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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Here is a Terri Schiavo update

There is really no time left for debating this thing in ideological terms. Imagine how you would feel if you hadn’t had any food or water since Wednesday. She’s also being given morphine which will hasten her death. In a matter of days, America will no longer be the best country in the world.

This is not just some argument about euthanasia or the right to die. There is no time for that. If we stipulate that the position of Kevorkian (who is starting to look like Mr. Rodgers) is entirely correct and legal, and that Mr. Schiavo is totally in the right, it is still necessary to keep Terri Schiavo alive for long enough to make that determination in a proper and open matter. Then, go ahead and kill her, at least we wouldn’t be setting the precedent that this can now be done without due process. What the hell is the judge in this case so afraid of, that he can’t allow her to be videotaped, or visited by people who might try to give her water? Right now she is essentially being imprisoned. What happens if she rolls out of bed and tries to crawl away? We’re not allowed to know what, that’s what.

Here are a few pertinent matters that you might not know if you’ve been relying on this blog and the TV news for information about Terri Schiavo:

- She was not being sustained by artificial means, she was being sustained by food and water. Many cerebral palsy patients need feeding tubes to live.

- During this entire period, she was being denied medical treatments, which, had she received them, may have resulted in her being able to communicate years ago.

- Judge Greer has disregarded all of the medical testimony that didn’t simply tell him whatever he wanted to hear, and prevented one side in this case from presenting evidence, or trying to find out whether Terri might respond to treatment were it attempted. He has not seen Terri in person. For whatever reason, he apparently has no interest in doing his duty of trying to determine the truth, and in fact, has bent over backwards to conceal any facts that might tend to support the case against killing Terri Schiavo.

- She is in no state resembling a coma; Videotapes which Mr. Schiavo and Judge Greer tried to suppress show her responding to being touched and spoken to by smiling and laughing. There is no clearer indication of quality of life than smiling and laughing.

Here’s an email I’m trying to get to Governor Jeb Bush (jeb@jeb.org)

Dear Sir:

The Terri Schiavo case is just beginning to get some serious national coverage (I'm in the Seattle area). It would be prudent at this time, to say the least, for you to instruct the Department of Children and Families to do an investigation of their own to see if Mrs. Schiavo has been getting proper care and rehabilitation. It seems quite likely that they would find that she has not, at which time you could have the Department take over the guardianship of Terri Schiavo. I'd also like to urge you to consider any possibilities that may exist of having Judge Greer promptly removed from the bench, or at least temporarily relieved. Even if Mr. Schiavo's version of facts were true, this would not excuse the Judge's bizarre decrees barring basic medical treatments and efforts to produce evidence in favor of the Schindlers' case. The logic behind his order that no one be allowed to attempt to feed her (that she could aspirate the food and die of pneumonia instead of thirst and starvation), is straight out of Monty Python. If separation of powers means letting judges do anything they want, then it means nothing at all.

My father, a retired special education teacher, tells me that he has had students in worse shape than Mrs. Schiavo, fed with tubes, and capable of learning. This woman is moving, smiling, and laughing in response to other people. She could still survive if only she is somehow hydrated long enough to straighten this situation out and get her real medical treatment. If not, then the reputation of Florida is sealed. Thank you for your consideration of this serious violation of Constitutional rights.

Sincerely -

Dave Munger

Here are a couple of phone numbers that might get you through to Jeb’s office: 1-850-488-4441 or 1-850-488-7146.

A few far out possibilities occur to me, such as having Terri arrested on some trumped up charge, since sick prisoners are required to be kept in real hospitals (she’s in a hospice now, under guard like a prisoner), placing Judge Greer under psychiatric observation so that some other judge could take his place, getting the President to issue some kind of executive order, or just sending some National Guardsmen in to rescue her and sorting out the paperwork later.

Basically though, I’m stumped. Someone out there had better think of something FAST.

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