Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Gloss Over Will Not Take Part I The Background

The Gloss Over Will Not Take, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

Will We Weep Over Abu Ghraib?

You see, the thing is, in the face of the Schiavo’s and the Schindler’s suffering, all you’ve offered us - is your hypocrisy fellas.

Theresa Schiavo was being prevented from something that she deserved, a death with dignity. The specifics of the case are simple, yet a long and winding road has allowed a few robbers, swindlers and shady characters to take advantage of poor Terri along the way, and prolonged a familie's suffering. And in the meantime, a nation once again has the wool pulled over it's eyes as countless others die and suffer under our flag in places CNN's cameras don't want to bother with.

Michael Schiavo has every right to end Terri's imprisonment. Her family, the Schindlers, may have had their reasons for fighting him. But that was a matter for them to decide, and for the courts to adjudicate due to their disagreement. Yet now the great noisemaking machine of the Right has found in poor Terri Schiavo, who deserves to be left in peace, a new cause cel├ębre, and a new way to advance their agenda.

Fifteen years ago Terri, 27, married 6 years to Michael, suffered a heart attack that may have been complicated by bulimia. Lack of oxygen resulted in brain damage. She came out of her coma, but did not regain effective consciousness. At Humana Northside Hospital she was given a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) for nutrition and hydration. She is discharged from the hospital and taken to the College Park skilled care and rehabilitation facility. The court appointed Michael Schiavo her guardian with no objection from the parents.

On June 30, 1990, Terri is transferred to Bayfront Hospital for further attempts at rehabilitation. Three months later her parents, the Schindlers bring her home, but then return her 3 weeks later to College Park because they are “overwhelmed by Terri’s care needs.”

Later, in November, Michael takes Terri to California for an experimental “brain stimulator” treatment, with a “thalamic stimulator implant” in her brain. In January of ’91, the Schiavos return to Florida, where Terri is put in the Mediplex Rehabilitation Center for 24-hour care.

In July of that year, Terri is taken to Sable Palms skilled care facility where she gets unending neurological testing, and for the next three years, regular and aggressive speech & occupational therapy. In August of 1992, Terri Schiavo wins $250,000 in a medical malpractice settlement with one of her physicians. A month earlier, her parents have stopped living together.

In November of ’92 the Schiavos win more than $1 million from another of Terri’s doctors. After attorney’s fees, and other expenses, Michael gets about $300,000, and about $750,000 is put in a trust fund specifically for Terri’s care.

On February 14, 1993 Michael and Terri’s parents have a fight about her therapy. Michael claims that they want a share of the settlement.

In 1998 Michael Schiavo petitions a court to have his wife's feeding tube removed. In February 2000 Circuit Judge George Greer allows Terri’s feeding tube to be removed.

On April 24, 2001 the tube is removed, but reinserted two days later by Florida Circuit Court Judge Frank Quesada. Later, in October the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issues an indefinite stay to hear the case.

In 2002, three doctors -- two chosen by Michael Schiavo and one chosen by the court -- testify that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state without hope of recovery. Two doctors chosen by the Schindlers say she can recover. Judge Greer once again allows the feeding tube to be removed but stays the order for another appeal.

After his previous ruling is upheld in 2003, Judge Greer orders Terri’s feeding tube to be removed. This is done for the second time on October 15. For some reason, Florida Governor Jeb Bush sees fit to intervene on behalf of the Schindlers. Six days later the Florida Legislature passes “Terri’s Law” allowing Gov. Jeb Bush to stay the order and reinsert the tube. Two hours later he does so.

October 27 of that year Michael give an interview on “Larry King Live” where he tells Larry that “This is Terri's wish. And I'm going to follow that wish, if it's the last thing I can do for Terri. I love Terri deeply. And I'm going to follow it up for Terri.” When asked how she could make that kind of decision at 25 he said, It was a comment from watching certain programs. She said, we were watching some programs, and she says, I don't want anything artificial like that. I don't want any tubes. Don't let me live like that. I don't want to be a burden to anybody. She's also made comments to other people about different stories.”

In 2004 the Supreme Court of Florida declares "Terri's Law" unconstitutional. Jeb appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. On January 24, the Supremes reject the appeal. Trial judge gives March 18th for removing the tube. The Schindlers file for a divorce on behalf of their daughter but Judge Greer rejects the motion. They appeal, but it is denied. A House panel subpoenas for Terri, Michael and others, but the trial judge blocks the move. The tube is removed for the third time on March 18. The Supreme Court rejects an appeal by the House to intervene. Michael’s attorney, George Felos, holds the subpoena served on Michael.

On March 21, due to the influence of Rep Tom DeLay, and Senator Bill Frist, The House and the Senate pass a one time only bill that transfers case jurisdiction to a U.S. District Court. The House wanted a wider more permanent bill, but the Senate wouldn’t pass it. President Bush flies all the way from Crawford to sign it into law.

After U.S. District Judge James Whittemore denies the Schindlers' emergency request to have the feeding tube reinserted, the Schindlers appeal to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, but on March 23, that court denies their request for an emergency ruling. The Schindlers file a late night appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court again refuses to review the case.

Jeb Bush asks Greer to transfer Terri Schiavo to the state's Department of Children and Families, to investigate claims of domestic abuse. Greer denies that request. March 25, back at District Court, Whittemore, denies another request from the Schindlers for an emergency order to reinsert their daughter's feeding tube. The Schindlers immediately go to the appeals court in Atlanta who also deny the request.

On the 26th, Greer, turns down an appeal by the Schindlers to give their daughter fluids so they could continue examining her responsiveness. And once again the Florida Supreme Court dismisses the bid to have Terri’s feeding tube reinserted. The Schindlers are running out of legal options.

On March 29, Attorney David Gibbs files an emergency petition for the Schindlers with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, contending that in rejections of previous bids to reinsert Terri’s feeding tube the federal judges have violated a Supreme Court precedent requiring them to consider the full record of the case, not just the procedural history from the state court.

Yesterday, March 30, the 11th Circuit denies the Schindler’s request to rehear the case. Jesse Jackson, of all people supports the Schindlers.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has jurisdiction over emergency appeals from Florida, Georgia and Alabama, denied a hearing from the full Supreme Court to have their daughter's feeding tube reinserted. The High Court denied an appeal to revisit the case.

All the while, the publicity mill kept rolling as the Rapture Right took advantage of it to advance their own demagogic and ruinous policies, and in the process betrayed even the tenets of the Gingrich Revolution. Yes, even the basics of Conservatism are betrayed.

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