Straight Up with Sherri

Friday, June 17, 2005

It's Who Says What

I read the Terri Schiavo autopsy report the day it came out. I was largely unimpressed. As I had said in an earlier editorial, the results were a forgone conclusion. It would be easy for me to get emotionally charged about this, but for some reason, I am not.

I believe that Dr. Jon Thogmartin actually did a better job than I have expected. For this, I laud his work and offer my humble apology for having less faith in him than he deserves. In my opinion, the greatest mistake he did make was accepting the medical report of only one of the trial witness physicians as fact, while totally disregarding the rest. He should have either accepted all or disregarded all.

The real interest to me is less in what the Chief Medical Examiner says than what others have deduced from the nebulous document. There is so much speculation about what is and is not said by Dr. Thogmartin. He actually says very little and that is not surprising. Most of what he attests to is what was not present: evidence. For example, Terri did not have a heart attack and that she did not have a potassium imbalance due to bulimia. She may or may not have had a problem due to caffeine excess. There were no signs of physical trauma, but even Dr. Thogmartin states that wouldn't be evident 15 years after the fact. He claims she was blind, but there is living evidence that supports the contention she was not. I guess blind is a matter of degree. Some have speculated that the autopsy suggests that Terri was cognizant and aware of everything being done to her during her murder; others disagree. Dueling pathologists!

One of my favorite overall editorials was written by Fr. Rob on Blogs for Terri. This is certainly worth the time to read.

Mark Fuhrman will be coming out with his own investigative book about Terri Schiavo (scheduled for release on June 28). There are many, including Governor Jeb Bush, who are calling for additional investigation. Some of this is sincere; some is grandstanding on both sides of the issue. The amount of "I told you so" is depressing to me. The search for truth seems to be lost.

It is clear to me that we will not know the real story of Terri Schiavo until Judgment Day.

Right Wing Nut Job

33 Comments:

  • You seem to lament the search for truth. Truth is relative. Facts are another issue. Even "A" given fact can produce different truths in different people. Truth often boils down to a judgment, therby varying points of view offer different truths.
    This is so evident in the case you post about.
    Prolonging life can be, but is not necessarily admirable. So many people have "DNRs" because they do not want to be in that state or a burden. Quality of life is a valid concern amoungst so many.
    It is a tuff spot to be in, all must learn not to be onsided - especially for the sake of ARGUMENT!

    Gary

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:49 PM  

  • Gary,
    I recognize that the perspective on truth is relative. I do believe, however, that this is one of the shortcomings of mankind, and not of the absolute reality of God. According to this, there really are no absolute "facts" since we human beings are, at best, limited to a first derivative with respect to time for all of our input. We are already at least one degree of freedom removed from any possibility of reality.

    This being said, I do agree with your conclusions on life. We must individually evaluate the righteousness of prolonging life. Being driven by our own morality, it is necessary to fight for our causes (on either side of the issue). It is not necessary (or even desirable, IMO) to dislike one another, but it may be necessary to disagree.

    I think it is usually very good to be one-sided. People who cannot choose a side lack values and convictions of their own morality.

    Finally, a DNR because one would impose a burden on other people is a terrible thing. It is akin to committing suicide to make life better for other people - it never achieves the desired result. Those who delight in the passing of another person to satisfy their own desires are exhibiting bad character.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 2:16 PM  

  • Yes - to agree to disagree, sometimes is the best one van hope for.
    I am wondering if you could elaborate on your first paragraph. I find it interesting. I am not sure I understand your thinking in it.

    Gary

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 PM  

  • Why is sherri so quite about it?
    Mabey she feels duped?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:13 PM  

  • Gary,
    I presume you mean my comment first paragraph. I refer to the physics of our existence. All of our senses and everything that we can perceive is based not on the way that things are, but on the way that they change over time. Sight uses the movement of light waves/particles. The same with sound, touch, taste, smell. This is explained completely in uncertainty principles in both thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. Anytime you measure something, you change it. It is the change that you detect and experience, never the object or phenomenon itself.

    On the other hand, the absolute things that we "know" are postulates that are accepted on the basis of faith. Logic (usually Aristotelian) is the application of the former (time sensitive perceptions) to the principles (postulates) of the latter.

    The question of whether we exist in zero-time is a tough one. At worst, since there is no perception, no sensory input, no thought process, we do not. At best, we are limited solely to awareness as explained by Rene Descartes.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 4:21 PM  

  • To those concerned about Sherri,
    Her mother had a medical emergency. Sherri has been spending a lot of time caring for her.

    I will thank all of her Groupies, Minions, and Trolls for the prayers for both of them.

    As to being duped, thank you for the humor. Those who know Sherri understand that she may seem overly passionate, sometimes irrational, and less than idealistically tolerant. But she would never be quiet because she thought she had been duped!

    Not the Sherri I know.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 4:29 PM  

  • The people all over the internet who keep saying "Michael Schiavo was proven right", "Terri was brain-dead", "You fundies should apologize" etc haven't bothered to read the autopsy report.

    These people also continue to ignore the crux of the matter, which is that Terri's father, mother, brother, sister, and brother-in-law wanted to take care of her for the rest of her life, even if she didn't get ANY better, and they had LEGITIMATE concerns about Michael. Do you realize that Michael STILL hasn't told the Schindler family where Terri's remains are?

    The Schindlers didn't want their child and sister to be dehydrated to death, and that's why I supported them and continue to support them.

    By Anonymous JWL, at 5:02 PM  

  • Michael Schiavo has been in NYC shopping his book about what happened with Terri. I guess I should have seen it coming, even Jennifer Wilbanks is shopping a book, but this is truly crass and cold hearted.

    By Anonymous Marine Momma, at 8:23 PM  

  • Best wishes to Sherri and her mom.

    By Anonymous Vanessa, at 5:35 AM  

  • Hi RWNJ and Sherri,

    When I heard about the autopsy results on the news, I wondered what could cause a person's brain to deteriorate to half of its normal size. Too many questions left unanswered for me. Regardless of Terri's medical condition, we all fought the good fight.

    I will not be reading anything written by Mark Fuhrman. He is a liar and a racist, and is making money off his OJ infamy. Disgusting. He has no credibility whatsoever.

    Sherri, I hope you mom is better soon.

    Lady Redhawk

    By Anonymous lady redhawk, at 10:16 AM  

  • we all fought the good fight


    You all fought A fight that:
    A: was not yours to fight
    B: Fought a fight that you did not know all the facts to.

    That is not a good fight!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:21 AM  

  • Hey, anonymous, the fight for life is ALWAYS my fight. Who knows, you may need me and folks like me to save your sorry ass someday.

    If you have the courage of your convictions, you will sign your feeble posts. "Anonymous", indeed.

    Heh.

    By Anonymous Lady Redhawk, at 10:44 AM  

  • No It is not your fight it is not your life or a loved ones life so it is not your fight.
    And once again you people show how sweet you are by trying to put down anyone with a different view.
    way to go !!!
    and we are alll anons see here i will show you.

    By Anonymous Lady Blackhawk, at 11:07 AM  

  • does this make me less anon?

    By Anonymous Lady Blackhawk, at 11:07 AM  

  • Lady Redhawk,
    The shrinkage of the brain is conjectured to have been caused by at least three extensive sessions of dehydration. I can provide more details if you wish.

    Incidently, I am not a fan of Mark Fuhrman, either. I don't know whether he is racist or not; I have other reasons.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 11:30 AM  

  • RWNJ, this is from Wikipedia:
    ---------
    During the trial, Fuhrman denied ever using the word "nigger" for the previous ten years, yet the defense was able to find an audiotape contradicting that testimony. Fuhrman gave a taped interview in 1985 to Laura McKinney, an aspiring screenwriter working on a screenplay about female police officers. Fuhrman bragged about his membership in the secret organization within the LAPD known as MAW, or Men Against Women. In further interviews, Fuhrman bragged about beating and torturing gang members, "we had them begging that they'd never be gang members again, begging us." Fuhrman's negative attitude toward African-Americans was also evident in the taped interview. He said that he would tell blacks, "You do what you're told, understand, nigger?"
    -------

    What a wonderful human being, huh? I choose not to reward him by buying his books, and his opinion means nothing to me. I'd like to see someone else look into this. Maybe Ann Rule?

    By Anonymous Lady Redhawk, at 11:52 AM  

  • Lady Redhawk,
    I don't really like Wikipedia, either. (But I do like you!) I believe that Mark Fuhrman is a fascist. And I think that the statements you offered support that belief. He runs slipshod over the Constitution and believes in excessive police powers. I am not denying that he is racist, I'm saying I have no reason to believe that it is racism that drives his comments. I think he has a natural tendency to use slurs as a vehicle of power, not necessarily of hate.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 12:13 PM  

  • I chose Wikipedia because no one would ever purport that it is a right-wing site. ;-) There is little doubt that Fuhrman is a fascist of the worst sort. His attitudes are supremecy driven, however, and it is clear that he regards anyone not of his gender or genetic make-up as beneath him, and worthy only of his arrogant ridicule.

    I'll bet he'd look good in jack boots. The guy makes the alarm bells go off in my head. Loudly.

    By Anonymous Lady Redhawk, at 12:45 PM  

  • "You all fought A fight that:
    A: was not yours to fight"

    I think I'm going to keep repeating this until the day I die: Those who supported Terri's death COMPLETELY ignored and continue to ignore the loudest voices in favor of Terri's life - her father, mother, brother, and sister.

    Terri's family begged us to help them, and so we did. End of story. If my neighbor comes over to my house and says, "Help me, my daughter is in trouble!", should I reply "How can I help?", OR, "Screw you, I don't give a damn about your daughter, it's not my business!" Which would be the appropriate answer, huh?

    I'm also pretty darn sick of being accused of supporting Terri's family JUST BECAUSE I support President Bush. I've been telling people about Terri Schiavo for well over a year; since LONG before Bush ever said anything about her. Seems more likely to me that SOME people actively supported Terri's death JUST BECAUSE they HATE Bush, and that is SICK.


    "B: Fought a fight that you did not know all the facts to."

    Oh, what facts? The fact that there were and continue to be serious questions about Michael Schiavo? The fact that it was and continues to be inconclusive whether or not Terri was in a PVS? The fact that Terri's family wanted to take care of her for the rest of her life, even if she never made ANY recovery? Yeah, those are pretty interesting facts which the pro-death squad continues to completely ignore.

    By Anonymous JWL, at 11:35 PM  

  • "Terri's family begged us to help them, and so we did. End of story."

    So if Michael begged for help, you would have helped him? If your neighbor's daughter murdered someone and was being dragged off by police, would you help her?
    You can twist it all you like but you helped because you projected your view on life onto a situation where it wasn't applicable and from there continued to pass judgement on those involved.
    That's nothing different from what all those people who said she should be allowed to die already did. So rant and rave all you like, but you're really no different then they are.

    Michael had the goal of (in his words) honoring Terri's wishes.
    Her parents had the exact opposite goal.
    Neither side had any reason to be truthful or honest. If they had the chance to deceive, lie and manipulate you can be sure they grabbed it and took advantage of it.

    Just because Michael happened to be arguing for 'death' and her parents for 'life', doesn't make one evil and the other good.

    One recent point: I continue to fail to understand why Terri being blind is somehow against her. The videos were debunked over and over but the key element was that she didn't consistently track an object in either the bits shown or the parts that were withheld.
    I don't know about in court, but in the media one strong argument for PVS was the failure to not consitently track visual stimuli. If she was blind, then of course all that testing has no value whatsoever and leaves the door wide open for doubt.
    Of course, in order to leverage that, you'd have to acknowledge that her parents were dishonest which would be understandable given their position, but I guess in the world of black and white that would pose quite a problem so rather then deal with that you just conjure up yet another conspiracy.

    Lastly, if you were being honest about caring about life you'd be more concerned with the deeper implications of what happened to Terri, rather then with minute details and a thirst for vengeance.

    By Anonymous Vanessa, at 3:03 AM  

  • If the fact that Terri was murdered by the deliberate witholding of food and water does not bother your conscience then you are beyond any help I can give.What was done to Terri is and was wrong on so many levels I hardly know where to begin. The fact that petty egocentric thugs like Michael are helped along in their lies by a spiritual basket case like George Felos is no surprise but what is a surprise is that so many would fall for the sham. The autopsy did not let anyone off the hook because it still leaves the question of what happened to Terri wide open. Search warrants and subpoenas should have been issued long ago before records were lost, misplaced or destroyed. There may not be any justice served in this life but it will have eternal consequences.

    By Blogger Alnot, at 2:13 PM  

  • My siblings and I had our fathers feeding tube removed because it was his wish. Does that make us murderers? NO!! the law even says so. So many people have the I TOLD YOU SO frame of mind because those on the parents side were so mean and harshand didnt care who they ran through the mud or toes they stepped on to try and do so. They didn't care about facts. They would hear or read this and that, if it supported them it was gold 100% truth. if it went against them it was a lie. thats just sad. You people are the ones who drove them to hate with your tactics, you all claim to be better then thou but treat people who disagree with you like shit, go look in the mirror.

    By Anonymous Lady Greyhawk, at 5:45 PM  

  • I don't think any of these people really cared about terri or her wishes it has always been and will always be about thier own agenda.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:52 PM  

  • "So if Michael begged for help, you would have helped him?"

    No, I would probably not help someone kill his wife, even if he asked nicely.

    "If your neighbor's daughter murdered someone and was being dragged off by police, would you help her?"

    Because insane, irrelevant examples really make your point.

    "You can twist it all you like but you helped because you projected your view on life onto a situation where it wasn't applicable and from there continued to pass judgement on those involved."

    Yeah, thanks for telling me what I think. Are you typically this arrogant and ignorant?

    "That's nothing different from what all those people who said she should be allowed to die already did. So rant and rave all you like, but you're really no different then they are."

    Yep, because if someone says "Hey, help me rape someone" or "Hey, help me get my daughter out of the storm drain, she's stuck in it", I'm obligated to help both of them if I'm going to help the one guy's daughter. I can't be FOR getting some little girl out of a drain but AGAINST rape. Yeah, brilliant.

    "Michael had the goal of (in his words) honoring Terri's wishes.
    Her parents had the exact opposite goal."

    And you accuse me of twisting the argument? First of all, Michael didn't tell us of Terri's wish to die until after he won the civil lawsuit; prior to that, court testimony shows us that Michael was planning to take care of Terri for the rest of her life (and not go find a new woman and have two children with her). Secondly, the goal of Terri's parents was to save their daughter's life, not to dishonor Terri's wishes, and they did not believe Michael's HEARSAY evidence that Terri would have wanted to be dehydrated to death.

    "Neither side had any reason to be truthful or honest. If they had the chance to deceive, lie and manipulate you can be sure they grabbed it and took advantage of it."

    Kind of like what the pro-death people did when they found out that their greatest foe, President Bush, was on the side of Terri's life.

    "Just because Michael happened to be arguing for 'death' and her parents for 'life', doesn't make one evil and the other good."

    Of course not. Michael refusing to allow Terri to have therapy, Michael refusing to divorce Terri when he had a new fiance and two kids with her, Michael refusing to allow Terri's family to be with her when she died, Michael refusing to allow Terri's family to have a proper Catholic funeral, and Michael refusing to tell Terri's family where Terri's remains are to this day make him evil.

    "One recent point: I continue to fail to understand why Terri being blind is somehow against her. The videos were debunked over and over"

    Certainly, by euthanasia proponents. People who actually spent years taking care of Terri testified that she was responsive to them.

    "Of course, in order to leverage that, you'd have to acknowledge that her parents were dishonest"

    Yeah, because they KNEW she was blind all along! I bet those rotten Schindlers also outed Valerie Plame and told Bush that Saddam had WMD. Nevermind that the blindness could have occurred AFTER that balloon video was filmed, since the autopsy doesn't say when she became blind.

    "which would be understandable given their position, but I guess in the world of black and white that would pose quite a problem so rather then deal with that you just conjure up yet another conspiracy."

    The above FACTS that I listed are not a matter of debate. I could list the conspiracy theories against Michael if you like, but I think the facts damn him enough.

    "Lastly, if you were being honest about caring about life you'd be more concerned with the deeper implications of what happened to Terri,"

    Oh yes, I'm certainly concerned that it's apparently now legal for a husband to inflict brain damage on his wife and then dehydrate her to death, since the autopsy gave no reason for Terri's collapse, and you seem to oppose further investigation.

    "rather then with minute details"

    I guess death by dehydration is just a 'minute detail'.

    "and a thirst for vengeance."

    Hey, look, more twisting. What a surprise. Perhaps you could point out where anyone here advocated revenge against Michael or anyone else.

    By Anonymous JWL, at 6:11 PM  

  • "I don't think any of these people really cared about terri or her wishes it has always been and will always be about thier own agenda."

    Yes, it's our evil agenda that innocent brain damaged people shouldn't be dehydrated to death against their will, when their father, mother, brother, and sister are screaming that their sister would NEVER have wanted to be killed in that way.

    I guess that's what is called a "theocracy" in today's world. If you have compassion and respect for human life, you're a "theocrat" and should shut up. God help us.

    By Anonymous JWL, at 6:16 PM  

  • Yes, it's our evil agenda that innocent brain damaged people shouldn't be dehydrated to death against their will.
    YOU don't know what her will was and nor do I. you are a butthead for sure. YOU want that to be her will but you do not know if it was or not so hush up and go back home.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:46 PM  

  • "YOU don't know what her will was and nor do I."

    You admit that you don't know for certain what Terri's will was. If her will was unknown, then she should have been preserved ALIVE. Case CLOSED.

    By Anonymous JWL, at 11:34 PM  

  • LOL of course i can admit it , thats whats wrong with you people . You dont care what she wanted. IT IS NOT YOUR FIGHT!!! 15 years this went on you get involved the last few months and act like you know it all get a life!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:00 AM  

  • "You dont care what she wanted. IT IS NOT YOUR FIGHT!!!"

    Be sure to condemn everyone who got involved in order to hasten Terri's death, then, including the ACLU.

    "You dont care what she wanted."

    Repeat after me... 'Terri's father, mother, brother and sister said that she NEVER would have wanted to be dehydrated to death.'

    Say that out loud five times, please, and maybe it will FINALLY sink in.

    By Anonymous JWL, at 1:13 PM  

  • Life and issues of life ARE everybody's fight - we are all in the Family!
    The point that stikes me so clearly is the Terri's Spirit remained alive in that body for some reason.
    People - stop and look for the silver lining. Something good will shine forth if you just look.
    I am seeing onesided arguments here - us against them syndrome.
    There is more to the picture here.
    What did Terri tell us by staying in there and not leaving as soon as the condition became life threatening. ? Ask your selves.
    There are answers. We all can learn from this - and books are the way. It matters not if you like the people who write - or the profit making - just look for the silver lining - it is in the disscussion!

    Gary

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:32 PM  

  • "No, I would probably not help someone kill his wife, even if he asked nicely."

    If you look at your initial statement, you never made any mention of conditions. In fact what you said hinted at unconditional, selfless help ("they ask, of course I'll help!").
    Your help is dependant on conditions that need to be met in a given situation. If they aren't met, you will not help.
    Others will evaluate the same situation differently and possibly come to a different conclusion. That doesn't make their choice any more or less worthwhile than yours.


    "Michael didn't tell us of Terri's wish to die until after he won the civil lawsuit (snip)"
    I specifically mentioned "in his words". It was what he claimed and is a matter of fact. You don't have to agree, I don't have to agree, it's "his words" I was summarizing.


    "People who actually spent years taking care of Terri testified that she was responsive to them."
    They desperately needed to create doubt about Terri's condition one way or the other. Michael rightly or wrongly had already won the "what she would have wanted" part of the trial.
    That left them with the single avenue of convincing or creating doubt about Terri's condition. Why? Because Florida law would not allow the removal of a feeding tube if the person is minimally conscious.
    Tell me honestly that when that is your single and only serious option of winning the case that you would not do anything to push it through even if it means being less than fully truthful.
    The opposite hold true for Michael: of course he wouldn't say that she was responsive even if she was. He needed to keep the PVS diagnosis to win.

    "Yeah, because they KNEW she was blind all along! *snip* Nevermind that the blindness could have occurred AFTER that balloon video was filmed, since the autopsy doesn't say when she became blind."
    Hours upon hours was filmed, not just the carefully selected pieces you happened to be exposed to.

    I never saw them promoting the video where Terri's father becomes cross at Terri for not complying and where he tells her to "stop playing games with me".

    Terri's siblings stated that if they should ever be in Terri's condition that they would *not* want to live like that while it's entirely contrary to what they were later proclaiming when on national TV.

    There's plenty from *both* sides that makes me suspect that neither of them wasn't twisting facts either in court or to the media/public.
    The difference is that you only see one side's failings and dismiss the other side's without even considering them.

    "I guess death by dehydration is just a 'minute detail'."
    Whether Terri was PVS or not is a minute detail, what Michael or the Schindlers did or did not do is a minute detail, whether or not this or that happened is a minute detail.
    They're minute because they're specific to Terri's case and have absolutely no relevance in the larger problem.
    Terri's case was about how to approach the situation where someone is not in a life proloning, but life sustaining situation where there is no living will and how - if at all - wishes can be inferred. Or even when there is a living will, is it alright to have it result in the situation where someone dies in a way that isn't morally acceptable to society as a whole.
    That's something that went horribly wrong in Terri's case for many various reasons and it is something that I'll be concerned about because it's something that happens every day even if we don't know about it.


    "Oh yes, I'm certainly concerned that it's apparently now legal for a husband to inflict brain damage on his wife and then dehydrate her to death, since the autopsy gave no reason for Terri's collapse, and you seem to oppose further investigation."
    You can't honestly be that naive to think this is the first time.
    Spouses and families have always had the ability to determine what happened to an incapacitated family member. Be that keeping them alive against their explicit wish, or letting them die when knowing it's not what they wanted.

    I do like the constant twist of shedding of the blame on how it happened.
    Leaving Terri's case aside for a moment, the right to refuse treatment exists and is not something that you can just revoke at will or convenience so you will always end up with situations where people can refuse treatment that will ultimately lead to their death.
    However since pro-life will only allow a passive end to life and not an active one, it's directly responsible for condemning people who chose to refuse treatment to a death by dehydration. Regardless of the fact of whether the person is actually aware of this, all of us are and have to witness an end of life that is by no standards humane or acceptable.
    You can't point a finger at something you're directly responsible for and then try to blame someone else for how horrid it is. You're either against an active end of life and accept that dehydration is the consequence of that, or find the consequence worse then the actual concern and allow it. You can't object to both at the same time.


    "Hey, look, more twisting. What a surprise. Perhaps you could point out where anyone here advocated revenge against Michael or anyone else."
    If you don't care about him being held responsable for what you claim he supposidly did or alledgedly continues to do, then why the constant hostility and outrage?
    I personally don't care either way. If Michael did something, I'd imagine the Schindlers would file a complaint but they never did either in the past or in the present so I have to wonder how much truth there is to any of it.

    By Anonymous Vanessa, at 7:58 PM  

  • OT -- but apparently John Kerry has signed his SF180, but only for the AP, Boston Globe, and LA Times. We'll see what comes out over the next few months. Here is a link to Powerline whuch has pdf copies of the 180's but not the underlying records which have only been released to the 3 MSM organs.

    By Blogger levi from queens, at 6:47 AM  

  • The bottom line is Terri Schiavo was alive! Her heart beat (just as ours do) she had people to love adn ador her (just was we do). No one deserves to be ripped from the world, and Terri Schiavo was. -D.R. History

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home