· · · · · · · · ·



Why Terri Schiavo Has To Die

 by Cecilia H. Martin

     The time-line for the Terri Schiavo case begins in February 1990 and continues up until the present.  For 14 long years, the Schindler family has fought an agonizing battle for the life of their child, who unexplainably collapsed after a mysterious incident at her home.  

     For every one of those years, her estranged husband Michael has fought just as hard to have his wife put to death by  court ordered starvation/dehydration.  Terri has no living will, does not have a terminal illness.  One has to wonder why Michael wants her dead.  Is there money involved?  The husband claims the judicial award of $700,000 is gone.  

     Is it love?  Michael claims Terri wouldn’t want to live with the brain damage that has handicapped her. However, his hear-say evidence of her wishes came only after the malpractice suit monetary award was announced.   Michael’s loving “devotion” is somewhat marred by the fact that he now lives with another woman with whom he has sired two children.

      What is the motive behind the restaurateur-turned-physical therapist-turned-nurse who passionately pursues his wife’s death?  Many wonder. Could Michael Schiavo be a pawn, a pawn in a much larger game being played for much higher stakes?

       Enter one George Felos, a kind of weird, yoga practicing guru lawyer, who is fixated on helping people die.  Felos, a board member of Hospice, has visions of dollars, ideation that features book signings and movie rights once Terri is dead.  Not to mention all the fame and fortune that will accrue to the man who finally overturns the law that protects the handicapped, the elderly, and the terminally ill’s opportunity to live until they die – by natural means. 

      When the gavel finally sounds that makes legal the whim of the courts to judge that a human person may be eliminated, by active or passive euthanasia, it will do so with the same language unearthed in the Constitution that has legally murdered 46,000,000 innocent unborn: the right to privacy.

      Few people realize that every single Florida institution, (Governor Bush excluded), every legal, judicial, medical, societal, journalistic and even religious institution, from the office of Attorney General Charlie Crist on down through the ranks to the local police department, is arrayed against this woman continuing to live.  Doesn’t that seem strange?  This is a big case.  Whatever happens to Terri has the potential to affect the entire U. S. population, a fact few people realize.  


Death in America

     In 1994, émigré billionaire George Soros wrote a check for $15 million to finance the Project on Death in America (PDIA).  Its goal was to “transform the culture of death in the United States.” By 2003 when the PDIA ended its grant making and closed the program, it had distributed $45 million to organizations and individuals working on end-of-life issues. Although the project is closed, the work goes on. It would seem that a large part of that work is to make doctor-assisted suicide legal.  

 In 1991, Dereck Humphrey wrote euthanasia’s most famous textbook, Final Exit, and embarked on a career to further the cause of “death with dignity.”  (It is alleged that Felos and Michael Schiavo attempted to use some of the protocol found in Final Exit on Terri).  Soros and Humphrey share the same euthanasia mindset. “Death with dignity” reached its culmination in 1997, when Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. 

     On the May 18, 2004 Fox News O’Reilly show, investigative reporter and best selling author Richard Poe gave an exposé on Soros. Poe claims Soros is a maniacal figure who fancies himself as a New Age Messiah, and that his philanthropy funds abortion, atheism, drug legalization, sex education, gay marriage, and globalization.  He is out to destroy the America we know says Poe, who in a Newsmax report writes of “the dark purpose behind Soros’ $200-million “Project on Death” program.   

     Soros, who authored The Bubble of American Supremacy, is bankrolling the Democratic party’s attempt to unseat President Bush. Militantly anti-religious, Soros writes that "devout believers of any sort are idiots who shouldn't hold public office." 

     The sophisticated scene of international intrigue and politics, of Dereck Humphrey, Newsmax and George Soros, is a far cry from the town of Clearwater, Florida,  formerly filled with shuffleboard courts and known as a retirement destination for “snowbirds.”   But just as Clearwater has changed, the prospects for longevity for the elderly and handicapped may be changing also. In what can only be regarded as a strange turn of events, the hitherto unknown case of an "expendable"  Florida woman, Terri Schiavo, leapt off the pages of the hometown newspaper and into the national news spotlight.  

      The facts are tailor made for sensationalism: the husband is suspected of abuse; the parents tenaciously cling to Terri’s chance to live. After six days of starvation, the governor of the state ordered a previously removed feeding tube re-inserted; the legislature was called into emergency session to enact “Terri’s Law,” and the story went nationwide.  

    The media consistently reports on the case, albeit often inaccurately. Terri’s tragic story is so fraught with her husband’s unfeeling behavior that on CNN’s Capital Gang, May 22, 2004,  Kate O’ Beirne actually named Michael Schiavo’s 55 day ban of visitation rights for Terri’s parents, the “Outrage of the Week”.  (Michael lifted the ban on May 25th).   

     With all the notoriety the Terri Schiavo case has attained, it would be foolish to suggest that the anti-life forces are not passionately interested in its outcome.  The nearly unbroken line of public figures trying to kill Terri makes it a certainty.

      Attorney General Crist:  Rubbing his hands together, Crist, who has his eye on the governor’s seat, says, “I can do nothing.”

      Senator Jim King:  Remarking on the passage of Terri’s Law, which he originally upheld, Sen. King said, it was "probably one of the worst votes that I've ever done."  King opined he wouldn’t want his “legacy” (of passing death-enhancing laws) to be ruined by the Schiavo case. The Hemlock Society applauded Hospice board member King.

      Follow the money:  Sen. King’s campaign contributors include Richard M. Jerger Jr., of the same name and address as listed on Jerger & Centonze Insurance.  Jodi Centonze is Michael Schiavo's live-in girlfriend, and the mother of his two illegitimate children. Why were Jerger and Centonze contributing to Sen. King when they live in another district?   

     Judge Douglas Baird:  On May 6, Pinellas Circuit County Judge W. Douglas Baird ruled Terri’s Law unconstitutional. Baird’s ruling was based on what he said was the unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to the governor because it unjustifiably authorizes the governor to summarily deprive Florida citizens of their constitutional “right to privacy.”  

     Bishop Robert N. Lynch: Terri’s Catholic bishop has never made a clear, unequivocal appeal for her life, despite a recent document from the Pope disallowing death by starvation/dehydration.   

     Follow the money:  The law firm employed by both the St. Petersburg and Venice Diocese is  DiVito & Higham. Allegedly, Joseph DiVito is a personal friend of Bishop Lynch and has contributed to the re-election campaign of Judge Greer.  

      Judge Greer:  Judge’s Greer’s rulings include: imposing visitation restrictions, refusing to allow swallowing tests, refusing to look at evidence, disregarding Michael’s guardianship omissions and failures, and repeatedly ordering Terri’s feeding tube removed.  Greer appears totally locked in to supporting Michael Schiavo. 

     Michael, too, is desperate.  In one of his characteristic acts of cruelty, he recently had five of Terri’s teeth pulled after a decade of neglected dental care.  By submitting her to 55 days of isolation from her family, was he hoping to drive her into despair for being abandoned?       

   So, what’s gone wrong here?  The end game isn’t proceeding as planned, as carefully constructed and carried out by the major players.  Not yet, anyway.  And why does that “brain-dead vegetable,” Terri Schiavo, gurgle and smile and show utter delight when her mother and father finally regain their visitation rights for one hour on a Sunday afternoon?   

    Are Terri’s smile, Terri’s motions just involuntary muscle responses, a jerking of the nerves?  Or could it be the indomitable spirit to live — because one is loved?  For love, or the lack of it, is after all the end game.


Cecilia H. Martin is the author of Confusion in the Pews; How We Can Make Our Church Catholic Again, One Parish at a Time.



Schiavo Case to head to FL Supreme Court
6/3/04:  Tampa, FL ( -- Over the objections of Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a Florida state appeals court has sent the lawsuit over Terri's Law to the state's highest court. The Florida Supreme Court will hear the case filed by Terri Schiavo's estranged husband seeking to overturn a law Bush signed that saved her life. 


Terri Schiavo's Parents Get Visitation Rights Restored by Judge
6/7/04:  Clearwater, FL -- The parents of Terri Schiavo won a legal victory on Friday when Circuit Court Judge George Greer ruled in favor of Bob and Mary Schindler's right to visit their daughter. The Schindlers had only seen their daughter twice recently after Terri's estranged husband Michael prevented them for nearly two months from visiting her                  

                                                  return to top