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February 17, 2005

Terry Schiavo Bloggers and the issue of vincible evidence: Aristotle had it right!

Topics: Terri Schiavo's Life Counts

The list of terri's bloggers continues to grow, with many blogs coming in that needed some time to digest the information and decide for themselves.

One of the great things about the blogging community is that we collectively look at issues from our various perspectives, and together help each other arrive at the real facts of a matter while also helping each other think through the things that have not yet reached clarity.

Together we all seem to be headed in one direction and it is toward the issue of vincible evidence and whether or not it is reasonable to err on the side of caution. Ignorance of the outcome demands that we attempt to address the issues that matter most. Terri's case is not just a religious issue, it is one of fairness and human kindness to the weak, the old, and the feeble-minded. On this most people of reason can agree, regardless of their faith and regardless of their believe in an organized religion. Saving Terri Schiavo requires all of us, not just the religious-minded, but our secular friends as well.

If unbiased medical experts that have actually spent sufficient time with Terri to evaluate her and that have no prejudicial interest in the case say that she can be rehabilitated to speak, swallow, and live (she is not on life support now), then why not investigate whether or not this is the case. Take emotion out of the equation, and give life a chance!

This is what should have been done fifteen years ago, were it not for a husband that just might have some very good reasons for Terri not speaking again.

Why not do as the medical experts have suggested which is give her therapy that was denied her all these years by her husband, give it six months to see if there is truly some improvement, and then we can all come to some agreement on the matter and all of us say that we addressed the issue of vincible evidence and that is has been resolved. Investigate the issue, determine if the experts are right by scientific method, and based upon the results and with the assistance of expert medical-bioethicists, not a judge with no expertise in the matter, help us all to do the right thing. My bet is that Judge George Greer would relish the opportunity to do what is right for all concerned.

My 30 years of medical research experience has taught me at the very least one thing - we only get answers to the questions that we ask. In Terri's case no question has been asked in a manner sufficient to arrive at a medical conclusion. Her husband does not want her to be given any therapy or have any chance to recover. Why, we don't know, but how can we all know that we are right or that we are wrong if we haven't even tested the issue medically?

Reasonable people can disagree, but reasonable people should also beg for the truth. Terri's husband has long negated any possibility of being considered to be acting in Terri's interest, and should therefore simply give Terri back to her parents while this issue is resolved by the medical experts that have no axe to grind in the matter but that truly believe that Terri can be rehabilitated. That would give us the knowledge that we would have given it our best shot, and end the end, we can all come back together knowing that we did the right thing.

In Terri's case, almost everyone that has thorough knowledge of her case agrees with the medical experts that say she should be given a chance "with therapy." On the other hand those that don't should be given a scientific and medical opportunity to prove that they are right. Regardless of the outcome, all of us, regardless of our emotional attachments to the case, will have acted upon facts, and be able to say that we gave truth a chance.

A special thanks to Chad at inTheBullPen for his post today.

Posted by Hyscience at February 17, 2005 11:29 AM

Maybe we can rescue Terri if we take away the husband's two excuses: greed and fear of prosecution.

Lots of people would donate $50 or $100 to a fund to buy his interest in the million dollars he would inherit if she dies. We could also petition Jeb Bush to grant him immunity from prosecution if it turns out that the husband inflicted the wounds that caused Terri's problems.

Maybe the BIG blogs could run with these ideas!

Posted by: Bud Brown at February 17, 2005 10:59 PM

This all seems like a pseudo-issue to me. Why does Terry Schiavo need a feeding tube in the first place?

If she can sit upright without choking, as she is in the circulated photos, she is able to swallow. If she can swallow, or has a swallowing reflex, she can be fed a nutritious blenderized diet by mouth. I personally have fed liquids to fully comatose patients, much less conscious than Terry, by putting them on the side and slowly injecting liquid into the dependent (down-side) cheek pouch. This can be done best with a large medical or basting syringe, If there is a swallowing reflex, down it goes without choking.

Posted by: C Thomas Gott MD at February 21, 2005 3:38 PM

I am a retired nurse/educator, have owned a highly successful medical center, and have much legal experience, through which I have assisted many victims concerning their rights.
Tonight, I do not have easy access to the Florida laws regarding "sustaining life through extraordinary means."
On the chance that this may be helpful. I felt I needed to speak up on behalf of Terry Shiavo.
A feeding tube or intravenous feeding method of nourishment is considered ordinary, not "extraordinary" , such as respirator support therapy, and should never be legally removed.
Also, if Terry could be fed by mouth, and I believe she can, no guardian should be legally allowed to deny her that opportunity. I have seen some amazing recoveries.
Also, Terry should be taken to court with her own counsel, as she may be competent enough to decide whether she wants to starve to death or not, and may even choose divorce. There are many ways of determining her level of comprehension, and her ability to accurately communicate non-verbally.
Brain function can be restored, contrary to popular belief and even the belief of some
so-called "medical experts."
It is apparent to me that her guardian husband, Michael Schiavo, should undergo several competant psychiatric evaluations and lie detector tests to determine his competency and motives. He should be charged criminally, as it is a travesty of justice to deny Terry her inalienable rights, without irrefutable evidence.
There must be an ethical attorney/medical doctor who could be very helpful in this matter, and might even volunteer services to Terry.
We work so hard to save lives in some instances, and in other situations back off from a marvelous classic opportunity to uphold a victim's inalienable constitutional rights.
Heroic measures are needed. Thanks for all you are doing.
Rosemary Mascia

Posted by: Rosemary Mascia at February 22, 2005 1:51 AM

If they allow the feeding tube removal March 18, it should be mandated that a 24 hour live camera be set up in Terri's room with hourly live updates brought into each and everyone's home as she slowly,inexoribly, painfully, humiliatingly dies so
all can have a firsthand look at man's inhumanity to man. I can't believe an "enlightened" society such as ours can let this torture happen.

Posted by: George lyster at February 25, 2005 4:27 PM

Very URGENT This morning I spoke with US Representative Sensenbrenner's office. I was told that the House did adjourn last night, and we should call the US Senators to resolve the language of the bill, since they are in session TODAY. Thanks for all!!! Rosemary Mascia

Posted by: Rosemary Mascia at March 18, 2005 11:01 AM

Terri and her husband Michael Schiavo have been subpoened by the US Senate to appear on March 28, 2005. Bill Frist gets the credit for this. The language of the bill will be reconciled on Monday March 21st. Thanks again for great work !!! Rosemary Mascia

Posted by: Rosemary Mascia at March 18, 2005 11:44 AM

I have a living will. If Congress can change the rules for one person, how am to know that my wishes will be carried out? This is no place for Congress. Ther reason people have never seen anything like this before is because GWBush is the president. The government should stay out.

Posted by: Gloria Herrick at March 21, 2005 4:29 PM

This was senttonight by e-mail to Atty Gibbs with a copy to Govenor Bush and Bobby Schindler.

Dear Attorney Gibbs, Re Terri Schiavo
Our Lord gave me a sudden revelation. No court can order that a crime be committed, such as order someone to injure another or to steal from another. This is very elementary, but easy to miss when we are caught up in this tragedy.
We know that what's happened to Terri is immoral, but it is also illegal and THIS COURT ORDER by an evil judge CANNOT and SHOULD NEVER BE ENFORCED.

THEREFORE, IT IS LEGAL FOR A PROTECTIVE AGENCY OR GOVENOR BUSH TO RESCUE TERRI, AS JUDGE GREER'S ORDER IS ILLEGAL, and this can be dealt with after Terri is rescued. Please, please reason this out correctly as we have no time to waste, since our inadequate courts do not even recognize either their own errors or those of the other courts.

A guardian can withhold medical treatment, tests, and therapy, but cannot withhold food and water as food and water are not in any of those categories. Judge Greer and Michael Schiavo are committing a crime and must be stopped.

Please act immediately. If you are accused of wrongdoing you must stand on defending the defeneless from an illegal court order.
Thank you very much.
Rosemary Mascia (203)269-6828

PS When a crime has been committed, even the punishment cannot be immoral and/or illegal.

Posted by: Rosemary Mascia at March 24, 2005 4:22 AM

Sent today with copies to Bobby and Govenor Bush

Dear Atty Gibbs,

Since Judge Greer's order to starve and dehydrate Terri with no food and water by mouth is immoral and illegal, you might want to consider filing a Motion To Vacate that Order.
In a Living Will a person cannot specify that they want starvation and dehydration if they can eat, so how can one say this is Terri's wish. If Terri can eat by mouth, then for the Court to impose this order on Terri is illegal.

Thank you very much. Rosemary Mascia (203)269-6828

Posted by: Rosemary Mascia at March 24, 2005 5:14 AM

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