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Articles and Statements
Posted December 22, 2003
Schiavo Case Reveals Need To Protect Disabled
By Barbara Olevitch
Op-ed from the 12/14/03 edition of the Tampa Tribune.
Letter to Governor Jeb Bush on Terri Schiavo Case. (See related stories on this page)
A STUDY IN CONTRASTS: THE DEATHS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II AND TERRI SCHIAVO by Nancy Valko, RN
Enforcing the "Right to Die" The Case of Terri Schiavo by Nancy Valko, RN (posted August 20, 2003) [Michaelmas 2003 issue]
WFF's July 21 Letter to Governor Jeb Bush concerning Terri Schiavo case.
The Hearing to Save Terri Schiavo's Life by Rus Cooper-Dowda. (posted July 16, 2003)
Terri's "Right to Die"
Toronto Star Editorial (October 19, 2003)
"While Florida Governor Jeb Bush sides with the parents, his hands may be tied. Florida's so-called "right-to-die" law lets the courts consider testimony about a person's last wishes, if the person has left no written directive. Other states are stricter, demanding written advice. Terri's case illustrates why".
(click on title for complete editorial.)
COMMENT: While the statement defending Terri's family is welcome, this article -- like the US media that seems almost universally committed to the "right to die" -- seems unable to get its facts straight.
Not only is Terri obviously not in a "vegetative" state, there is no US state that demands written directives. And that is where I think we need to begin. We need to get at least a medical/legal presumption written into federal and/or state law for basic medical care like feeding absent a written directive to the contrary. The "right to die" people cannot have it both ways: scaring people into signing such directives to prevent even basic medical care as a "necessity" while supporting the legal termination of people like Terri who don't have such directives as well as supporting medical futility policies overruling families who want care continued. Obviously, the only "choice" they really support is death!
And while I wish Governor Bush could do more, we must remember that Virginia Governor Gilmore tried to intervene in the eerily similar 1998 Hugh Finn case and was not only unsuccessful but the wife later sued the state for her legal bills! (see the facts on Hugh Finn at: http://www.petersnet.net/marshall/hughfinn/default.htm- Broken link)
There has been much outrage directed at Governor Bush that, I believe, would be better -- and more deservedly -- directed against the euthanasia and "end of life" enthusiasts who push for "right to die" laws, Judge Greer and the other Florida judges, Michael Schiavo and his book-promoting lawyer George Felos, an apathetic public more concerned about themselves than protecting vulnerable people, etc.
Posted October 14, 2003
Is Starvation of Terri Schiavo the Future of Hospice?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from "NOT DEAD YET":
OCTOBER 14, 2003
CONTACT: DIANE COLEMAN, STEPHEN DRAKE
FOREST PARK, IL: Disability activists are saying the impending starvation of a brain-injured woman in a Florida hospice confirms their worst fears about "end of life" advocacy. Representatives of Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights group opposed to legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia, claim that the impending starvation of Terri Schiavo is both the tip of the iceberg and a sign of what's to come.
"Terri Schiavo is going to be killed in the hands of a hospice facility operated by the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast," says Stephen Drake, research analyst for Not Dead Yet. "This organization is one of the regional 'Rallying Points' of Last Acts, a mega-funded project which coordinates 'end of life' advocacy around the United States. The CEO of Hospice of the Florida Suncoast is on the board of directors of Partnership for Caring, the organization that coordinates funding for the 'Rallying Points.' Both organizations have received some of the estimated 150 million dollars the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has invested in 'end of life' concerns."
Drake also notes that George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney, was chair of the board of Hospice of the Florida Suncoast until he took Michael Schiavo on as a client. Since then, Felos has reportedly pocketed most of the $700,000 awarded for Terri's medical care in legal fees to end her life.
Earlier this summer, Not Dead Yet and over 40 disability organizations locked horns with Partnership for Caring, Last Acts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They charged that the coalition was actively conflating "terminal illness" with "disability" and promoting statutes that weaken legal protections for people like Terri Schiavo. He wonders to what extent the starvation of Terri Schiavo is a "Robert Wood Johnson - funded project."
Diane Coleman, president of Not Dead Yet, is concerned over the recent increase in legal efforts to make it easier to end the lives of people with brain injury, alzheimer's and mental retardation.
"Two weeks ago, the New York Times ran an article on the German Program of 'mercy killings' that resulted in the extermination of some 200,000 people with disabilities. The actual medical records indicated either a 'natural death' or a 'mercy killing' for the victim, many of whom were starved to death. But we all recognize now that the killings were based on a rationale that some lives were 'unworthy of life.' It has scary similarities to what we see happening now in the United States."
Coleman adds that hospice has already strayed from its traditional meaning. She fears the final body count of nonterminally ill disabled people starved in hospice could exceed anything done by the Germans in their "mercy killing" program.
Not Dead Yet, 7521 Forest Park, IL 60130
to see this article online at WorldNetDaily, visit http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35077
Posted July 16, 2003
The Hearing to Save Terri Schiavo's Life by Rus Cooper-Dowda.(posted July 16, 2003)
Find the Terri Schiavo petition to Florida Governor Jeb Bush at http://www.zimp.org/pet.html [Link broken 12/03/2007]
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