[FoRK] Gov. Bush Seeks New Inquiry Into Schiavo Case

Joe Barrera joe
Fri Jun 17 15:04:04 PDT 2005

... absolutely incredible. What a fucking witch hunt.


Gov. Jeb Bush asked a Florida prosecutor today to investigate what he
said were varying accounts of the time that had elapsed between Terri
Schiavo's collapse 15 years ago and the moment that her husband summoned

The governor's request to the Pinellas-Pasco County state attorney,
Bernie McCabe, comes two days after the results of Ms. Schiavo's autopsy
were made public. Ms. Schiavo, who had been severely brain-damaged since
suddenly losing consciousness in 1990, died on March 31 after a
prolonged legal battle between her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler,
and her husband, Michael Schiavo, who finally prevailed in his efforts
to have her feeding tube removed.

The autopsy found that Ms. Schiavo's brain had withered to half its
normal size, strengthening her husband's contention that her condition
was irreversible and conflicting with her parents' position that she was
partly cognizant, responsive to them and could have improved with therapy.

Although inconclusive on the cause of Ms. Schiavo's collapse at age 26,
the autopsy report by the medical examiner of Pinellas County, where Ms.
Schiavo died 15 years later, generally supported the view that she had
been unaware and incapable of recovery regardless of any therapy or
treatment. It also found no evidence that she had had an eating disorder
that could have triggered her collapse, nor any indication of abuse or
foul play, as suggested by her parents.

The lack of an identifiable cause of Ms. Schiavo's condition was one
factor cited by Governor Bush in his letter to the prosecutor today. Mr.
Bush focused on what he said were discrepancies in the timeline
concerning her initial collapse on Feb. 25, 1990, and her husband's
summoning of aid. Mr. Bush said that records showed that Mr. Schiavo
called 911 at 5:40 a.m. that day. The governor noted in his letter to
Mr. McCabe that Mr. Schiavo had said during a medical malpractice trial
in 1992 involving his wife that Ms. Schiavo collapsed at 5 a.m., but in
a more recent television interview had said that he found her at 4:30 a.m.

"Between 40 and 70 minutes elapsed before the call was made, and I am
aware of no explanation for the delay," Mr. Bush wrote. "In light of
this new information, I urge you to take a fresh look at this case
without any preconceptions as to the outcome."

A spokeswoman for the state attorney said that Mr. McCabe was traveling
but was aware of the governor's letter and would look into it.

In a statement issued by Mr. Schiavo's lawyer, George Felos, Mr. Schiavo
assailed the governor's action today "outrageous" and characterized it
as an effort to deflect attention from the conclusions in the medical
examiner's autopsy report.

"I have consistently said over the years that I didn't wait but 'ran' to
call 911 after Terri collapsed," Mr. Schiavo said.

The statement added that Mr. Schiavo had, in the past, used approximate
times in speaking of that night and that he was not wearing a watch or
consulting at a clock while dealing with his wife's collapse.

On Wednesday, Mr. Felos told The Associated Press that Mr. Schiavo had
not delayed in summoning assistance on Feb. 25, 1990, and asserted that
if Mr. Schiavo had not called 911 as soon as he did, Ms. Schiavo would
have died that day.

"There is no hour gap or other gap to the point Michael heard Terri fall
and called 911," Mr. Felos told The A.P. "We've seen the baseless
allegations in this case fall by the wayside one by one." He added,
"That's what I would call it, a baseless claim to perpetuate a
controversy that in fact doesn't exist."

Bitterness between family members and a heated public debate on the
rights of the incapacitated defined the last months of Ms. Schiavo's
life, which was brought to an end after nearly two weeks without her
gastric feeding tube. Governor Bush himself entered the debate with the
Legislature through special measures that sought to circumvent court
orders allowing her husband to have Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube
disconnected. But the courts rejected such efforts.

When I look back on all the crap I learned in grad school
It's a wonder I can think at all

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