Thursday, March 24, 2005

Michael Schiavo belongs in jail, Part II

As this horrible situation continues, more and more information about Terri Schiavo’s husband, Michael, is revealed.

The following timeline shows the early events following Terri’s medical emergency.

Feb - Terri Collapses in her home
May - Terri discharged from Humana Hospital in St Petersburg, Florida.
Dec - Terri taken to California for experimental implant

Feb - Terri moved to home with husband.
Jan - Terri moved to Bradenton Mediplex Rehabilitation Center.
Apr - Terri's condition is assessed as improving.

To this point, Michael Schiavo appears to be acting as the husband and legal guardian ought to. These events are an effort to give Terri the therapy needed to improve her condition, and they were producing positive results. However, later in April, he was advised to move her to Gainesville Rehabilitation Center to receive advanced therapy to continue her recovery, but instead decided to move her to a nursing home, rather than the rehab center where her improvement could continue.

In 1992, court actions in August and November produce damage awards totaling $2.25 million, $1 million of which was reportedly placed in a trust fund for Terri’s treatment. The following events then occurred:

Feb - Michael Schiavo denies recommended rehabilitation treatment.
Feb - Schiavo and Terri's parents have falling out regarding lack of therapy for Terri.
Feb - Schiavo withholds medical information from Terri's parents.
Feb - Schiavo posts Do Not Resuscitate order in Terri's medical chart.
Jun - Schiavo threatens Schindler family with lawsuit.
Aug - Schiavo orders medical staff not to treat Terri for potentially fatal infection.
Sep - Bob and Mary Schindler petition courts to remove Schiavo as Terri's guardian.
Nov - Schiavo admits in deposition that he knew withholding treatment of infection could result in Terri's death.

Suddenly, Michael Schiavo’s attitude toward his wife’s rehabilitation changed. What could possibly cause a loving, devoted husband to stop successful therapy for his wife, and helping her to recover? To paraphrase The Church Lady: “Could it be … MONEY?” As her husband, he would be the heir to her estate, including the trust fund.

Something changed in Michael Schiavo. He no longer was acting to help Terri recover from her medical condition, which had improved under therapeutic treatment. In fact, he was acting contrary to Terri’s best interests, by ending therapy that was helping her, and worse, prohibiting medical staff from acting to save her life, and ultimately ordering that she be starved to death. At this point, Michael Schiavo was no longer qualified to be responsible for Terri’s care. He was trying to kill her.

In July 1997, Michael Schiavo becomes engaged to Jodi Centonze. At this point, there can be no doubt that he was no longer Terri’s husband in any but a strictly technical sense. He had abandoned her completely.

Despite these developments, Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer repeatedly refused to protect Terri from her “husband” and legal guardian, to remove Michael Schiavo as legal guardian for Terri. The good judge repeatedly denied requests for various medical tests or to restart therapy, and at one point moved forward the projected date to remove her feeding tube. One wonders just how the law can force such behavior from a judge who in such cases ought to have the best interest of Terri Schiavo as a consideration.

So I restate my previous opinion that Michael Schiavo, the person upon whom Terri Schiavo depended for her well-being, the person who was legally responsible for her welfare, and who was instead working to end her life in complete and total contradiction to the intent of the responsibility of a legal guardian, is criminally negligent, and should be charged and tried in a court of law.


JL Pagano said...

Please understand that I am doing my best to be objective with this case, as I am playing serious catch-up with the facts. Don't just assume I am one of those "that wants to kill her".

I just have one question regarding this post. You open with : "As this horrible situation continues, more and more information about Terri Schiavo’s husband, Michael, is revealed."

What exactly is the source of these revelations???

James Shott said...

Television reports, the family's Web site, broadcast discussions involving parties to discussions with Michael, Terri, caregivers, citations from court documents, etc.

I don't make a habit of throwing out casual, un-sourced data.

JL Pagano said...

I checked my original post and I did not say your claims were either casual or un-sourced.

Has Michael Schiave made any attempt to state his case in public?

James Shott said...

I wasn't suggesting that you had criticized my sourcing, or lack thereof, I merely wanted to state that I do not carelessly make assertions.

Michael Schiavo has not to my knowledge ever been interviewed since this most recent flurry of news began a few months ago. I don't know why, but I do know that his lawyer has been frequently on TV.

Given the delicate nature of his position, and the liklihood of him stumbling on his tongue and incriminating himself, I'd bet his lawyer told him to lay low and keep quiet.