View Full Version : GOP Asks Brain-Damaged Woman to Testify

03-18-2005, 08:57 AM


Senate Republicans embroiled in the life-or-death legal battle over the severely brain-damagedTerri Schiavo invited the Florida woman to testify to Congress in a procedural move intended to keep her on life support.

The Senate Health Committee has requested that Terri and her husband Michael appear at an official committee hearing on March 28. A statement from the office of House Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., on Friday said the purpose of the hearing was to review health care policies and practices relevant to the care of non-ambulatory people.

Frist's statement noted that it is a federal crime to harm or obstruct a person called to testify before Congress, thus stopping any action that could threaten the health of the woman.

Earlier on Friday, a House committee was issuing congressional subpoenas to stop doctors from disconnecting the tube, while an attorney for the parents of the woman said he would ask a federal judge in Tampa to block the removal and review the actions of state courts.

Such habeas corpus appeals seek to require the government to justify its actions.

"We are going to ask him to issue a stay because in this case, state action would be used to end the life of an innocent, disabled woman," the attorney, David Gibbs said.

On Friday morning, some 40 people stood in front of her hospice in Florida, praying aloud and weeping in a designated area marked off by orange plastic fence. The protesters sang "What can wash away our sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus" and placed red roses on the fence.

The fence also bore protest signs that said, "Impeach Greer.com," a reference to the judge hearing the case, and "Execution-It's Not Just for the Guilty Anymore."

Terri Schiavo's father, Bob Schindler, went into the hospice at about 9:30 a.m. to visit his daughter. He was expected to address the media later.

The Florida House on Thursday passed a bill 78-37 to block the withholding of food and water from patients in a persistent vegetative state who did not leave specific instructions regarding their care. But hours later, the Senate defeated a different measure 21-16, and one of the nine Republicans voting against indicated that any further votes would be futile.

In a last-minute attempt to stop the court-ordered removal, a House committee on Capitol Hill here decided early Friday morning to start an investigation into Schiavo's case and issue subpoenas ordering doctors and hospice administrators not to remove her feeding tubes and to keep her alive until that investigation was complete.

The effort by the House Government Reform Committee came after lawmakers in both Washington and Tallahassee failed in attempts to pass legislation to keep her husband from having the tube pulled despite heavy lobbying by Schiavo's parents.

"This inquiry should give hope to Terri, her parents and friends and the millions of people throughout the world who are praying for her safety," House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Government Reform chairman Tom Davis said in a joint statement. "This fight is not over."

It was not immediately known when the subpoenas would be delivered to Schiavo's hospice and doctors, or whether the Florida health care providers would recognize them. A possible penalty for not recognizing the subpoena is to be held in contempt of Congress, a GOP leadership aide said.

"Everything is a longshot," said Gibbs, attorney for Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

But several last-minute legal avenues were being tried, such as the habeas corpus appeal, which is commonly used in death penalty cases.

The Florida attorney general's office usually defends the state against habeas filings. A call to the office late Thursday for comment was not immediately returned.

As part of the last-minute flurry of activity, the Florida judge who approved the withdrawal of food and water from Schiavo denied a request from the state to keep her alive. The state appealed that decision to the Florida Supreme Court, which promptly dismissed it. The U.S. Supreme Court also denied another appeal.

At the White House, President Bush left little doubt where he stands.

"The case of Terri Schiavo raises complex issues," he said in a statement. "Yet in instances like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life. Those who live at the mercy of others deserve our special care and concern."

His brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, long has supported the parents' efforts and urged lawmakers to act before it was too late.

Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when her heart stopped because of a chemical imbalance, and court-appointed doctors say she is in a persistent vegetative state. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, says she told him she would not want to be kept alive artificially. Her parents dispute that, and say she could get better.

The court found that it was Terri Schiavo's wish not to kept alive in her current state and issued an order to remove the feeding tube Friday. Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, wouldn't comment on when and how the removal will take place or whether Michael Schiavo would visit his wife before it happened.

Doctors have said it could take a week or two for Terri Schiavo to die once the tube that delivers water and nutrients is removed.

link (http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nat-gen/2005/mar/18/031801703.html)

03-18-2005, 09:30 AM
<font color="blue">They should let that poor woman die. She has no quality of life.

I submit this question to the crowd. Would you want to live like that? </font color>

03-18-2005, 10:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <font color="blue">They should let that poor woman die. She has no quality of life.

I submit this question to the crowd. Would you want to live like that? </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> No. </font color>

03-18-2005, 10:29 AM
me either /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

03-18-2005, 10:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <font color="blue">They should let that poor woman die. She has no quality of life.

I submit this question to the crowd. Would you want to live like that? </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

No. That is why my living will specifically stipulates that if I ever lapse into a persistent vegetative state, no further efforts should be made to prolong my life, and all life support should be terminated.

03-18-2005, 10:35 AM

The title to your post is seriously funny....thanks for the belly laugh...

As far as the article...Let the poor husband let his poor wife die with some dignity...and let all politicians kiss my ass.

03-18-2005, 01:47 PM
So far it looks like it's unanimous...let her die with dignity.

Cueless Joey
03-18-2005, 11:07 PM
I would not BURDEN my family.
Let me go and I'll be happier when I come back.