Monday, March 21, 2005

A good source on the Terri Schiavo case

I tried to post a comment over at Dean's World regarding the Schiavo case (mainly because Joe G from The Moderate Voice and Dean's posts) but it hasn't shown up yet (it was a first time post by me) so I'll just put it here and trackback.

I had not followed the story closely enough to remember a lot of the history of the case and the issues argued. Also, it has been hard to know what is fact and misinformed assertions. I did a search and found the blog Abstract Appeal which has a lot of information. For one, it has a chronological history of events in a nice two column format with date on the left event on the right.

At the various relevant events, there are links to the legal documents associated with the events - decisions rendered, etc. I decided to read the 38 page report by the "Guardian ad litum" (GAL), appointed in accordance with the Legislature's passage of "Terri's Law", that was submitted to Gov. Bush in 2003.

It covers history, issues, actions of the parties, arguments by those parties, the science and state of technology wrt rehabilitation and therapy, relevant laws, had set a platform of understanding for a amicable(?) process to resolve the issue that was not completed, in part because of the breakdown in the negotiating process but also the lack of time (the GAL had only thirty days to do his work.)

I mention this one because it was very helpful to me -- short but covered all the bases. I recommend it be read, at the very least.

Update: Regarding this graph in the WaPo article:
"Michael and Terri Schiavo won a $700,000 malpractice lawsuit after her heart attack 15 years ago, but his lawyers say most of the money has been spent on health care and legal costs. Medicaid pays for her medication and Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., provides her care for free, the lawyers say."
Per the 2003 GAL report, it was a settlement; it was two part - more than $750,000 for Terri and $300,000 for Michael; Terri's went into a trust fund which has been scrupulously managed by an independent trustee; and the settlement was in 1993 which is definitely not 15 years ago.

Regarding Bobby Schindler's comment about warehousing, etc., all I'll say is it would be inappropriate to use anything in that comment as a justification to argue the issue for either side. It is unfortunate the WaPo stooped to including it in the article.


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