Friday, April 08, 2005

The Polls That Should Have Been Taken

And the Polls that Zogby Ought To Do Next

Zogby gets it - three weeks too late. At least he's starting to do some good work in this regard:

Zogby Poll Shows Americans Were Misled About Terri Schiavo's Condition [LINK]

It's a fine start, but he ought to ask these questions next:

1.   Should Michael Schiavo have decided Terri's fate if she had complained of his physical and mental abuse on numerous occasions prior to her injury?

2.   Should Michael Schiavo have decided Terri's fate if Terri had expressed a wish to divorce him shortly before the injury but was afraid to tell him for fear he would react violently?

3.   Should Michael Schiavo have decided Terri's fate if his comments on the record prove that his earlier claims to the court about Terri wanting to "die" were false?

These poll questions "accurately depict" not Terri's medical condition, but Michael's: terminally abusive.

Why A Living Will Isn't Enough

NEW Updates - 1830

The press has harped on Terri's "misfortune" as if it were a simple matter of a missing legal document:

More people writing living wills [link to CNN]

That kind of assessment is fast becoming the new conventional wisdom, leading to a lot of muddled thinking and panicked lawyer-seeking. But here are some simple questions I have:

1. Why should someone be obligated to spell out their wish not to be "refused life" in a legal document?

2. As BlogsForTerri points out, a living will is probably the wrong document to start with. A document containing any language "refusing life" or "life-saving measures" under any circumstances (especially those with established legal precedents like living wills) can - and probably will - be interpreted with extreme prejudice by those you least expect. (The links included in some of these posts are excellent IMHO.)

3. A document does not indemnify the victim from intentionally malicious or fraudulent acts by the spouse.

The other sites are doing a tremendous job covering the other points; I want to dwell on the third for a moment.

The problem for Terri Schiavo was never the fact that her wishes were not known. Her family members have a solid sense of what her wishes were. OTOH, according to those who knew the husband, in the early days of her convalescence he prattled on endlessly about how he didn't know his wife's wishes.

But that didn't stop him from changing his tune later on to say that he did, nor his lawyer from promulgating it as if it were fact, nor the judge from accepting it as fact. That ought to hold a powerful lesson about conspiracy. A concerted effort can thwart any reasonable attempt by a victim to stave off their own death. Especially one greased by the force of law.

"But wait a minute. Her problem was, her wishes weren't known - at least not officially. If she'd only written them down, then she'd be protected."

Not exactly. First: her wishes were known. Both she and her family had made it abundantly clear where Terri stood. That they were not written down does not mean in the slightest that they were not available to a curious court.

Next: any language in a legal document other than an unambiguous "keep me alive at all costs" gives the spouse the means to engineer (through subterfuge) precisely whatever precondition she establishes for her death - then gives him the right to argue for "her" right to die on that basis. Need a coma? Administer insulin. Need life support? Induce irreversible organ damage. Not really that sick? Pretend she is, and coerce the establishment into not revealing the truth.

There's evidence to indicate her husband may have tried all three. And a living will makes any follow-up discussion irrelevant; the courts can skip that step and proceed directly to her termination. (The various links make that abundantly clear.)

I'll concede that the more restrictive the language, the harder it is for a malevolent spouse to create the right "precondition". But how can you be sure it won't happen? (More importantly, how can you be certain the spouse won't still try, and kill you trying? Or succeed at passing you off as much worse than you really are?) If you try to prevent all such contingencies through a written document, you're liable to create a covenant so restrictive that nothing can be done to hasten your death even when you might really want it, your spouse really is on the up-and-up, the prognosis really is bleak and nothing can be done (except prolong your demise through heroic measures that bring only more agony and misery upon you).

Though that may not have been your intent when you created the document, what choice do you have if you want to guard against the outside possibility of an evil spouse (or other guardian) causing trouble in a strategic attempt to end your life? A document isn't what's really needed: what's needed is a new sensitivity in the law for the very real possibility of a fraudulent guardian. Such a person must be denied unrestricted access to your bedside (where they can do all kinds of things to "hasten your death") and be prevented from asserting "your" wish to die.

No solution is perfect; there's no easy way to act pre-emptively without penalizing innocent guardians. But at the very least room must be made in the law for reporting obvious warning signs and requiring their follow-up. In the end the only way to bring this threat under control is to find a way to protect incapacitated victims from malicious or fraudulent acts by the spouse or guardian that may occur regardless of what's been written on paper.

[Ed: Sorry - Blogger has been impossible to post to lately - just me or is everyone having the same problem?]

Thursday, April 07, 2005

CNN and the "2002" CT Scan?

CNN has been showing a CT scan of Terri's brain labeled as having been taken in "2002". Needless to say the scan looks familiar. ;) Does anyone happen to know CNN's official position on their "2002" scan? (Are they claiming they got a separate "copy" that happens to look identical to the 1996 scan, or did they make their own copy and pass if off as a "2002" scan?)

Will see what I can find out in the meantime.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Terri's Right to [Refuse to] Live?

1st draft finished a few days before Terri's death

To a large extent the courts and special interests have framed the Death with Dignity debate over a person's right to either live - or refuse to live - with a chosen level of [superficial] indignity. This indignity usually takes the form of a functional impairment such as paralysis, brain damage or loss of limbs. Keep in mind that we are not talking about pain and suffering; that is a separate issue. Nor are we talking about the heroic life-saving measures employed to stave off an aggressive terminal illness for a number of hours or days (the subject of a future post). The issue in this debate is a person's own perception of their "dignity" (separate from pain, discomfort, or an aggressive terminal illness) and the desire to keep living because of it.

Usually these rights are [mis]labeled as the right to either "live" or "die with dignity", but surely the second can't be taken literally, for there is no dignity to be found in the way a human being dies when dehydrating or starving to death with food & water sitting nearby, and nothing of value or principle at stake for the victim by "refusing" it. (Terri is not exactly being held captive by the North Koreans and starved in an attempt to corece information or treason from her. Nor is she a political activist in the right-to-die movement.) Nor is there anything "dignified" about dehydrating someone through progressive stages of incremental death; keeping someone alive artificially is one thing, but killing them by refusing to feed them without their prior consent - when there is every evidence to indicate that she is aware and feels pain - is the very definition of indignity, inhumanity, and violation of civil rights. (In Terri's case willful jurisprudence has eroded any pretense of "due" process of law.)

Perhaps the term would be more politely described as the "right to live with dignity" instead, but this obscures three important things:
  1. The other shoe dropping. (What's the downside?) Clearly for someone who can't end their own life or communicate that wish to others, a more accurate term is the "right to live with dignity or else be deprived of life".

  2. Indignity is in the eye of the beholder. The victim may be aware of their true level of "indignity" after the injury and/or want to live with it yet be unable to communicate that wish after the fact to those judging it for themselves, regardless of what the living will states.

  3. Functional impairment (and the inconvenience or indignity associated with it) is not necessarily static over time. Patients - even those with brain injuries - can improve significantly over time and regain their desired level of "dignity" even though that improvement might take a number of months or years.
Where Terri fits into this picture is a good question. There are many issues - emotional pain, lack of purpose, or a person's own vanity - that might contribute to a conscious wish to terminate one's own life. Since Terri has not communicated any of those to anyone, either before or since her "incident" (Ed: and there's evidence to indicate she communicated just the opposite on March 18 and again on March 27), what we are really discussing is the right - by proxy - to evaluate Terri's "lack of dignity" for her and make a kill/no-kill decision based on it (ostensibly according to what she would have "wanted"). So how can we be reasonably sure that we are assessing her dignity accurately when her life hangs in the balance?

If indignity is in the eye of the beholder, then dignity is even more so. The true dignity of someone incapacited and unable to communicate effectively will only be known to them, and will not depend on whether that person is "conscious" 24/0, 12/12, or even 0/24. (For what do we say to that person if they "wake up"? And what of their existence in between? Some assert that we know enough about medical science to dismiss it entirely, but truth is we don't.)

If dignity is to mean anything, then it can only be defined by the victim him- or herself; it can only be valued through their existence within the limitations they are afforded. If we were to presume to "measure" or assess their level of dignity ourselves, our so-called measurement is likely to be even more flawed than if we were merely to assess their "indignities" one by one and weigh those instead, perhaps subtracting them from the person's original "baseline". (Oops...gone below zero? Back up a step, adjust the weights accordingly, and then recalculate so that we arrive at a new measure that's still somewhere above the zero line, yet reflective of their "true" level of "dignity". You get the picture.)

In the end "assessing" someone's "dignity" from the outside is really a concept arrogated by those claiming to speak for the victim, by those who presume to make the decision by proxy as to whether or not the victim is "refusing" life under a set of circumstances judged superficially (and whose true nature is known only to the victim him- or herself). Claiming to know someone's "dignity" is even more arrogant than merely sticking to "indignities". At least there we are measuring something definite - a delta, a set of distinct superficial differences between before & after; claiming to know someone's level of "dignity" on the other hand is a meaningless charge, a construction of Orwellian vocabulary, and one designed to represent one's own decision-making as that of the victim. Thus a more apt description of the concept (and what it really represents) in our euphemistic vocabulary might be something like "the right by proxy to refuse life rather than be judged to live in a state of superficial indignity."

Let's put that aside for a moment and assume we are able to make a "compassionate" (or at least an "informed") decision as to whether someone ought to live or else be dehydrated and starved to death. In the case where a particular victim cannot speak for themselves, what is the level of "indignity" suffered that qualifies him or her as having "refused" life? Since indignity is in the eye of the beholder, we have to be able to narrow the definition of "indignity" for each person differently; there is no common definition that applies to every victim.

Also: each role (parents, husband, doctor, hospice business) involved in the decision-making may assess the victim's "burden of indignity" differently - their helpless charge once again to the parents, a broken member of a marital unit to the spouse, a set of medical profiles guided by statistics and best practices to the doctor, and a profit or loss leader to the hospice - and so there may be several competing opinions as to both how much "indignity" is being suffered by the victim, and to whether or not the victim would be expected to "refuse" life under those circumstances (or any conceivable future change in circumstances that may affect their level of "indignity" positively or negatively, as we know this can change over time).

Each role brings different perspectives and problems. The doctor is presumed to be the most detached, the most able to collect the kinds of objective data medical science is capable of providing, yet at the same time may be more indifferent or prejudiced (in favor of codified "wisdom") since their hope for the patient is the most likely of all to be "seasoned" by cold statistics or even ideology. In the case of the family members, their different perspectives may be based on their own interactions with the victim and may collide even when they have nothing but good intentions at heart.

Obviously a family member with a reason to see the person dead or incapacitated will interpret "indignity" very differently, and in pursuing their agenda may inflate the negatives, minimize the positives, or even engage in outright subterfuge. This contingency may not enter our thinking very often because of the taboos associated with even considering it, but clearly we must consider the possibility in the case of Michael Schiavo.

Since there are potentially so many competing assessments of "indignity", presumably including the victim's own (who may be sentient enough to have one yet unable to express it adequately), whose assessment pulls rank? And who decides? (The two could be different; in a model governed by regulation, one person may have priority in the decision-making process yet choose to delegate the exercise of that authority to someone else.)

And when? Timing and sequencing are key factors. If the victim is still in a coma but could come out of it at some point, do we leave them in long-term care - not as a permanent solution, but so that they may stabilize to a point where we can make a more informed decision later (as to whether to pursue rehabilitation or pull the plug)? If so, when does a long time to wait become "too long"? The complexities of a seemingly simple "right to live with dignity" issue proliferate in several dimensions, regardless of the attempts by the right-to-die lobby to overpaint a veneer of certainty, simplicity and virtue with their use of simplistic abstractions and pseudovocabulary.

In the end the only way to "simplify" the picture (in the manner of those advocating its simplicity and virtue) is to give a human being absolute life-or-death power over another - the power to starve and dehydrate to death another human being who is aware and feels pain - power that incidentally may not reflect the victim's wishes in the slightest. It's that "simple". The moral question is, do we dare allow it? The ethical question is, how concerned or disturbed should we be if we do? The "practical" question is, if that power is granted, then under what objective conditions do we allow someone to exercise that power under the guise of "speaking for the victim"?

Certainly in Florida it appears that the burden of proof is not rigorous when a spouse is involved. Whatever the spouse says in court can be taken at face value even when he has contradicted himself repeatedly at other times and in other places. Whatever desire the spouse expresses in court can be granted by the judge even when he himself has revealed - on countless other occasions - that the victim did not express such a wish [to be killed]. And the victim's physical and mental condition can be "established" by the spouse with the flimsiest of evidence even though it contradicts eyewitness testimony from countless other witnesses.

With odds stacked like this, Terri's so-called "right to live with dignity [or else]" - as realized by the Florida courts - can't be described as anything less than "the right by proxy to be refused life rather than be judged through willful prejudice to live in a state of superficial indignity." Not exactly the Right to Live or Die with Dignity the public was promised by "her" right-to-die attorney, George Felos. Nor a ringing endorsement for Terri's euthanasia.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Back On the Blog

Sorry I've been incommunicado since Thursday PM. Had viral infections on the hardware and it took a couple of days to clear up. Would have had the SchiavoHoax document out on the site long before now! [It's up now: CLICK HERE if you're a creature of punishment :) who'd like to wade through it.]

Thursday, March 31, 2005


Franz Kafka is coming back from the grave.

And Michael Schiavo is now a Murder One suspect.

I will be posting three items over the next few days in addition to the usual. One post titled "The Right [to Refuse] to Live" was a section snipped out of my very first post (and seen by Lesbien Cest Moi in a rough draft :) that needed to be expanded. I will finish it out and post it as if Terri were still alive with the feeding tube removed. I hope you'll understand.

One is my in-depth discussion of the hoax. (Will be posting my proof/inference which features Exhibits A, B, C, Greer's Dilemma and Cranford's Dilemma, separately on SchiavoHoax within the hour week.)

Lastly I want to post my interpretation of Michael Schiavo's Freudian slip, including the exact moment he made his error, why he made it, and what he was probably thinking when he did. I'll want comments.

Thanks - A hello to everyone I haven't talked with in a few days.

The Brave Period

A Message in Progress

As the death crescendo for Terri Schindler Schiavo accelerates and the orchestrated cacophony intensfies in pitch - calling feverishly for Terri's head on a platter on the one hand while feigning casual indifference on the other (a blatant contradiction) - we are naturally split into four groups: Terri supporters, Terri deniers, the indifferents who either don't care or won't engage, and the truly "uncommitted" - those who don't know which side to believe but know the choice is important to make before she dies.

But time's dwindling fast: when she's gone, four groups will become three. Anyone who's uncommitted will be lumped in with those who just don't care and can't be bothered. Beware!

There's hope for the last group. For those on the fence it probably comes down to (1) whether or not you believe Terri would have wanted to die if she had PVS, and (2) whether or not you believe that she actually has PVS.

Interestingly there appear to be answers on both fronts: Michael has made up the former, and Terri doesn't have the latter. (Hope that makes your decision easier. :)

There are those who are positive Terri Schiavo is a conscious and sentient being, and has been misdiagnosed with PVS on purpose. That conviction will come under further attack before it eventually prevails; there are just too many out there who have gone too far to turn back voluntarily. So those of us who've come to our own decisions voluntarily may need the courage to stick with them through the lurid aftermath: the autopsy (and whatever it purports to reveal or conceal), the recriminations, and the system flexing its muscle. If you - like me - are not sure whether Michael Schiavo (or the Pinellas County M.E.) can be taken at his word, I'm here to tell (or reassure) you: it doesn't matter right now.

There's a trap in overthinking the situation we've been handed. We're taught and encouraged to put trust and faith in the law (both civil and criminal), in medical science (both to save lives and to determine when lives are worth saving), and in the free press (to investigate what we don't know, report what we know, and decide what it is we should know). However: Those tools are offered not only as the best means by which to make sense of complex situations, but also as the de facto arbiter of right and wrong and the only just means of resolving them. Often we structure the discussion and resolution of problems like Terri Schiavo's in context of the law, medicine and politics - as if that were the roadmap for seeking a just outcome. But the fact is: all of those disciplines can be subverted or manipulated (like a straw puppet) at will by those with the right access, motive and willingness to do the unthinkable.

Just consider: Did Michael have an affair before Terri's "incident" in 1990 as Terri's friends have asserted? Or did Terri have an eating disorder as Michael's friends have asserted? Did Terri's supporters speak out of their own accord or was their "PR campaign" orchestrated by the right-to-life lobby? Did Terri's deniers bubble up to the surface before or after the right-to-die lobby launched their PR campaign to have Terri done away with?

And did Dr. Cranford follow medical best practices in establishing Terri's PVS, or is even the suggestion of impropriety or incompetence a "vicious slander"? The fact is: none of these "he said, she said" questions brought us here. What brought us to this point was a system that has rewarded the behavior of certain individuals for subverting the very system they claim to represent: judges not being judges. Nurses not being nurses. Hospital adminstrators not "administrating". Doctors not healing the sick. And law enforcement not enforcing the law. The questions about this or that are merely sideshows; the point is, had the system not been infiltrated, it would have worked in Terri's favor long before now.

As we've seen, no less than ten valid reasons for staying and reversing Terri's conviction and execution have been raised over the years, yet none has made any difference whatsoever in the mind of the man calling the shots. All the appeals courts have ruled on is his right to make that decision based on whatever fabricated evidence he chooses to consider.

"Don't worry, let us figure it all out for you," we're told, "the courts/ doctors/ press/ Congress will get it right eventually. Even if it's too late to help this poor woman, even if we get it wrong this time, we'll reform ourselves to do better the next. How 'bout that? In fact, we'll make it a crusade. Happy now?"

Clearly the trap of thinking within the walls of that asylum ensures we'll get it wrong every time: it does nothing to understand the last mistake and provides no understanding of how to confront the next. And that's why overthinking the problem in the model and vocabulary of our institutional machinery leads to underthinking: it traps us within abstractions created to define, contain and separate problems that decompose easily along those lines, not to solve an unusually thorny problem that crosses firewalls. It's primarily an exercise of self-validation, not analysis.

Analysis is never overthinking. It's thinking.

For this it's usually best to go to back to pen & paper, and ponder the basic questions. In our case:

  • Who is the aggressor? (body language)

  • Who is telling the truth? (body language)

  • Who is telling the truth by default? (Terri)

  • Who is better represented when done in person rather than through the words of an interpreter? (like Felos)

  • Who facilitates or impedes the disclosure and free flow of information?

  • Who attracts the support of volunteers, and who [only] attracts the support of professionals?
I'm sure I'm leaving some out but you get the picture. :)

Many of these questions are misinterpreted by the "institutional machinery" itself and then answered poorly. For instance: the last question is often smeared by Big Media as prima facie evidence of political activism (or misplaced sympathy), but filter out the activists (and their ostensible followers) and you're still left with an impressive lot. I don't see grass-roots volunteer support of nearly the same caliber in Michael's camp. If he were being honest - and she really were beyond hope and had wanted to die - he'd have just as good a case as does her family (if not more so) for attracting earnest volunteers. But with so many people (including Michael himself) putting the the lie to this charge, it's not realistic for him to expect much "volunteer" support. Or for the press to expect it either, quite frankly.

A comment on telling the truth "by default": It affirms the right of those to be heard who can't speak for themselves. It doesn't necessarily imply they are always "right". What it does mean is that the way in which we assign weight to the testimony of supporters based solely on their relationship to the principal (brother, friend, parent, and so on) - and the matrix of hypothetical "ulterior motives" we have to consider when we're evaluating their credibility - must be adjusted for their side of the argument.

After all: when a brother of Michael speaks for him we have to understand that, since Michael is able to speak for himself, there is embedded significance to the act (i.e., "why is he speaking for Michael?"); but in Terri's case we have no way to make that distinction. If we treat her family with the exactly the same suspicion we do with Michael's family, we're invariably stacking the outcome in Michael's favor. Too often the press has applied that logic without any allowance for the fact that she's trapped inside her own body at an end-of-life hospice, and to this day has remained silent on volumes of information surrounding the night of the incident and her treatment since then: broken bones, injuries consistent with strangulation, deadly injections, and substandard medical care on the ostensible orders of the husband.

When Bobby speaks for her, or her parents do the same, one wonders, why are the media so quick to brush them off? The press may enjoy the faux "justice" of so-called equal treatment, and courtrooms have to presume to treat everyone "equally", but we don't. We are not in a courtroom. We don't have to live by rules geared to simple situations that share none of our dynamics or concerns: corruption, medical [records] fraud, intimidation, collusion, buried leads, and even political intrigue. No, we don't live by those rules. And we don't have to ignore those possibilities either, or abide the idiotic display of fairness that has all but ensured Terri's demise. We live by a much higher standard.

So: the way I see it, this is the Brave Period. Institutional and bureaucratic machinery which until now has been idling comfortably is about to turn on the screws. Metal will gnash against metal, and we may find ourselves doubting everything we believe from time to time, as things we have learned and understood recently are vehemently denied and turned back on the accusers, "reinterpreted" not by those who see the truth more clearly but by those who speak louder. There will be decisions that try our patience and make the whole enterprise look hopeless. But get through it we will, and then we will reach our period of Just Resolution.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Code Red At the CodeBlueBlog

As some of you know, this story has been breaking for a couple of days. Doctor CBB has called a whopping "shenanigans" on the hospital's reasoning capability and disclosure policy. He has caught at least someone in a lie, most probably, and others in one or more crimes. He's landing 1-2 gut punches with this one. It just gets more and more suspicious all the time:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
There is categorically and absolutely NO WAY Terri could have suffered MASSIVE ANOXIC INJURY TO THE BRAIN ON 2/25 AND HAVE NORMAL CT SCAN ON 2/27
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It seems on the one hand they attribute Terri's oxygen loss to an accident at home, en route, or shortly after arrival, yet the hospital itself has a normal CT scan on record within the first couple of days with no problems. Then, one month later, all hell breaks loose:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Now look at 3/30. Suddenly she develops NONCOMMUNICATING HYDROCEPHALUS. WHAT? Did anyone ask HOW? How did she develop noncommunicating hydrocephalus suddenly on 3/30/90 with 2 normal CT scans on 2/25 and 2/27??
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The clear diagnosis emerging is that she was shaken (among other things) before arriving at the hospital, but not enough to cause "massive anoxic injury to the brain", then bumped - severely - on the head.

[RD Note: What's still not clear is when and how she sustained anoxic injury to the brain. But it's clear she got her head badly bumped sometime in March.]

[RD Note: The hospital investigation incriminates Michael, but it doesn't get Terri out of PVS purgatory. The biggest crime as it pertains to the right-to-die case was her fraudulent diagnosis of "aggressive-onset" Stage 1 afflictions as shown in both her CT scan and her EEG - clearly meant to be a quick death sentence. They are easily falsified by all remaining evidence, which is substantial.]

Response To A Sneering Progressive

Mail this out [CLICK RIGHT HERE] or mail the hyperlink to all your liberal and progressive friends while there's still time. (Can anyone get it onto the Kos or Usenet?) You may also want to include the link that precedes and prompts the tirade so they know what it's about. :)

Here's how it started: In response to the following article, Imagine Terri Were a Toaster ..., I had posted the following message:

Like all absurd arguments, it's based on an incorrect premise: that Terri Schiavo is a toaster that sentimental right-to-lifers are humanizing for their own delusional ends.

Perhaps I'd enjoy the wry humor in it on a different day, but you have to realize... [MORE]

It got the following reply:

Liberals for Terri? Your argument is absurd too.

What the author fails to realize is that if Terri has a soul, which is what most people believe, regardless if you're on Michael Shiavo's side or her parent's side - then there is something still there in the person's body whose wishes Michael wants to respect.

On the other hand - your argument is just ridiculous. This case has been in courts for so long, with experts declaring that she is a vegetable and all of her "reactions", movements, etc. are simply reflexes. This is science, not religion - and believe it or not, in science there are often things underneath what you can see just by using your senses. So it's great that you can see her react to certain stimuli and make noises like "AAAH WAAAAH" but that doesn't mean anything.

I sent this in reply. It's the link at the top of the article. It's basically a point-by-point refutation of the usual positions and a rant on the Liberals For Terri position in a nutshell.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Julian Sanchez & Dawn

I reply to Julian Sanchez in this post from Dawn at the Dawn Patrol ("Neurologists: 'Tape Proves Terri's Not PVS'"). Good posts in the Comments section - if you look at anything make sure to go there... :)

The article is a lead-in to the Rob Johansen article that also has this to say:

In other words, they were willing to go on record to say that Terri is not in a "persistent vegetative state" and that, therefore, Judge George Greer has ordered the murder of a thinking and feeling woman who could respond to rehabilitation. A woman capable of interacting with her surroundings, who could one day tell us if she wanted to live—if she were given the chance.

Some insist - under oath - that has already happened. Not that it makes a difference to the good judge.

New readers: Realize that all of this only remotely makes sense if the 1996 CT Scan is a hoax (FYI no 2002 scan was ever actually presented; it was only alleged by Dr. Cranford; there is only one scan in evidence). We have already demonstrated that the CT scan on record does not fit the evidentiary pool - not because it doesn't show what it should (i.e., an almost comical loss of cortical brain tissue), but because it shows what it shouldn't: the tip of a shunt in the middle of the patient's brain cavity, as would be expected in clinical treatment for a late-stage AHC patient. Terri was never diagnosed with this clinically, nor was she ever shunted for it, nor was she medically treated in any way after 1993; the only "evidence" of aggressive AHC in her pathology is the 1996 CT scan itself.

To logicians: The CT scan evidence is a tautology (of uncertain provenance) which passes peer review - it shows what it claims - but falsifies all other evidence, including all known eyewitness accounts of Terri Schiavo, the clinical history of Terri Schiavo, as well as Dr. Cranford's own "balloon video" (which most believe shows Terri conscious and responding to suggestion). It is therefore unlikely to be the patient's own brain scan.

Terri Is Stage 3 Patient Fraudulently Misdiagnosed As Stage 1

Terri Schiavo appears to be the victim of an intentional misdiagnosis at the instigation of her husband. Caregivers insist that she's a Stage 3 patient (communicates, needs treatment / therapy, and can improve significantly), yet the two medical tests - one CT scan and one EEG - insist not that she's in Stage 2 (PVS) but Stage 1 (beyond hope).

Doctors who have examined her more extensively than Dr. Cranford (with his famous "balloon" video and 45-minute McDrive-through bedside manner) know that's ludicrous on its face - they've talked to her (albeit with the problems she has, which at the moment are considerable) - and believe she is more likely to have the following neurological issues:
  • palsy

  • aphasia

  • partial blindness

  • spinal cord injury
This is only informed speculation. Doctors were able to make diagnoses within the time constraints but a lot more was possible. More information is available here.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Terri Schiavo is a Victim of Medical Records Fraud

For the sake of argument I identify these levels or "stages" by which doctors judge what to do with a patient, rightly or wrongly:

Stage 1 - Beyond hope ("pull the plug")
Stage 2 - Hope ("let them live but don't rehabilitate them")
Stage 3 - No need to 'hope' - can improve ("rehabilitate")

PVS is squarely in Stage 2, if for no other reason that half of all PVS patients are reclassified as Stage 3 within their lifetimes.

Because of this, I allege Medical Records Fraud perpetrated on the Schindlers, in the form of one CT scan and one EEG (as we know they were unwilling to consent to "further" tests). Consider:

We already know of the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence (from patient examinations & eyewitness testimony) that Terri is a Stage 3 patient. The peer review on the latest patient exams is clear and incontrovertible (except by those very same "medical records"). And the peer review also agrees that the CT scan is clearly of a Stage 1 patient (not even a Stage 2). Therefore, it CAN'T be Terri's brain scan.

The patient in the scan is a very sick person indeed. Their cortical atrophy puts them in Stage 1, with "no hope" - and no verbal interactions either. (Terri gave one heck of a scream the other day as you recall after being told to speak. The only question in the judge's mind was whether it was her expressing her will to live or just a moan.)

If we get our heads out of the weeds a minute and THINK, it's obvious that not only can't this be Terri's CT scan, but if fraud is being perpetrated, we might as well throw out the EEG and Dr. Cranford's testimony as well. (!)

Recall that he's the man who used a "balloon video" (which peer review clearly agreed was Stage 3) and a CT scan (which peer review clearly agreed was Stage *1*) and "averaged" his way to the conclusion that Terri has PVS (Stage 2) rather than conclude that one of the exhibits was obviously faked. I guess he really is a man of compromise.

(At least PVS - a Stage 2 diagnosis - would have ordinarily spared Terri an easy death penalty from the courts.)

But THEN he argued - the slimeball that he is - that because of the "irrefutable" nature of the Stage 1 diagnosis on the CT scan, plain for all to see (which isn't a lie), that Terri was a new kind of "PVS" patient - one with no hope (Stage 1).

That the CT scan wasn't even Terri's had either not been considered, or had not been admitted.


The Next Apple In The Cart

Next up is a post on Schiavogate. It tells us why the "myth" of "liquefied brains" is already losing its credibility - it's obviously falsified. There's no way for it to be true, because healthcare workers could submit to polygraphs today and - when asked whether Terri was a vegetable - would be forced (by honesty) to say "No."

That can mean only one thing: the CT scan that shows "liquid brain" is NOT TERRI'S. That's all it can mean. I am working on an in-depth treatment of what I just posted a little while ago.

And REMEMBER: THEY ARE DEHUMANIZING TERRI [Michelle!] because THEY think THE BRAIN SCAN IS LEGIT. That's the ONLY reason. (And it's a good one - if it were, she really would be a lost cause in medical terms.) Know it. Understand it. Help someone figure it out. There's not much time left. The key to breaking the story is to falsify (LEGITIMATELY of course!) that document. That's what I'm working on.

In the meantime, new readers ought to have "fun" (though this ain't a fun topic) reading the introductory post for Liberals For Terri [CLICK HERE] and following the links in order to catch up on the topic.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Choice

For those of you who think Terri Schiavo is a "vegetable" and has "liquid" - not solid - "brains", it's come down to this choice.

There are tens if not hundreds of health-care professionals and workers who will testify under oath - and take a POLYGRAPH if compelled by the judge - to the exact opposite: that Terri Schiavo can in fact hear, understand, laugh, speak a few words (and with speech training do better), and feel happy or sad, and feel PAIN. Now, HOW IS THAT REMOTELY POSSIBLE if she has LIQUID FOR BRAINS? How could it possibly, possibly be?

Well. None of us are stupid. OBVIOUSLY it can only mean one of TWO things. Either:

1.  The collective testimony of ALL nurses, ALL doctors and ALL visitors are a hoax. (IOW: They are trying to HUMANIZE a VEGETABLE.)


2.  The 1996 CT Brain Scan and EEG report that formed the sole basis of their "liquefied brains" or "permanent coma" charges is a hoax. (IOW: They are trying to DEHUMANIZE a WOMAN.)

Only one of the two can possibly be true.

Realize that Option 1 - an organized conspiracy among dozens of people (including those in the so-called "right-wing" media) to lie, cheat and forestall social change in support of the right-wing agenda - would have to include not only the doctors hired by Terri's parents - but also the ones hired by Michael himself. (!!) Why is that?

Because, even THEY weren't able to support the diagnosis of "liquid brains" or "coma" in their OWN one-on-one patient interviews with the "vegetable". (Watch the videotapes of the doctor with the balloon; he's complimenting her for following it with her eyes. Is he just a buffoon for talking to himself or was he trying to get a reaction?)

You realize, don't you, that the main doctor testifying on Michael's behalf - and his spouse's right to die - complimented her on how she tracked a balloon. That's HIS voice on the videotape. It's not possible to interact with, solicit, or encourage, ANYTHING from a vegetable, a patient in a coma or one with "liquefied" brains.

The doctors could almost diagnose PVS (though why Terri would be able to speak is a mystery they choose not to explain), but "liquefied brains" is a much more serious charge - it's truly terminal vegetation, WORSE than a mere state of "coma" on all accounts - and it's one that even their own clinical exams could NOT support (nor was it their goal to do so - it just fell into their laps). The ONLY documents supporting the charge of "massive" brain damage are the ALLEGED 1996 brain scan (and possibly the ALLEGED EEG report). Both are singleton documents of dubious provenance. They were obtained from Terri's often-rifled-through medical files.

Realize also that, for Option 2, all that's required is for one man - with access to medical facilities (as a nurse) and his spouse's medical records (as her guardian) - to make the proper adjustments.

You realize, don't you, one or the other IS a hoax. Both of them can't POSSIBLY be true.

I have a suggestion that would suit everyone so we don't waste our breath quacking about "smearing" someone: why don't we simply put Michael Schiavo on a POLYGRAPH and ask HIM? Ditto for the other people involved - fair is fair after all. I think that should settle the whole thing quite amicably in my opinion. Don't you?

Nurse Carla Sawyer Iyer's Sworn AFFIDAVIT
Former Nurse Heidi Law's Sworn AFFIDAVIT

More importantly, what is Michael Schiavo AFRAID of? (He's stopped doing interviews since Larry King caught him in a lie that revealed he had NO IDEA what his wife's wishes were.)

[UPDATE for people like Gardener: The whole reason for this post is that the likes of Air Frankenstein have demagogued these terms, turning medical evaluations into political speech. If someone's brains have begun to "liquefy" then there's no need to feel sorry for them is there?

I won't even ARGUE that point - why bother - I wouldn't get anywhere anyway would I? My one, simple question - the one that no one seems to want to deal with - is: What if we're wrong? That would make your righteous indifference not only meaningless but a mark of shame.

Now we don't have to wonder any more. The CT brain scan evidence is a HOAX.]

What if the CT Brain Scan Isn't Terri's?

Online Medical Discussion Board Concludes 1996 CT Brain Scan Is Likely A Hoax

[This post will be updated to fix facts or update conclusions as needed with informed consensus. Assertions will be withdrawn as they are refuted.]

Analysis and discussion on the award-winning medical blog CodeBlueBlog are casting suspicion on the single 1996 CT scan that has provided the entire basis of evidence - apart from Dr. Cranford et al's since-discredited testimony - for Terri's diagnosis of PVS and the claims of massive cortical atrophy (the so-called "liquefying brain"). From Dr. Martin on CodeBlueBlog:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I have seen many CT scans looking like ["Terri's"] as well ... The single image from this particular scan shows SEVERE loss of cortical tissue. The PATIENTS who go along with CT scans like that are for the most part in advanced demented states, nonverbal, often contracted into the fetal postition, unable to follow any instructions or engage in purposeful movements.
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The conclusion that the 1996 CT scan shows severe brain damage and almost no hope for meaningful recovery was echoed by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's medical correspondent and a trained neurosurgeon himself, who reportedly based his opinion on this scan and the (disputed) EEG report. Dr. Martin's assertion above - that this scan may not even be Terri's - is either a five-alarm scandal in the making or a fantasy driven by collective "false hope".

Yet the consensus building on the discussion thread's medical participants indicates: The 1996 CT scan is a hoax.


Why we reached this conclusion is an excellent question. There are several reasons to consider.

First: Like Dr. Martin, Dr. Bell at Wake Forest and other respected neurologists in the field have collectively concluded that the two different exhibits being used to justify Terri Schiavo's diagnosis of persistent vegetative state or PVS - the CT brain scan ("Exhibit A") and the 10- to 45-minute patient exams by 3 doctors ("Exhibit B") - point in two entirely different directions. To a large degree they may even contradict each other.

That does not address the question of whether or not Terri has PVS. What it means is, the two exhibits gathered to "diagnose" Terri contradict each other. It means that at least one of the exhibits - Exhibit A or Exhibit B - must be false.

Which is it (or is it both)? Competent neurologists believe it is both, for reasons that will become clear shortly.

EXHIBIT B - Testimony of Dr. Cranford et al

First: there is reason to doubt Exhibit B independently. Exhibit B consists of testimony from three doctors - two for Michael Schiavo and a tie-breaker - that all agree she has "PVS". This is ludicrous for the following reason: Every neurologist (besides Dr. Cranford et al) who has examined Terri in person has found immediate and solid evidence of her cognitive abilities. Though this evidence was swished away as "irrelevant" by Judge Greer on every occasion (for reasons known only to him), they have found Terri to be alert, conscious, able to feel pain, and trying to speak. That falsifies Exhibit B - testimony that has been discredited by the eyewitness reports and even her own medical records - on its face.

[Ed: There will be more credible and irrefutable problems and contradictions that will impeach Exhibit B in a future post.]

While they have noted some obvious disabilities in Terri - partial blindness is one of them - they all realize she continues to hear well and respond. Why this hasn't been entered into evidence in Judge Greer's court is a mystery he has yet to answer for.

EXHIBIT A - 1996 CT Brain Scan

And now to the question of the hoax. If the flimsy provenance of the Exhibit B diagnosis has not put you in doubt about the entire case, then this may not stand for much to you. But there is serious reason to doubt the origin of Exhibit A on at least three grounds:

1.  Dr. Austin's argument that a patient with this degree of hydrocephalus (fluid in the brain) and cortical atrophy (diminishing brain matter) would not correlate to the patient history seen here and here is a compelling one, and one shared by the eminent neurologists quoted by Robert Johansen.

2.  If Exhibit A is to be believed then we must also believe that the deterioration in her brain was unusually rapid from 1993 to 1996, yet so slow between 1996 and 2005 that not only did she not die, but she remained sufficiently cognitive to appear in these videos, recognize music and express her wish to live. Whether or not it is called "PVS", it is doubtful the physicians could provide a viable explanation as to how the brain managed to retain those abilities in the face of such massive brain injury.

3.  Most patients who have PVS have almost-normal CT brain scans. This CT brain scan is considered anything but normal. It is a patient with late-stage hydrocephalus (whether it shows an acute or congenital problem depends on the patient's medical history).


A word on brain scans and PVS: Their consensus opinion is that a CT brain scan of a typical PVS patient may not look much different from a scan of a healthy brain. That's one of the reasons why doctors assert a CT scan of the brain does not diagnose PVS (a point the judge failed to understand when he admitted it into evidence). They DO, however, diagnose hydrocephalus of this advanced stage quite easily. The diagnosis reached on the brain scan is late-stage acute hydrocephalus (an acronym which I'll call AHC until a doctor is disgusted with it ;) and does NOT have a normal-looking brain scan.

Exhibit A and Exhibit B contradict each other because they defend entirely different diagnoses, and those diagnoses contradict each other. Dr. Cranford succeeded in moving both diagnoses toward the middle, but for reasons I will post in a follow-up, that interpretation can't be sustained either.

People with the kind of massive brain evisceration shown on the CT Scan would look like the patient described at the top, and not like the PVS patient that they claim Terri to be. We know that Terri Schiavo is neither of those (for reasons that were never submitted into evidence): she is much healthier and more able than either of those diagnoses permit, as her medical chart clearly demonstrates. All protestations to the contrary from 3 doctors and ONE image of dubious provenance, it simply cannot be explained how EITHER exhibit can be linked to Terri Schiavo.

Realize that if:

(1) the "liquefied brain" claim is based ONLY on the scan and not the "PVS" diagnosis that used the famous "balloon" video;
(2) her "PVS" diagnosis is based ONLY on the testimony of the three doctors (which now appears to be in some doubt) and NOT the scan showing massive cortical atrophy;
(3) each diagnosis contradicts the other; and
(4) Terri is reported by witnesses not to have the classic symptoms of either one, then we can conclude only one of two things:

1. Every clinician who has reported Terri's real symptoms other than the three appointed by the Greer / Felos partnership - which includes:
are all incompetent, delusional or lying. OR:

2. Both chains of evidence are phony.

Note that to date NO clinician who has actually treated Terri - whether a nurse or a doctor - from 1993 to the present day - has believed she was in a persistent vegetative state. Nor a helpless state of the sort implied by the brain scan - an even more horrific diagnosis than the PVS.

And it's also absurd that a doctor would allow competing and contradictory evidence to form the basis of a single conclusion (that fits neither one of the diagnoses these exhibits actually represent). The responsibility for a travesty of this magnitude is shared by Dr. Cranford regardless of whether or not the obtained the fraudulent evidence himself.

[This is not a proof, it's an argument. I'm working on a proof. It's longer. Stay tuned!]

And one thing more about the alleged brain scans:

There is a shunt clearly visible on the scan, yet Terri never had one installed.

Either an unauthorized shunt was installed into Terri Schiavo's head and then removed - for no particular reason or benefit (which is highly doubtful since Michael Schiavo forbade all medical treatment from 1993 onward) - or else the brain shown on the CT scan is not Terri's.

That should raise alarm bells.


On the subject of the shunt, there are a couple of things to note:

1. There was initial disagreement on the board as to exactly what the CT scan reveals. Consensus appears to be established however.

2. There is a thalmic implant that was installed earlier in her recovery and not removed. A dissenter had this to say:

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It still seems far more likely that this is a thalamic implant.

"How could they gage serial brain degeneration without serial follow-up?"

Are you really suggesting that 1996 is the only time anyone did a CT?

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Perhaps there's never been one performed. And the rebuttals - and the consensus - are quite clear:
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That is the tip of a venticulatr shunt which we are only seeing on one scan slice (because that's all we have). It was placed there to relieve increased intraventicular pressure which can have 2 causes: overproduction of CSF or obstruction to CSF outflow (= "communicating" and "noncommunicating" hydrocephalus).
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Regarding the possible existence of a "thalamic shunt":
A shunt is a device employed to drain CSF out of the ventricles when the body's natural mechanism of doing so has failed. If somebody placed a shunt into the thalamus, he basically has bad aim. It's a no-no to put shunts into the thalamus. People get sued for putting shunts into the thalamus. Stimulators, on the other hand, have for many years been placed in the thalamus in an effort to treat movement disorders.

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There can be considerable debate about the meaning of these anomalies, but the total set of contradictions are too overwhelming to sustain. And for reasons to be clarified in a follow-up post, the brain scan was both the pivotal piece of evidence that put Terri away - and kept the media incurious - and introduced a trojan horse (more on that later) that may unravel the chain of evidence.

Now here's the entire excerpt from Dr. Martin on CodeBlueBlog:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I have seen many CT scans looking like ["Terri's"] as well ... The single image from this particular scan shows SEVERE loss of cortical tissue. The PATIENTS who go along with CT scans like that are for the most part in advanced demented states, nonverbal, often contracted into the fetal postition, unable to follow any instructions or engage in purposeful movements. (There are exceptions to this of course, but based on reports of her condition Terry Schiavo is not one of them.)

In addition [to contributing a misleading and incorrect analysis], it is irresponsible to contribute to the debate based on a scan that is possibly and even probably not from her.

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I call "shenanigans" on the medical evidence being used to convict Terri to death.

More to follow. I will have both a more coherent point-by-point explanation, a detailed logical analysis of WHY the brain scan is a hoax (will need help from the CBB), why it may have been picked over another by the perpetrator, and what contradictions it buried into the chain of evidence. There might also be a trojan horse buried inside (that will unravel the chain) that even Judge Greer can't exclude because it's already been admitted into evidence.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Schiavogate - The Other Site

To new readers - be aware my other site Schiavogate is a concurrent site with LFT. Keep a window open over there & you'll be covered. Note the Link to it in the Links section - it's an easy way to get over there. Thanks!

The $10 Million Option - Nurses Testifying Against Michael and For Terri

Someone needs to hook up the $10 million attorney with the nurses and healthcare professionals who work at the hospice where Terri is dying, and who are willing to testify against Michael Schiavo in a heartbeat if they could (but can't for fear of immediate termination).

On talk radio yesterday the nurse Carla Sawyer Iyer announced that nurses at the SunCoast hospice are willing to come forward testify both to Terri's true condition (NOT a persistent vegetative state - indicating the 1996 CT brain scan must be fraudulent), and her husband Michael's treatment of her.

As it stands they would stand to lose mightily if they came forward and spoke out. The $10 million man could solve that problem IMMEDIATELY by pledging a fund to protect them against the threat of termination that would result if they spoke out in unison in favor of Terri and against Michael.

Their speaking out would end the "he said, she said" absurdity that has kept Terri's true condition out of the hands of the media and in "doubt" with the court.

So Michael didn't take the money? Should've while he had the chance. Ten million would have bought him safe passage to a country without extradition to the United States.

If a $10 million man is not available, perhaps those offering $1 million+ can pool their resources for the same purpose. Either way the goal could be accomplished. If someone knows how to GET IN TOUCH with these people, now would be the perfect time!

Friday, March 25, 2005

George W. Bush: Vindicated In A Matter of Days

To our President and to the Governor of Florida:

Here's a four-part plan to guarantee you will have your cake and eat it too:
  1. Have Federal agents seize Ms. Schindler's body immediately

  2. Place her in Federal witness protective custody (outside the jurisdiction of the evidence-denier George Greer)

  3. Whisk her away to a Federal government hospital or suitable facility

  4. Begin aggressive treatment immediately

Before the media have had a chance to tear you down, you will shove the proof of their betrayal right back in their faces. Their shame will be your moral and political victory. For soon you will have in your hands the proof (medical and otherwise) that the lead story was not death with dignity, nor life beyond all hope, but fraud: spousal, medical, legal and judicial fraud.

By the time she's improving and demonstrating she's not in a persistent vegetative state, you will have established - without any subsequent action on your part - the evidence you need to roll up the entire Pinellas County network of traitors.

You have the executive authority to spare the life of Terri Schindler (Schiavo).

You said you stood shoulder to shoulder with us in the War on Terror. Well it's time for you to roll up this terrorist cell and be done with them.

Kafka Revisited

When individuals acting in the guise of authority have the power to decide what the truth is or isn't, we have a Kafka novel. Note that it requires the following ingredients:
  • The power to mandate what "facts" are (this includes falsifying data and according it the status of "fact", while excluding everything that was obtained honestly)

  • The power to protect or obscure criminal behavior through the [mis]use of authority to silence or intimidate witnesses who would speak openly about their knowledge if asked

  • The power to rest decisions on a proportionately small amount of fabricated or fraudulently conveyed evidence that is reasonably outweighed by mountains of evidence honestly and openly obtained

  • The power to accuse, arrest, imprison, torture and then kill truly innocent victims in the "guise" of law, principle or the "greater good" (even when the evidence of their innocence is overwhelming)

  • A credulous (i.e. not skeptical) public.
Our public is too credulous in the infallibility of its newspapers and television stations not only in reporting the news, but understanding it. And when the press doesn't get it, neither does the public who depends on them.

When individuals with the power of fiat take advantage of society's credulity to act however they please under the hood of "due process", it isn't just wrong. It's Kafka-esque.

Why Were Gag Orders Imposed By The Judge?

"If you're so right about Terri's mistreatment by Michael Schiavo, then why are you the only ones talking about it?"

That question's just too deep to get into here. But I will say this:

We're not the ones "making it up." The nurses Heidi Law, Carla Sawyer Iyer, Trudy Capone, Nora Wagner, Carolyn Johnson and Cindy Shook [UPDATED 3/26/6pm - thanks maggie!] have all come forward to spill the real beans on the truly evil Michael Schiavo. I'm still in shock. I didn't listen to the clips or see the affidavits until this morning. Realize that no matter which side you come down on, the claims Carla Sawyer makes are either utterly false, or utterly true, because of the inflammatory nature of the charges. There is no in between on this. Once you hear what she has to say it's time to decide whether you believe her in full, or reject everything in full as a deliberate scam.

If you even think their affidavits sworn under oath are "discredited" because the source appears to be biased against the right to die, shame on you. These people came forward at risk to their careers in order to testify. They are not right-to-life activists. They deal with the sick & dying all the time. This isn't a petty vendetta. (Nor were the restraining orders filed against Michael for any other reason but a desperate attempt to keep him from hurting or threatening them.) This is about a fraudulent "spouse" passing himself off as a concerned husband. In fact, the term spousal fraud ought to be promoted as a concept (which I'll post on Schiavogate when I get the opportunity).

I trust these witnesses - they were there and they saw both Terri and Michael "in action". They are also professionals who care for all sorts of people in better - and worse - condition than Terri. They may not sound sophisticated on TV, but they are the ones who we count on to care for us, so presumably they have some measure of credibility don't they? (And what possible conflict of interest to promote by speaking out?) To make snide comments behind their back or call them "trailer trash" and "golddiggers" doesn't impugn their credibility, it impugnes ours. Who the hell are we to even think that? And what the hell do we know about it, anyway?

It turns out the real reason all of this hasn't yet come out is that our make-it-up-as-he-goes-along judge has placed gag orders on these people prohibiting them not from talking per se, not from lying, but from making any "positive" comments about Terri's condition. (?) Unfortunately for the judge, these people are talking.

Got that? He doesn't care if the nurses at these places lie or tell the truth, so long as they don't say anything "positive". And that passes your bias filter? C'mon.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

De Novo Trial Evidence Will Prove Terri is Innocent of All Charges

Watch tonight's Hannity and Colmes on FOX (yes, FOX!). Then tune to CNN and hope that Larry King is hosting and not Larry Queen (the snarky fill-in host that covered yesterday's segment). (Anyone's opinion on the Abrams report on MSNBC? Is he getting it yet?) Scarborough in an hour, but I'm channel-flipping between him, Greta, and Aaron Brown. Larry's repeat comes on at midnight. Let's hope Gupta realizes that - though videotaped evidence is not enough to diagnose PVS - it's more than enough to falsify the "diagnosis".

Terri Is Innocent Of All Charges Made By Big Media

Remind anyone who will listen that Terri Schiavo is an innocent woman. Not just in the spiritual sense of a lamb being braught - however "tenderly" - to the slaughter, but in very specific ways that even cold reason must appreciate.

For those individuals who blame Terri for causing her own "accident", condemn her for her "obvious disability", don't believe in her prospects in the slightest, and do believe in her husband's right to be taken at his word, remind them that she is innocent of all of the following charges:

Then ask them: How can someone be innocent of all of these charges, yet be sentenced to death on all counts?

Realize that if she is truly innocent of these charges brought by Michael Schiavo, George Felos, Dr. Cranford and Judge Greer then convicting her of guilt and sentencing her to death is unjust. More "importantly", it's not the decision people signed on to when they agreed to it. They were lied to. On all counts.

When we heard she was a bulimia-induced "vegetable" who brought this on herself and had no quality of life, we were more than happy to let her husband's family sully the aftermath while the wife's family got stiffed. Then come to find out we'd been lied to on this as well. Mr. and Mrs. Schindler, Bobby and Suzanne, I'm truly sorry we let this happen.

So NOW We Hear From the ACLU

George Felos thanks the Florida chapter of the ASCLU (American Selective Civil Liberties Union). His advice to the parents: their time would be better spent in "reflection and contemplation".

I want to thank George for his kind suggestion. I too am in a mode of "reflection and contemplation". His words are truly an inspiration to those who take up for him and his cause I imagine:

"The Jewish people, long ago in their collective consciousness, agreed to play the role of the lamb whose slaughter was necessary to shock humanity into a new moral consciousness. Their sacrifice saved humanity at the brink of extinction and propelled us into a new age."

"I was on fire, fueled by thoughts of bludgeoning and tearing her apart."

"Mrs Browning, do you want to die? Do you want to die? - I nearly shouted as I continued to peer into her pools of strikingly beautiful but incognizant blue. It felt so eerie ... Whatever your opinion about tube feeding, the hard fact was it now stood between Mrs. Browning and her death. ... I carried with me the resolute determination to sever the artificial cord that bound Estelle Browning to this earthly realm. Her agonized cry for release ran though my mind over and over again, and I felt our SPIRITUAL BOND."

This guy sounds so rational when he's on TV. Unlike Brian Schiavo, that is suggestive of pathological behavior. So is it sociopathy, or just plain zealotry?

"To her, I seemed unattractive, sexually unexciting, balding, boring, and just not enough fun to be with....she didn't need me anymore. For her, marriage to me inflicted a fate worse than death. She admitted that for the past year or so she had wished for my death, and whenever I flew hoped the plane would crash."

Apparently the feeling's mutual.

Brian Schiavo Interview Part I: Terri "Not Conscious"

In his own words, Brian Schiavo asserts on Anderson Cooper's 360 that not only is Terri neither aware nor alert, she's also been unconscious for the past 15 years:

A: Well, on 360, we don't take sides, we like to present all the angles. ... but first, Brian Schiavo, the brother of Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband, who's spearheading the effort to let his wife die. I talked with him earlier today.

A: Brian, I want to play you something that Governor Jeb Bush said earlier in the day, and I want to have you respond to it. Let's take a look.

Brian: Okay.

[Governor Bush asserts there is compelling evidence that Terri is not in PVS.]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A quick primer: It may be biased on my part to say this, but the brother looks and sounds unconvincing. (His physical resemblance to Michael is also uncanny but I'll put that out of my mind.) I try to imagine what it would be like to be (as Michael asserts) on an utterly noble (not utterly guilty) mission to kill his wife or sister-in-law. I try to imagine how I would come across to someone if it were me on television instead of Michael or Brian Schiavo.

I think the peace and inner conviction of knowing I was right, of having the sure go-ahead from my spouse on my side, of knowing she would rather die than live one more day, would be obvious to everyone. It would feel fine to turn down that $10 million. It would be my solemn duty. But that kind of passionate energy - even if tinged with the guilt of responsibility - would not produce the kind of thuggish, suspicious body language and emotional fragility these two men have exhibited since the start (in Michael's case, the night of the incident). Besides, we already know Michael Schiavo has no idea what Terri's wishes are. He has admitted that himself.

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A: Uh, the Governor's saying she in a "minimal conscious state", rather than a "persistent vegetative state. True?

Brian: Ah, that's what he be-*lieves*, but, uh, y'know, he was asked to come, come in and, unn, unn, take a uh, uh, good look at all of the.a..the information, the medical information... and uh, and he wouldn'a had to do this at the last minute, a, tuh, to throw this in there, an uh, to try to, to try to ah, ah, cre*ate* a problem at the last minute/he was asked to look at this before - *I* don't believe that's true, I've been to see her, aaunnmm, she's very peaceful, and she's *not* [flash of defiance]... conscious. She ahm, unfortunately this particular ah, ah condition, i-it looks like somebody's awake, they have, uh, wake and sleep cycles. ah, and it *looks* like they are awake, uhm, but, uh, Terri doesn't recognize anybody, she doesn't recognize *where* she is, ahm, so *I* don't agree with that at *all*...
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

My opinion: The entire statement is a lie from start to finish. It's obvious. Consider the opposite for a second: Would he come across like this if he was telling the truth? I hope not. I can sense the surges into & out of the truth, into & out of the zones where he finds comfort, areas where he feels [or thinks he will feel] secure, where he feels vulnerable. That tells me he's not a pathological liar. In fact he's not a very good regular liar. That may speak well for him in the end.

Contrast it to what he SHOULD have sounded like if the $10 million refusal was on the up-and-up:

"Look, I know what it *looks* like, and the whole idea of death with dignity may look to some people like *murder*, but it's really *not*, I can *assure* you, my brother and his wife were *very* clear on this while they were married, in fact *she* *made* *him* *swear* to her, in no uncertain terms, that if anything ever happened he would see it through to the end for her, and she would be there waiting for him on the other side... and we just *hope* that President Bush will start to see it *our* way, so that it's not dragged out as yet another excuse to feed a political know how *that* is, Anderson..."

I'll call that the reply that didn't happen. It's honest. Well-intentioned. Sensible. Truly principled. Argued from a point of patience, from knowing you're right: it's not moody, it's not petulant, it's not suppresed rage or worry. There's no selfish desire to be "on with it" like there clearly is with Mr. Schiavo. After all, as long as the wife is peaceful and well taken care of and there are no medical bills, what on heaven's name is the rush?? It would be reasonable to expect a little irritation, but that irritation would come across immediately as righteous and principled. His and his brother's performances on the camera come across as willful and basically incriminating. Especially when we consider the totality of Michael's neglect over time, and the fact that the evidence shows she likes music and fresh air!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A: So in your opinion, she's not aware of any of... this.. whirlwind a- around her right now.

Brian: Not at all. [chuckle] Not, not at all.
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The question Anderson posed was a little ridiculous, so I don't condemn Brian for chuckling. But the rest he can tell to the Marines (not the judge).

If They Do Stay the Execution, We May Learn About the Ordeal From Terri

If Terri Schiavo is rehydrated and fed, guardianship revoked from her "husband" Michael, and her treatment and rehabilitation begun immediately, realize that we may yet have a chance - perhaps unprecedented in modern history - to put to the test a variety of claims and counterclaims about the disabled, dying and the physical experience of dehydration-induced toxicity. Specifically:

  1. We may learn from Terri what it was like to have been dehydrated. We don't know precisely what her mental disabilities are but doctors interpreting the CT scans have reason to believe part of her problem is hydrocephalus. Terri can communicate even now, her cortex is not eviscerated or liqufied like some have asserted, and with the hydrocephalus issue resolved some of her cognitive abilities may improve. There are competing theories as to how it feels to "suffer" imminent death in this manner. Maybe we'll find out and put the debate to rest once and for all. The real-life victim Kate Adamson (who suffered for 9 days in a state of total awareness) and the theorists at the LA Times (who consider those close to death already) have vastly different opinions on the experience. Either way the knowledge will accrue to our moral standing.

  2. We will learn the extent to which a patient's cognitive and functional abilities can return after a period of a decade or more of zero treatment.

  3. We will verify / falsify claims that extend beyond medicine into bioethics, politics and civil rights. Some of the different positions we all take on these issues depend on unproven assumptions; that has created a moral deadlock where each side can argue they're right because there's no way to prove anything. Recussitating Terri Schiavo may give us some of the answers to these questions. Either way, the answers may surprise us.

No matter which way the decision goes there will be winners and losers. Either way those who perpetrated fraud and malpractice on Terri have an angry public willing to go after them. Those guilty of medical fraud will be incriminated with or without their consent. But if we manage to save Terri's life in the process, and discover just how far she can be rehabilitated, we may get a huge payback.

As to who's right - Kate or the LA Times: Can they possibly both be right? Do victims experience a period of excruciating pain and misery mitigated only by the dire final stages of the process, where agony is replaced by the euphoria of near-death? Or is progression toward death more peaceful? We may know more because of Terri Schiavo.

We already know that Terri can say the word "pai[n]". Presumably she'll know when she feels it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Medical Fraud Revealed


You can tell your grandkids you saw it here at the Code Blue Blog, before everyone else in Big Media jumped on the bandwagon. Before it became politically unnecessary to deny the evidence. Ask your Florida state representatives if their guys can stack up to these guys.

"But you're missing the point. Those doctors already diagnosed Terri with PVS... How much longer do I have to sit here and tell you this? Or sit & listen to this..."

No, you're missing the point. The point is, that "diagnosis" was a fraud.

The L.A. Times Almost Gets It

C'mon're so close. (Yes, the stories you're hearing about are real.) They know something's up, they just don't know what it is yet.

"The blogosphere is a giant mass of confusion when it comes to Terri Schiavo," wrote St. Petersburg, Fla., appellate attorney Matt Conigliaro in an e-mail. Conigliaro's legal blog,, dissects the Schiavo case from a purportedly objective viewpoint.

" created a site that steers people to more than 300 blogs that supported its stance in favor of reinserting Schiavo's feeding tube. Hundreds of bloggers backing that position have linked to, a site with news updates on the case and reader commentary."

"Pro Life" is a tinged hint to the reader to steer clear, especially of a place that has the power to "steer" lackeys toward all the wrong places. The people there would "obviously" lie through their teeth in order to help someone on a "right-to-die" case. (Of course by now we know that's the wrong meme and a bum rap to boot, if for no other reason than there's no need to lie in the case of Terri Schiavo.)

The charge of "steering" people toward a "stance" is presumptuous to say the least; progressive secularists are mature enough to skip over the stuff that looks overtly religious and focus solely on the facts of the case and whether they are credibly supported. Well at least they mentioned without screwing it up. That's a start. No mention of the mountain of evidence indicating willful cruelty by the spouse and medical, legal & judicial fraud however.

"Some Schiavo activists are even chronicling hunger strikes launched to parallel Schiavo's experience."

Bear with me for just a second. From that I read the following:

Inference #1: Hunger strikers are activists (cause- or ideology-driven, not sympathy-driven). The only position dignified by "sympathy" is to "let" her die. Inference #2: Since these people are activists, there's nothing but ideology at stake. Inference #3: Since people who are willing to die of hunger for an ideology must be nuts, these people must be nuts. Inference #4: Since these people are nuts, we can dismiss the reports of Nobel Prize nominees and the videos of Terri communicating out of hand. "Yep, that girl's got PVS. See, it says so right here."

[Gratuitous] Inference #5: Inversion of the set relationship. Instead of saying that some Schiavo hunger strikers are activists, they say "some activists are hunger strikers." It's almost fair storytelling but they've mischaracterized what's going on - they're implying that all Schiavo hunger strikers are pro-life activists by definition (which just ain't true), and they're also tying hunger strikers explicitly to the right-to-life cause in particular and ideological causes in general (which just isn't right). It's gratuitous. It's totally unnecessary. And it's wrong.

Next time, replace the word "activists" with "supporters" and I'll have more respect for your journalistic ethics.

I like this next one:  :-D

"On the other side, liberal bloggers laid into Republican lawmakers for inserting themselves into the case."

Not all liberal bloggers. Go fly a kite. You'll do more good there.

"Usually we have clear battle lines," said Markos Moulitsas, of the left-leaning blog "On this issue we're not seeing that happening."

Oh yeah? That's better. C'mon Kos, take a stand. Look at the evidence. There's [barely any] time left.

Yet Dutch Martin, a State Department foreign service officer and columnist for, voiced his view that the case was a matter for Michael Schiavo to decide — not her parents, Florida courts or local and federal politicians.

"'Despite the hopes of her family and well-wishers, her condition is not going to improve," he wrote. "Lord knows I would not want to be kept alive artificially if something like that (God forbid!) ever happened to me, and I've told my wife this more than once.'"

Thank you Captain Obvious. Yes, her situation won't improve - Your Will be done. Congratulations. And yes the Lord knows all. And I bet your wife has heard it all before just like we have. On a serious note: Are we going to take a stand before feeding someone is redefined as keeping someone alive "artificially"? (Or does this guy really think she is and/or needs to be on life support?)

Good to see the LA Times is using all the "right" quotes. Is this all they have left in the well? It seems to me that if there were more really supporting this, they could do better.

"The issue also drove Republican blogger John Cole to split from party politics on his blog, He blasted the GOP's "lunatic fringe" as being "divorced from reality" for turning the Schiavo case into a pro-life cause.

Of course - the useful idiot, the useful exception that "proves" the rule for the LA Times. Thanks Mr. Cole. You've just made your career as the Krampus. You seem to almost get it - yes, this isn't a "pro-life lunatic fringe" cause, as even those who support euthanasia don't want Terri imprisoned in a nightmare that would stump even Franz Kafka - but you draw the wrong conclusion.

This isn't about ideology, pal. Or "false hope". Or a little problem that will vanish with a patronizing swish like Mr. Martin's. It's about springing an imprisoned woman from a death sentence made up by the perpetrators, justified by bogus medical testimony, imposed by judicial fiat by an elected "judge" and carried out by a death troika.

Mr. Cole doesn't get it. The L.A. Times could get it if it wished. The scoop ;) of the decade beckons. So near, yet so far...

[P.S. I'll give Mr. Cole the benefit of the doubt. We've all been lied to on this topic. So maybe the news just hasn't caught up with him yet. But he'd better figure it out quick.]