Schiavo Update

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Terri's parents lost an appeal to a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. They are working on an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Bob Schindler, Terri's Father, reports that she is becoming "increasingly lethargic."

Also, here's more from Terris' former nurse whose interview I blogged a couple of days ago. She claims that Michael injected her with insulin and gives more specifics on Terri's capabilities. has links to several news reports and editorials about the situation.

There is also excellent blogging being done at Musing

For updates throughout the day, please check out Pro-Life Blogs and Blogs for Terri.

Also, check out this piece by St. Blog's own Father Rob Johanssen from National Review Online. It is a must- read for anybody who may still be wondering why this is such a big deal. A particularly important (and lengthy) excerpt:

Dr. Cranford was the principal medical witness brought in by Schiavo and Felos to support their position that Terri was PVS. Judge Greer was obviously impressed by Cranford’s résumé: Cranford travels throughout the country testifying in cases involving PVS and brain impairment. He is widely recognized by courts as an expert in these issues, and in some circles is considered “the” expert on PVS. His clinical judgment has carried the day in many cases, so it is relevant to examine the manner in which he arrived at his judgment in Terri’s case. But before that, one needs to know a little about Cranford’s background and perspective: Dr. Ronald Cranford is one of the most outspoken advocates of the “right to die” movement and of physician-assisted suicide in the U.S. today.

In published articles, including a 1997 op-ed in the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune, he has advocated the starvation of Alzheimer’s patients. He has described PVS patients as indistinguishable from other forms of animal life. He has said that PVS patients and others with brain impairment lack personhood and should have no constitutional rights. Perusing the case literature and articles surrounding the “right to die” and PVS, one will see Dr. Cranford’s name surface again and again. In almost every case, he is the one claiming PVS, and advocating the cessation of nutrition and hydration.

In the cases of Paul Brophy, Nancy Jobes, Nancy Cruzan, and Christine Busalucci, Cranford was the doctor behind the efforts to end their lives. Each of these people was brain-damaged but not dying; nonetheless, he advocated death for all, by dehydration and starvation. Nancy Cruzan did not even require a feeding tube: She could be spoon-fed. But Cranford advocated denying even that, saying that even spoon-feeding constituted “medical treatment” that could be licitly withdrawn.

In cases where other doctors don’t see it, Dr. Cranford seems to have a knack for finding PVS. Cranford also diagnosed Robert Wendland as PVS. He did so in spite of the fact that Wendland could pick up specifically colored pegs or blocks and hand them to a therapy assistant on request. He did so in spite of the fact that Wendland could operate and maneuver an ordinary wheelchair with his left hand and foot, and an electric wheelchair with a joystick, of the kind that many disabled persons (most famously Dr. Stephen Hawking) use. Dr. Cranford dismissed these abilities as meaningless. Fortunately for Wendland, the California supreme court was not persuaded by Cranford’s assessment.

Expert witnesses in court are supposed to be unbiased: disinterested in the outcome of the case. Part of the procedure in qualifying expert witnesses is establishing that they are objective and unbiased. But given Dr. Cranford’s history of advocacy in the “right to die” and euthanasia movements, and given his track record of almost always coming down on the side of PVS and removal of nutrition and hydration, one might question his objectivity. Indeed, the Schindlers’ attorneys attempted to do so in the 2002 evidentiary hearing at which Cranford testified, but went unheard. Organizations such as the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide submitted amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in the appellate proceedings in Terri’s case, demonstrating Cranford’s bias in detail. But these arguments also seemed to fall on deaf ears.
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This is just so creepy. I still can't believe that we as a country are letting this happen... :(

Sadly, our country is relatively sane when it comes to life issues. Look at Scandinavia. Not to say that we don't have severe fundamental problems of our own, but it could be worse and there are some here fighting to make it so.

I have so much respect for Fr. Pavone.
As a matter of fact I saw Father on Hannity & Colmes last night.

Thank you Father Pavone for trying to help a
brain damaged woman, not brain dead as the media

It is a sad day in this country when a 41 year
old woman is starved to death.

May God help us.

Anne Garbarini


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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on March 23, 2005 8:34 AM.

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