Talked to Terri Schiavo’s lawyer today

I heard Terry Schiavo’s lawyer today at a small meeting. We ended up talking privately for about twenty minutes about a host of topics. A very bright and engaging man. He had some very interesting points such as the different ways the American and non-American press reported her death, what her death was like (he escorted Mrs. Schindler when she visited Terry as she lay dying), why he took the case, evidence that Terry was not in a vegetative state (testimony not allowed in the record), and more. I’ll post my notes tonight if I have time.

Comments

  1. Where did you post the notes? I can’t find them and this is of interest to me.

    Thanks,

  2. Jacobse says:

    I haven’t yet. Meant to but…

    I’ll try to get them up later today.

  3. What I would like to know is how much insurance money Michael Schiavo received after her death. People claimed he had no interest in upholding Terri’s dignity and somehow did all this for money.

    The autopsy clearly demonstrated she was PVS.
    http://www.abstractappeal.com/schiavo/autopsyreport.pdf

    Tax records are public info. Just how much did Michael profit from her death -or- did he?

  4. Jim Holman says:

    bob writes: “The autopsy clearly demonstrated she was PVS.”

    I’m not a physician, but I have heard it expressed this way: the autopsy findings were consistent with a diagnosis of PVS. The diagnosis of PVS involves a number of things such as unresponsiveness on the part of the patient, cycles of sleep and wakefulness, incontinence, continued brain stem activity, and a number of other things. Part of the tragedy of PVS is that the patient may exhibit motions that seem purposeful, but are not. This is why a diagnosis of PVS can only be made over time. It also involves EEG and imaging studies. But since the diagnosis of PVS is not based only on anatomy, one cannot say that an autopsy demonstrates PVS.

    bob: “What I would like to know is how much insurance money Michael Schiavo received after her death. People claimed he had no interest in upholding Terri’s dignity and somehow did all this for money.”

    From what I have read, there was an initial payment of some kind of “disability” money paid out in 1990 or 1992, in the amount of $10,000. Beyond that I have not heard about any life insurance money.

    The main controversy over money was over a malpractice settlement paid out in 1993. The settlement consisted of two parts: $300K for Michael for loss of consortium, and $750K for Terri Schiavo’s care.

    Concerning the $750K, guardian at litem Jay Wolfson said in a 2003 report to Gov. Jeb Bush that

    The court established a trust fund for Theresa’s financial award, with South Trust Bank as the Guardian and an independent trustee. The fund was meticulously managed and accounted for and Michael Schiavo had no control over its use. There is no evidence in the record of the trust administration document of any mismanagement of Theresa’s estate, and the records on this matter are excellently maintained.

    news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/schiavo/1203galrpt.pdf

    Wolfson did an extensive review of the case. Nowhere in his 38-page report is any life insurance money mentioned. Aside from the $300K award in 1993, I have found no verifiable evidence that Michael Schiavo received any money at all persuant to Terri Schiavo’s death.

    There was, however, controversy over Michael’s $300K award. Mr. Schindler, Terri’s father, claimed that Michael had promised to give the Schindler’s half of any money he received. Michael asserted that he never made any such promise. Mr. Schindler also claimed that Michael owed the Schindler’s $10,000 for expenses while he was living with them. This dispute over money was apparently the origin of the split between Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers:

    The Schindlers told lawyers they thought their son-in-law would share his $300,000 with them. Through the years, they said, they helped him financially. The Schindlers said they were owed more than $10,000.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2003/11/23/Tampabay
    /Schiavo_clash_is_root.shtml

    After the malpractice case judgment, evidence of disaffection between the Schindlers and Michael Schiavo openly emerged for the first time. The Schindlers petitioned the court to remove Michael as Guardian. They made allegations that he was not caring for Theresa, and that his behavior was disruptive to Theresa’s treatment and condition. Proceedings concluded that there was no basis for the removal of Michael as Guardian. Further, it was determined that he had been very aggressive and attentive in his care of Theresa. His demanding concern for her well being and meticulous care by the nursing home earned him the characterization by the administrator as “a nursing home administrator’s nightmare”.

    [see above reference]

    It was widely believed that Michael Schiavo would end up with “a million dollars” after his wife’s death, but all the evidence I have seen indicates that he received nothing other than the money paid to him in 1993. I hope this helps answer your question.

  5. Jacobse says:

    Note 3. Bob writes:

    What I would like to know is how much insurance money Michael Schiavo received after her death. People claimed he had no interest in upholding Terri’s dignity and somehow did all this for money.

    In the mid-1990’s, Michael Schiavo sued for 20 million and received two million in 1994. After receiving the settlment he got a new girlfriend and changed his mind about rehabilitating Terry. From that point forward he hired lawyers and moved to end Terry’s life.

    From the report by Terry Schiavo’s lawyer.

    The autopsy clearly demonstrated she was PVS.

    A proper autopsy cannot be perfomed on a dehydrated brain. When all water is extracted from the brain, it creates gaps in the brain tissue.

    Further, evidence of Terri’s behavior before her death indicates responses appropriate to her level of injury, including recognizing different people in the room, responses to different stimuli (when the lawyer when behind her and spoke she attempted to turn around to see him), small mumbling of her lips when her mother kissed her, indications of pain when nurses were in the room, agitation when rap music was played on the radio, etc.

    I’ll post my notes about the lawyers talk in a separate post.

  6. Jim Holman says:
  7. Thank you for answering my questions. After the news stopped coming in, I have wondered about it.

    In my previous post, I did not mean to imply that I have any credentials or capability to diagnose anything, except maybe a common cold. The autopsy report I read (and included the link for) clearly suggests PVS. That is where I got the idea.

    Fr. Jacobse, I look forward to reading about your conversation with Terry’s lawyer and I appreciate you sharing your insight with us.

  8. Jacobse says:

    Note 6. Jim writes:

    Really, I don’t know where you get all this stuff.

    From her lawyer, an eyewitness to the events. Also he confirmed my point that the court record is highly selective, a point he elaborates in his book (which I bought). When I get a chance to look at it I’ll post some excerpts here.

    I would also ask you to consider the possibility that not everything the Schindlers say is true or accurate — a radical idea for sure, but one that would give your position a little more credibility.

    I’ll ask you the same question Mrs. Schindler asked: Why did they have to kill Terri Schiavo? Nothing inaccurate in that question as any reasonable person (and the foreign press) knows.

    They already knew from the MRI scan that the cerebral cortex was gone. Her brain was highly deteriorated before her death. More to the point, “all the water” was not extracted from the brain.

    I guess her heart exploded before her brain was completely drained of fluid then. Pardon my misspeaking, but the the decision was barbaric anyway you cut it. Like I wrote upstream, we don’t even treat our dogs this way.

  9. Christopher says:

    Really, I don’t know where you get all this stuff

    Good example of the a hard left Troll – anything that does not fit their restricted world view is simply dismissed…

    I would also ask you to consider the possibility that not everything the Schindlers say is true or accurate

    The unstated assumption here is the those who abide in and promote the culture of death knows what’s best, the Schinlders are simply wrong…

    Why does a Culture of Death troll promote death and murder here at a site called OrthodoxyToday??

  10. Jim Holman says:

    Christopher writes: “Good example of the a hard left Troll – anything that does not fit their restricted world view is simply dismissed…”

    I’m going to respond to you as if you are actually interested in discussing the issue. I don’t think you are, but I’ll proceed as if you are and see what happens.

    The Schiavo case generated a great deal of legal and other documentation, much of it easily available on the internet. While the documentation is not necessarily the be-all and end-all, it should at least be the starting point for discussion, and any significant variance from that should be justified. If someone wants to claim that Michael Schiavo got rich off of Terri Schiavo’s death, that’s fine, just show the evidence and the source. If someone wants to assert that Terri Schiavo’s brain was dried up at the time of autopsy, great, just show the evidence. I don’t see that as having a restricted worldview, but rather simply trying to verify other people’s assertions. Trying to ascertain the facts is all part of not bearing false witness, isn’t it?

    Christopher: “The unstated assumption here is the those who abide in and promote the culture of death knows what’s best, the Schinlders are simply wrong…”

    No, the assumption is that the Schindlers, as anyone, may be wrong, and that as non-neutral parties to the case their statements need to be verified in the same way that we would verify any other such statement.

    Christopher: “Why does a Culture of Death troll promote death and murder here at a site called OrthodoxyToday??”

    In what way does trying to be clear about the facts constitute a promotion of death? As I’ve said many times, had the legal decision gone the other way, I would have had no problem with that.

    A question for you — why can’t you just discuss the issues? Why all the personal remarks and attacks? What’s the point of that?

  11. Christopher says:

    A question for you — why can’t you just discuss the issues?

    It’s not about the issues for a Troll like yourself, it’s about disruption, and whatever other psychological value you get flaming and posioning something your not in the least interested in: Orthodoxy and an Orthodox understanding of the cultureal issues of the day. You are a self described pagan, why are you here??

  12. Jacobse says:

    Note 10. Jim writes:

    If someone wants to claim that Michael Schiavo got rich off of Terri Schiavo’s death, that’s fine, just show the evidence and the source.

    No one has made that claim. Rather, the claim is that none of Michael Schiavo’s money received in his settlement went to care for Terri. Instead, it paid for the lawyers who fought for her death.

    Further, for questions raised (and not raised) by the autopsy report, start with Michelle Malkin’s THE SCHIAVO AUTOPSY: A SOBER LOOK and follow the links from there.

    In what way does trying to be clear about the facts constitute a promotion of death? As I’ve said many times, had the legal decision gone the other way, I would have had no problem with that.

    As I have said before, you put an awful lot of faith in the legal system. If you think the Schiavo death is only a legal matter, then you don’t understand the moral and cultural ramifications of the decision.

  13. Christopher says:

    If you think the Schiavo death is only a legal matter, then you don’t understand the moral and cultural ramifications of the decision.

    Of course he does not understand. Not only that, he is clearly set against understanding, as he displays no intention or willingness to understand as he displays no ability to turn “out” from his introverted, neo-pagan world view. He is only interested in “debating” Christians and clinging to his own presumptions, over and over banging his head against a Christian brick wall. Not only that, he can not even understand why one would protest his disruptive presence!

    Most importantly from a Charitable (Orthodox) angle, I would suggest that the Orthodox and Traditional Christians who day after day, year after year “debate” and “refute” him are not doing him any good at all – in fact you are hardening his heart against ever being able to listen to anything outside his internal “reasoning’s”. I get the sense that Michael, Fr. Jacobse, and others think that by debating him you are somehow doing the virtuous thing – I suggest it’s the exact opposite…

  14. Jim Holman says:

    Fr. Hans writes: “As I have said before, you put an awful lot of faith in the legal system. If you think the Schiavo death is only a legal matter, then you don’t understand the moral and cultural ramifications of the decision.”

    I don’t have faith in the legal system, but I have a general confidence in the legal process and principles. But having confidence in the process does not mean that I think the Schiavo case is only a legal matter. Of course it was not. But in what other venue should it have been heard? In the legal system there are rules of evidence, testimony under oath, advocates presenting strong arguments on both sides, neutral fact-finders, and so on.

    By the way, this weekend I’ll take a look at the link you posted.

    Christopher writes: “Not only that, he can not even understand why one would protest his disruptive presence!”

    Sure I can. I understand completely why “one” would feel that way. What I can’t understand is why you continue to gripe after being notified by Fr. Hans that his intention behind the blog was not to establish a strictly Orthodox venue. You assume that this is an Orthodox venue into which trolls have infiltrated. The problem is that those whom you call trolls have just as much right to be here as you do, assuming that the rules of discussion are met — the “right” here being a right granted by Fr. Hans.

    If it were your blog, you would turn it into a strictyly Orthodox group. Were you the blog owner my life span here would be measured in seconds. I understand that. But you’re not the blog owner. Can you understand that?

  15. Christopher says:

    . The problem is that those whom you call trolls have just as much right to be here as you do, assuming that the rules of discussion are met — the “right” here being a right granted by Fr. Hans.

    Unfortunately this is true, to a certain extant. Fr. Jacobse has allowed this site to become something rather unbecoming. He believes in it’s current format it can not be something worthy – I disagree. If we are to be virtuous, we are to point out disruptive behavior such as yours.

    If you were interested in the spirit of this site, your behavior would be much different. You are very intent on turning this site into your own personal debate society, something which it is not intended to be. Actually, you and Dean have largely succeeded.

    I hope to encourage Fr. Jacobse that you, Dean, and others do not meet a minimal “rules of discussion”. I hope to encourage the other regular Orthodox to quit taking the bait and discuss anything with you all, since your express purpose is to poison the blog. I hope to encourage you to see your own childish motives and behavior. If not, the very least I point out the obvious – that this blog is NOT what it should and could be…

  16. Jim Holman says:

    Christopher writes: “If you were interested in the spirit of this site, your behavior would be much different.”

    I would put it differently: if the spirit of the site were different, I would post differently, or perhaps not at all. A few years ago I signed on to an Orthodox site whose stated purpose was a discussion of Orthodox theology from an Orthodox perspective, period. In the three years I read posts there, I think I posted one time, simply to ask a question. In any venue I am more than happy to abide by any rules and expectations that the moderator or site owner establishes.

    Christopher: “I hope to encourage Fr. Jacobse that you, Dean, and others do not meet a minimal “rules of discussion”.”

    In the event that Fr. Hans establishes different rules, I will abide by all of those rules, up to and including not posting anything under any circumstances.

    Christopher: “I hope to encourage the other regular Orthodox to quit taking the bait and discuss anything with you all, since your express purpose is to poison the blog.”

    I certainly bring a different perspective to the discussion. Everyone is free to respond or not. My purpose is not to poison discussions, but to expose my ideas to any criticism anyone might offer. I don’t think I have the absolute truth on anything, and responses to my posts often cause me to reconsider my position. For example, in the recent discussion about global warming, I thought Tom C scored some very valid and thoughtful points.

    Christopher: “I hope to encourage you to see your own childish motives and behavior.”

    I have to disagree here. I try to write posts of some substance. I try to provide links so that others can fully evaluate the material I’m working from. I try to make sure (but don’t always succeed) that even my grammar and spelling are correct, out of respect for the reader. I try to write posts that are formatted and relatively easy to read. I don’t use personal attacks, unless personally attacked.

    Christopher: “If not, the very least I point out the obvious – that this blog is NOT what it should and could be…”

    I would ask you to reflect on what I think Fr. Hans gets out of the blog. Fr. Hans wants to have an influence in the larger world. I believe he is interested in an Orthodox perspective that confronts the world, that challenges popular thinking, that is prophetic in the Old Testament sense, that ultimately may have a real effect on the world. I don’t get the feeling that he is interested in an Orthodoxy that exists within its own self-contained bubble, nor is he interested in preaching only to the “choir.”

    But confronting the world means that his point of view will face opposition. He will face the very arguments that I make here, plus many more. This means that Fr. Hans will be exposed to the opposite position, and will thus be able to prepare responses in advance if he decides to “go public.” Part of “selling” an idea involves being able to counter obvious objections. And that’s hard to do if you’ve not been confronted with opposing material.

    I have not personally discussed this with him, but this is my perception of why he does not exclude people such as me, Dean, Phil, and others from the discussion. So rather than focusing on what you would like to find here, I ask you to consider what value Fr. Hans gets from the discussions. After all, it is his blog, not ours.

  17. Christopher says:

    My purpose is not to poison discussions

    Yes it is, as that is what you do here

    but to expose my ideas to any criticism anyone might offer.

    Right, your here to bounce your introverted neo-pagan world view off of Christians – again, and again, and again, and again….

    How that effects a site called “OrthodoxyToday” you simply don’t care – and admit as much…

    I would ask you to reflect on what I think Fr. Hans gets out of the blog. Fr. Hans wants to have an influence in the larger world…… I don’t get the feeling that he is interested in an Orthodoxy that exists within its own self-contained bubble, nor is he interested in preaching only to the “choir.”

    So why are you here? You have had several years to be “influenced” and yet here you are, as pagan and ill behaved as ever. This is where Fr. Jacobsen (and others, like Michael) fall short – they have turned a virtue into a vice by “tolerating” your behavior for so long…

    This means that Fr. Hans will be exposed to the opposite position, and will thus be able to prepare responses in advance if he decides to “go public.” Part of “selling” an idea involves being able to counter obvious objections. And that’s hard to do if you’ve not been confronted with opposing material.

    Nah. Already plenty of “opposing material” just by walking out our front doors. You and Dean are typical Trolls, not worthy opponents. A worthy opponent has the ability to perceive and question premises. You and Dean would not recognize an Orthodox premises if it walked up and bit you in the proverbial behind. You are stuck in your own thinking, and do not have the ability to listen and understand opposing viewpoints, which is the crux of the reason why the Orthodox here find you and Dean so exasperating. We take you on your word that you want to really “discuss” and “debate”, but after a few weeks or months it dawns on them that you have no intention of any such thing. Thus you really do not follow any sorts of civil rules of this blog, but take advantage of it…

  18. Jim Holman says:

    Christopher writes: “You are stuck in your own thinking, and do not have the ability to listen and understand opposing viewpoints, which is the crux of the reason why the Orthodox here find you and Dean so exasperating.”

    You seem to be the only one exasperated. If you’re so exasperated, why do you hang out here?

    You’re like a guy who sits down in the smoking section of a restaurant, and then demands that everyone stop smoking. “This would be such a great place if all of you weren’t smoking! I want to sit here without any smoke around! Where’s the manager?? Tell the manager that he needs to kick out all of these terrible smokers so I can stay here and enjoy myself!”

    Dude, at some point maybe you should consider sitting in the non-smoking section, find a different restaurant — or take up smoking.

    I know this is a hard lesson, but in the future you may come to find that the world does not configure itself in order to acommodate all of your needs and desires. You may find that your demands do not always prevail, merely in virtue of the fact that you have demanded it. Hard to believe, I know, but there it is.

    While the world waits for you to learn that lesson, I ask, other than criticizing the blog owner and other posters, and calling other posters names, what exactly is your contribution here? Almost nothing.

    You trumpet your great understanding of Orthodoxy, but you don’t present any of your own positions. You badmouth people who take the risk of having their positions torn apart, but don’t take that risk yourself.

    As someone once said, “A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterwards comes out shooting the wounded.” So Christopher, all I can say is get some more ammo and load up. The wounded are waiting.

  19. Christopher says:

    You seem to be the only one exasperated.

    Now you are flat out lying, and you know it. ALL the regular Orthodox posters have declared their exaperation many times. They simply are under the impression that an endless patience should be their primary reaction. Others have come out of the wood work and then fallen back, exaspirated. You do not care, as it does not fit your explicit selfish purposes for posting here, described by yourself a couple of posts up.

    I simply do not believe toleration of Trolls is a virtue, thus I am the only one (currently) writting about it.

    The rest of your post is normal Troll bait…

  20. Jim Holman says:

    Christopher writes: “I simply do not believe toleration of Trolls is a virtue, thus I am the only one (currently) writting about it.”

    Yes, and that’s just about all you write about. You know, your complaint would be more credible to me if you actually posted anything on-topic. But those posts are infrequent, and when they occur, almost always involve some kind of personal attack. You’re just not happy unless you are ripping into someone.

    Some time ago I even offered to stop posting, if that would make you more comfortable posting things of substance. But it was clear after a short time that my absence had no noticeable effect on your posts.

    You’ve made your position clear. The blog owner has responded, more than once. I have urged you many times to accept his wishes. You refuse. At this point it really seems to me that you have some kind of pathological obsession with demanding that the blog owner must follow your wishes.

    So I’m done with you. Say what you will, describe me in any terms you wish. Do what you think you have to do. I’m not responding any more. Best wishes.