Investigating Terri Schiavo's Collapse - Silent Witness

| 2 Comments

silent_witness.jpgMark Fuhrman does a decent job presenting the facts, as they are known, pertinent to the collapse of Terri Schiavo in his recent book, Silent Witness. He provides comprehensive background information and describes events chronologically, setting the stage for an evaluation of scenarios that explain Terri’s mysterious collapse. He also dispels myths and inaccuracies held by both those who supported Terri’s right-to-life and others who sided with her husband.

Fuhrman’s goal was to examine from a criminal investigators viewpoint the probable causes that led to Terri’s collapse. He writes,

Despite all the attention her death has generated, nobody seems to know exactly what happened to Terri Schiavo in the early morning hours of February 25, 1990. Some claim it was cardiac arrest brought on by a potassium imbalance that resulted from bulimia. Others suggest she was assaulted by Michael Schiavo. Where is the truth?
On the basis of testimony and interviews, Fuhrman casts significant doubt on conjectures related to bulimia - his skepticism was later confirmed by the autopsy report. However, after 15 years there is virtually no forensic material that would provide useful physical evidence for Fuhrman’s detective skills.

schiavo.jpgThe only remaining witness of what actually happened to Terri is Michael Schiavo. And, according to court records Michael has contradicted virtually every element of his description of events. In other words, Michael is not a credible witness. According to Fuhrman, this doesn’t make him guilty of anything except being either untruthful or inconsistent.

The time for an investigation was 15 years ago and Fuhrman suggests that Michael would have cracked:

I believe Michael Schiavo has such a volatile temper that he could not withstand the intensity of an interrogation or the lack of control he would feel during one. He would confess to whatever really did happen, and the case would be closed within twenty-four hours.”

“Why does someone have to dies before a thorough investigation is performed? If this had been done fifteen years ago, we wouldn’t have so many questions today. And Terri Schiavo might still be alive.”

Unfortunately, the event was never investigated. Officers who arrived at the scene dropped their inquiry after a head injury was not found and drugs were not present in Terri’s blood. Michael also told them he and Terri did not have a fight; a claim that Fuhrman documents is contradicted by at least two witnesses.

Yet, Fuhrman’s detailed interviews and investigations do provide surprises that even the most faithful followers of the case will find of interest.

Among the most valuable elements of the book is the revelation of an agenda on the part of Michael Schiavo to end Terri’s life following a successful malpractice lawsuit that was motivated by the future financial burden of carrying for his wife.

It is abundantly clear that as soon as he received the medical malpractice aware, Michael Schiavo began a relentless campaign to end Terri’s life.
Although a relatively minor part of Fuhrman’s analysis, an important section of his text indicates Michael’s objectives fit well into the broader plans of euthanasia activists who successfully changed legal definitions of “terminally ill” and “artificial life support” during the late 1990s and enabled Terri’s legal murder.
“... the Florida legislature was lobbied by several individuals, many of them associated with the hospice where Terri was eventually admitted, and George Felos, to change the requirement that a patient be “terminally ill” before life-prolonging procedure can be withdrawn. In 1999, the law was revised to redefine “terminally ill” patient and allow for the removal of nutrition and hydration from a patient in a “persistent vegetative state” who had not left advance directives.

Whether or not the law was changed to specifically include Terri Schiavo, as some claim, it certainly applied to her case, at least if medical exerts determined that Terri was in a “persistent vegetative state”.

So, Terri, who by all accounts would have lived for many years, was classified as “terminally ill” and her assisted feeding was redefined as “artificial life support”. This enabled her to be euthanized, or killed, legally.

Please, buy the book, read it, and let me know what you think ...

2 Comments

One other very important fact pointed out in Mark Fuhrman's book: Both Governor Jeb Bush and President George Bush have the authority to have this case investigated properly, through a Grand Jury and or the Department of Justice.

IMHO these facts should be assimilated as far and wide as is humanly possible.

The book presented some very interesting details in as objective as possible manner. The truth be told, I believe Michael is guilty of not responding to his wife when she first collapsed. Given the type of controlling background he has, it is my experience that he would have felt Terri was faking and he would have made a few ugly comments and then ignored her. It was too late when he realized she was in trouble. He may have bullied her, blocked her way or pushed her, but probably did not intend to harm her. If he was a criminal, he would have created a story and stuck with it. Michael has been accussed of getting the settlement and then planning Terri's death. This is a bit harsh. He went through all options such as therapy, implant etc. and then took a long, painful look at the situation and realized that Terri's condition was not going to improve.
This came about in the same time frame as the settlement. I don't understand why it is so difficult to see why Michael simply said that Terri would not want to live like this and follow through on it. This decision is made everyday, by many people and they are not called murders.
The issue here was the family did not agree with Michael being given the power to make the decisions and they could not accept what happened to Terri. They were not able to put aside their own feelings and look at the situation from Terri's point of view. Michael's decision was the hard road and made at a great personal expense to himself. He is human and I'm sure he said and did things throughout this ordeal that he regrets and is ashamed of. We all have. That's life. If he had something to hide, I would think he would have just divorced Terri and left the rest to her family.




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