Editor's Note: The following letters were sent to GCN contributing
writer Perry Hicks regarding his stories on the tragic Terri Schiavo story
that appear only on GulfCoastNews.com. Updated 4/24/05
Subject: Terry Schiavo
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 19:48:17 -0700
I find it
completely distasteful and disgusting that because Terry was brain dead
that her husband should just hand her over like a hot potato so her
parents could care for her. How disrespectful to the woman. Her
husband has been maligned by the likes of Glenn Beck and others who have
no idea what they're talking about.
over? That's sick. Funny, Tom DeLay let his father pass on With
dignity but not Terri, no no no. We have to take a political stance.
I am Catholic
and yet think that the Christian right is out of their minds. They are
taking on a cultlike thinking process that frankly scares me.
I am far from
atheist. Actually I am Catholic. And many of us feel the same way.
The Schindlers did not love their daughter. They felt guilt,
perhaps, about what happened to her and wanted to keep her alive at any
cost. Such a shame. Such utter selfishness.
body was healthy. Let's remember that the nursing staff and Terri's
husband(who became an RN to take better care of her) were accused by the
Schindler clan of abusing Terri. Utter nonsense. So hurtful to those
who cared for her all those years. YEP, SHE sure had a lot of broken
bones by that abusive husband of hers.
You can post
this. Many people, good people, who are Christian, good parents, and
loving spouses are appalled by the pompousness of our government. Bill
O'Reilly even went so far as to accuse doctors who take babies off of
life support (ventilator) in extreme situations as murderers. This is
sick and hurtful to loving and UNSELFISH people who put their loved ones
first before themselves.
From: Joellen Mxxxxx
firstname.lastname@example.org (Perry's email-Ed.)
Subject: Thank you.
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 19:41:07 -0400
Dear Mr Hicks
I just read your article titled Death By Government in the Gulf Coast
News. I want to highly praise your very thorough and complete treatment
of the case. You have obviously done your homework!
If the Associated Press reports and the main stream media reports had
done the same, perhaps more could have been done for Terri.
I am a Special Education teacher with 35 years experience. In the USA, we
have thousands of Rehabilitation Centers for the treatment and recovery
of Brain Injury. Terri's death was so unnecessary. Rarely do the
over-seeing neurologists volunteer very positive prognosis of head trauma
patients, yet patients ( in consistent long term therapies) make great
progress. There exists many on going debates within the field of
Neurology regarding the functional definition of PVS and Minimal
Consciousness. An for sure, No one knows for sure.....it is all
speculation. Though there are brain injured patients who make minimal
improvement, there are far more who make remarkable strides toward
independent functioning. Terri was never provided with the opportunity
to make a recovery. This to me was the real horror and torture of her life
situation. It was worse than any horror I can imagine. In fact she was
isolated from all interaction which would have , could have provided
stimulation and growth. During the 15 years of his guardianship, Michael
consistently sought those opinions which provided the least amount of
hope and promise for Terri. There was only one person in the whole world
who wanted Terri dead. ...Michael Schiavo..Not another single soul wanted
any harm to come to her. Though Michael criticizes that the Schindlers
have never moved on with their lives like he has...the truth is that it
was the Schindlers who accepted Terri's tragic new reality as the present
reality to be dealt with constructively. , not Michael. He is the one who
never moved onto accept the reality of Terri's new life...he just simply
rejected it all with the statement that "Terri died in Feb 1990. " She
was not who he remembered Terri as being , therefore she needed to die.
How terribly bothered he was by her meager existance and how hard he
worked to keep all hope from her. When we have a family member who
becomes ill, we immediately seek medical intervention. Correct? When we
encounter a negative diagnosis/prognosis ...do we stop there and allow
that negative physician to carry on treatment? No , we seek a more
positive appraisal and we do not stop until we find one that offers hope
and promise. It is the more hopeful physician from whom we seek healing.
There were many physicians who gave positive judgments of Terri's
condition...Michael never considered a single one. Consider now
Michael's past management of Terri........it is clear that Michael's
intention was never to gain improvement for her condition. A quick
study of his trail of decisions reveals that very quickly...! Her daily
maintenance in a facility barren of possibilities and options, dark,
sound proof with no companionship, no future, no variations from day to
day...can create an acquired mental retardation that would be impossible
for a brain injured person to escape! This pessimistic, limited
thnking person should never have been permitted to be a guardian of Terri
or anyone else. What a disservice to mankind, the ADA, the spirit of FLA
law and the Constitution.
I want to share with you my appraisal of Judge Greer's rulings. I believe
that his court ordered Starvation and Dehydration remedy was the most
harsh of all possible remedies . If the goal was to grant Terri's wish
that she "not live like that"...then there were other less severe
remedies available to the court that could have accomplished the same
goal. She could have been removed from her dependency on the tube for
nutrition, with just 6 months of court ordered feeding therapy...she
could have been relieved of her inability to communicate with just 6
months of Communication (speech and language ) Therapy....She could have
been relieved of her inability to manage her environment with a pressure
sensitive remote control switch that would open her curtains, turn on the
TV, signal for assistance, etc. Terri's quality of life, her level of
independence and her functional adequacy could have been improved
drastically . I have seen this happen...(Chris Reeves had an "air"
sensitive control for his wheelchair). These implementations into her life
would have greatly improved the quality of her life and permitted the
opportunity to hear from Terri herself ! Instead Judge Greer ruled
with the most severe and most limiting of all remedies. He treated all
the speculation and hearsay as absolute. truth....with no regard for the
unpredictable variable of human determination. He ruled on the side of
death with no knowledge or exploration of the options. That in and of
itself has to be illegal...and certainly amoral. Both he and Michael
viewed Terri with no hope, no possibilities and no promise. Judge Greer
should have been removed from the case. very early on. Dr Cranford may
be a neurological expert but he is not an expert in rehabilitation and
recovery. He demonstrates very little understanding and appreciation for
those conditions that foster and stimulate progress and growth or even
human homeostasis. I find him hopeless.
The handling of this case is contrary to everything I have been taught ,
have learned and or have witnessed in Special Education for the past 35
years. I have never before seen a brain injured person kept from all
recuperative therapies, interactions and involvements and then judged as
inadequate as a result of their lack of meaningful activity. However I
have seen caretakers prosecuted for cruelty and neglect that endangers
the well being of the disabled. This is the very same principle that
caused Institutions for Mentally Retardates to be closed in the 1970's
and thousands of Assisted Living Homes to be opened up in communities
across our country from 1970 to now...Current practice requires that we
make social inclusion of the disabled a prerequisite of their assimilation
and functional adequacy. The US laws order inclusion...not
For years as I followed this case and advocated for Terri..I was
horrified by Florida's disregard for decency , fairness and current
standards of treatment of the disabled. i still can not understand how
this narrow minded and limited thinking Judge could sanction the death of
a helpless being. I was , and remain , very depressed by Michael
Schiavo's ability to manipulate our courts to satisfy his perverted sense
of marital duty.
Thank you for writing a marvelous article. I will save it as the best
summary of Terri's plight that I have ever read. May God Bless you in your
continued responsible reporting. You have renewed my hope in
JoEllen Mxxxxx, MEd.
Thank you for being the mouth piece for Terri Shiavo and her family.
This was first degree murder, and it was done with the blessing of the
courts. The truth will come out, but it won't be in the medical examiners
He has already been bought and paid for, by the powers that
can go get married to his long time mistress now and he had everything to
Terries death and nothing to lose. He gets the money, she can never speak
about him choking her, and he can go on enjoying his life. The only thing
be sure of is That God does not sleep, and he just sold his soul to the
May we all say prayers for the Shindler family whose pain we
can never realize.
Subject: TERRI SHIAVO CASE
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 16:25:36 EDT
Dear Mr. Hicks:
I read your report on Terries untimely death and so glad that someone
else besides me heard all these claims by the nurses and other doctors.
This whole thing has just made me sick. I think this was the right to
kill act by a husband who did not want her to survive. Reason one is he
to keep all the money he got from a law suit filed on behalf of Terri.
was $750,000 to be used for her rehab. It never happened. Reason two, He
not want her to ever vocalize that he was the one who put her is her
I think the man is a controlling sociopath and it did not bother him to
her die or her family suffer like they are. This man has no conscience.
facts told by her friends and coworkers never appeared on main stream
Television. Fox was the only network to cover all that stuff. Another
Judge Greer got a large sum of money from Michael's lawyer for a political
contribution. Michaels attorney was also on the hospice board for 9 years.
It is rumored that there are already sweet deals in the works for
Michael to have
a book deal and movie contracts for his heartbreaking story. Mr. Shiavo
start a foundation in Terries name (tax exempt) even his common law wife
touch it. He once brought her to the nursing home to see Terri and was
saying by TWO NURSES "YOU SEE MY WIFE IS DYING. He asked them how long
take for her to die and is the Bitch dead yet. He also stated he will be a
man when she is dead. It took him since 1998 to find a lawyer who is
Euthanasia to take it to the end. The Shindlers put up a good fight but
odds were against them. Sean Hannity, Michael Savage ,Mike Reagan, and a
other talk show hosts called Michael what he really is. My only
consolation is I
know that God does not sleep and all those responsible for her murder will
get their just rewards. I just hope I live to see it.
I was raised in Biloxi and My brother still lives in Gulfport. Our
lived in Gulfport and are gone now. I now reside in Redding California. I
the Sun Herald on my favorite places so I can keep up on coastal news.
is how I saw your write up, Thanks as the truth must come out. It won't
Terri, but may save others down the road. I wish the Shindlers would take
civil court with all these affidavits and sue him for everything and
charge him with murder of their daughter.
Keep up the good work. I sent a letter like yours to a columnist
named Bob Williams and also to Anne Quindland. Maybe if we get the facts
out on the web we can bring these evil satins to their knees.