent due to congressional rules applying to that weekend due to the recess. Most of them (the ones who did show up, aren't thet "sweet"?) therefore demanded a watered-down version of the bill passed just enough for the US District, Circuit, and Supreme Courts to have an excuse not to prevent the appalling and detestable execution of Ms. Schiavo. Meanwhile the Republicans pressed for a much stonger bill that these courts could not have circumvented. I disdain the Democrat party, and hope and will work for its demise, just as most of them hoped and worked for the torturous, horrific, and hastened slaughter of poor defenseless angel Terri Schiavo. My prayers are constantly with her, her family, her friends, and the good people of this great nation of ours.