Saturday, March 19, 2005

This is probably the last thing I'm going to say about the whole Schiavo case, but I thought it would be wise to cut through all the media and political bullshit and find out the facts of the case.

All of these quotes are taken directly from the ad litem's report. These are 100% unedited.

• If the Guardian Ad Litem’s recommendations are neither feasible nor valuable – to and on behalf of Theresa Schiavo, then they fail in their purpose. For them to be feasible and valuable, they must be capable of being done in a manner that affords relative and intrinsic worth for Theresa; not for her husband; not for her parents and siblings; not for the Governor or the Legislature.

• The cause of the cardiac arrest was adduced to a dramatically reduced potassium level in Theresa’s body. Sodium and potassium maintain a vital, chemical balance in the human body that helps define the electrolyte levels. The cause of the imbalance was not clearly identified, but may be linked, in theory, to her drinking 10-15 glasses of iced tea each day. While no formal proof emerged, the medical records note that the combination of aggressive weight loss, diet control and excessive hydration raised questions about Theresa suffering from Bulimia, an eating disorder, more common among women than men, in which purging through vomiting, laxatives and other methods of diet control becomes obsessive.

• On 18 June 1990, Michael was formally appointed by the court to serve as Theresa’s legal guardian, because she was adjudicated to be incompetent by law. Michael’s appointment was undisputed by the parties.

• Theresa’s husband, Michael Schiavo and her mother, Mary Schindler, were virtual partners in their care of and dedication to Theresa. There is no question but that complete trust, mutual caring, explicit love and a common goal of caring for and rehabilitating Theresa, were the shared intentions of Michael Shiavo and the Schindlers.

• In late Autumn of 1990, following months of therapy and testing, formal diagnoses of persistent vegetative state with no evidence of improvement, Michael took Theresa to California, where she received an experimental thalamic stimulator implant in her brain.

• Theresa was transferred to the Mediplex Rehabilitation Center in Brandon, where she received 24 hour skilled care, physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapies.

• Despite aggressive therapies, physician and other clinical assessments consistently revealed no functional abilities, only reflexive, rather than cognitive movements, random eye opening, no communication system and little change cognitively or functionally. On 19 July 1991 Theresa was transferred to the Sable Palms skilled care facility. Periodic neurological exams, regular and aggressive physical, occupational and speech therapy continued through 1994.

• Michael Schiavo, on Theresa’s and his own behalf, initiated a medical malpractice lawsuit against the obstetrician who had been overseeing Theresa’s fertility therapy. In 1993, the malpractice action concluded in Theresa and Michael’s favor, resulting in a two element award: More than $750,000 in economic damages for Theresa, and a loss of consortium award (non economic damages) of $300,000 to Michael. The court established a trust fund for Theresa’s financial award, with SouthTrust Bank as the Guardian and an independent trustee. This fund was meticulously managed and accounted for and Michael Schiavo had no control over its use. There is no evidence in the record of the trust administration documents of any mismanagement of Theresa’s estate, and the records on this matter are excellently maintained.

• After the malpractice case judgment, evidence of disaffection between the Schindlers and Michael Schiavo openly emerged for the first time. The Schindlers petitioned the court to remove Michael as Guardian. They made allegations that he was not caring for Theresa, and that his behavior was disruptive to Theresa’s treatment and condition. Proceedings concluded that there was no basis for the removal of Michael as Guardian Further, it was determined that he had been very aggressive and attentive in his care of Theresa. His demanding concern for her well being and meticulous care by the nursing home earned him the characterization by the administrator as “a nursing home administrator’s nightmare”. It is notable that through more than thirteen years after Theresa’s collapse, she has never had a bedsore.


One simple question: Is this the behavior of a guy who choked his wife almost to death, or is this the behavior of a guy who had a very sincere dedication to helping his wife get better?

They're trying to paint this guy as money-hungry or possibly even Terri's attacker and the cause for her coma. The parents because they're holding on to whatever hope they have, irrational as it may be, and politicians because for them Terri's suffering is a tool.

Kind of sick. Stop fucking with nature. Let her die.

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