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27 Reasons Why George Felos' Case Shouldn't hold Water in the USA

Terri Schiavo: 27 Reasons Why George Felos’ Case Shouldn’t hold Water in the USA

1. Quote: At an appeals court hearing in August 2001, Felos set a high standard for personhood. "The litmus test is whether or not a person can bring a spoon to their mouth," he said.

Source: Fight-for-life bombshell: Woman 'trying to talk'! Husband of brain-damaged wife seeks starvation despite claims, Posted: August 2, 2003, 1:00 a.m. Eastern, By Sarah Foster © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Counterpoint: According to George Felos one should not be considered a person unless they are able to feed themselves. Do we really want to allow this narrow vision of personhood to become the standard in our culture? Will infants, the elderly, the disabled, and all those deemed disposable no longer be welcome in our society?

2. Quote: Felos in his comment period asked that there should be no more automatic stays on her starvation order because they were just meant to delay, and that no treatment that has not been tried or discussed before fall 2002 be allowed if requested in the future. He also argued that allowing Terri to live would be "poor public policy." His requests were not granted.

Source: Fight-for-life bombshell: Woman 'trying to talk'! Husband of brain-damaged wife seeks starvation despite claims, Posted: August 2, 2003, 1:00 a.m. Eastern, By Sarah Foster © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Counterpoint: In one brief sentence, George Felos reduces  the life of Terri Schiavo to a matter of public policy. How can we not see the danger in these words? Adolph Hitler, along with the other great butchers of the twentieth century, exterminated millions who did not fit their idea of what was “good public policy.”

Terri’s case has been so thoroughly tried in US courts that it will set legal precedent, and therefore will establish public policy for multitudes of helpless Americans. Terri’s case will either establish a policy of life for all, or a policy of death or those deemed no longer useful.

3. Quote: According to Cooper-Dowda, Felos expressed "great horror" that anyone "in [Terri's] condition" – as he put it – would want to be photographed, especially someone who ate with a feeding tube. He further inferred that to be counted among the living one must at least be able to "ask for a ham sandwich."

Source: Fight-for-life bombshell: Woman 'trying to talk'! Husband of brain-damaged wife seeks starvation despite claims Posted: August 2, 2003, 1:00 a.m. Eastern, By Sarah Foster © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Counterpoint: Not only does George Felos require the lifting of a spoon for one to be counted as person, but he also feels that one must be able to lift a ham sandwich to their mouth to be counted among the living. How many thousands more Americans would become disposable under this “Ham Sandwich” standard?

4. Quote: "I would agree that there is certainly dispute about her physical state, but I don't believe that there is uncertainty about it," Felos, a well-known advocate of the so-called "right-to-die" said. "The judges have ruled this way. I don't think they have any doubt that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state."

Source: Bishop: Family Should be Allowed to Help Disabled Daughter, By Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau Chief, August 14, 2003

Counterpoint: You will note in this statement that Mr. Felos is convinced that Terri should die because “the judges” and himself have decided that it should be so. This is not the most shocking of George Felos’s statements, but it is perhaps the one that should strike terror in the hearts of all those who value freedom.

Are judges and lawyers really fit to decide when it is time for American citizens to die? What about Terri? Where is her living will or other legal documentation specifying that she chooses to die by starvation/dehydration?

No such document exists. Terri’s choice has been stripped from her by the courts. Are we really naive enough to believe that the same cannot be done to us if we sit idly by and allow it to happen to Terri?

5. Quote: "In one of your articles ... I was described, not by someone else, but by the author of the article as a 'euthanasia attorney,' or 'pro-euthanasia attorney,'" Felos claimed, "which is inaccurate. I don't support euthanasia, I never have, I've been very clear about my position."

Source: Conflict of Interest Charged in Florida Euthanasia Case, By Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau Chief, September 17, 2003

Counterpoint: Just keep in mind as you read the words of George Felos in this quote that Terri’s case is not Mr. Felos first ride on the merry-go-round of forced death. He has previously litigated the court ordered death of one Mrs. Estelle Browning.

He later published a book describing his interactions with Mrs. Browning. Would it be out of line for us to wonder how much profit Mr. Felos earned from that book, or to ask if he plans to do an exposé about Terri?

He has repeatedly stated that he is only trying to protect Terri’s right to privacy by petitioning the courts for her death. I wonder if Mr. Felos asked Estelle Browning if she wanted to have her private life splashed across the pages of a book, and if such splashing was a violation of Mrs. Browning’s privacy. Or should we assume that once dead, a person no longer has a right to privacy and can then be freely exploited?

6. Quote: attorney George Felos appeared on various news programs decrying the injustice of not allowing the helpless woman to slowly starve to death. Among his infamous quotes was this gem: "Each of us...has a right to control our own body. We have a fundamental right to make our own medical treatment choices, and the state doesn't have a right to override our wishes."

Source: TV's Gay Factor and George Felos' Incoherence, Crosswalk.com, 10/24/2003, Tom Perrault

Counterpoint: I will have to agree with Mr. Felos on this point. Yes, we should all make our own choices pertaining to life and death, Only Terri Schiavo has the right to make that decision for herself...not her husband....not his lawyer...and not a judge.

George Felos states that we should all make our own personal choices, but he works diligently to have Terri’s choice taken from her and given over to judges and an adulterous husband. I wonder if Mr. Felos would be content to have his x-wife make such a decision for him?

7. Quote: "There is no purpose for the delay," Felos told the Orlando Sentinel. "It was her [Terri's] wish not to be kept alive artificially."

Source: 'Death Date' Delayed in Terri Schindler Schiavo Case, By Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau Chief, September 12, 2003

Counterpoint: Unless George Felos is psychic or has other super cognitive powers that we are not aware of, he has no idea what Terri Schiavo’s personal wish was or is.

Terri left no documentation or other hard evidence of any kind stating what her wishes might be in this situation. Yet, even with the lack of any real evidence of Terri’s wishes Mr. Felos speaks with authority on the matter, as if he knows personally that Terri would have wanted to die from starvation/dehydration.

I cannot say what Mr. Felos’ personal motivation may be in speaking with such authority in this matter, but I can point out that this manner of speaking has been used by those in power for centuries. If a person says something repeatedly and with enough authority then eventually the percentage of the population that is susceptible to such propaganda will begin to believe what is being said, even if it is not true.

8. Quote: Felos also disputed claims that Terri had communicated with her nurses. "It didn't happen," Felos told the newspaper. "It's a fabrication."

Source: Disabled Woman's Family, Former Nurses Seek Inquiry, By Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com, Congressional Bureau Chief, September 10, 2003

Counterpoint: Many Doctors, Nurses, and other professionals have stepped up to present overwhelming evidence that Terri is sentient and capable of making her feelings known to visitors. Yet, the main stream media seems to portray these people as always lying and George Felos as always telling the truth.

If we reduce this situation down to pure, non-emotional mathematics, it is highly unlikely that one person could be telling the truth 100% of the time while a larger group of highly qualified people is lying 100% of the time. You do the math. Does it really add up?

9. Quote: In general I agree with the governor's position. We as a society have a duty to bring the spoon to the mouth of the disabled person," Felos admitted. "But the whole factual basis of the governor's argument is false." Felos claims, based on tests conducted several years ago, that Terri is incapable of swallowing food and, therefore, providing her nutrition and hydration through the g-tube is "artificial life support."

Source: Federal Judge Dismisses Parents' Lawsuit in Terri Schiavo Case, By Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com, Congressional Bureau Chief, October 10, 2003

Counterpoint: This is yet another statement that should frighten any of us who are advocates for the injured or helpless. According to this statement, any person who eats through a feeding tube can be considered to be on artificial life support.

There are thousands of Americans who lead very productive and active lives that must eat through a feeding tube. Terri Schiavo’s death would set legal precedent allowing for their “life support” to be taken away when they are no longer wanted by their spouses or deemed to be a burden on society.

I suggest that you check with your state about this issue. Some states have already started down the slippery slope by designated food and water as medical treatment. Many people don’t realize that when they sign a living will they may be unwittingly agreeing to be starved and dehydrated to death under the clause that allows for cessation of all “medical treatment”.

10. Quote: Felos' spiritual and professional lives intersected in a public way 12 years ago, in the case of Estelle Browning. The case gained him a reputation as the person to see when you want to let someone die. Browning, of Dunedin, had written a living will in 1985, saying she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means if she ever became ill. A year later, she had a stroke. But the nursing home refused to stop feeding her because she was not technically brain dead. Her cousin and former roommate, Doris Herbert, asked Felos to take the case. He wanted to see Browning for himself. She could not speak, but Felos says his spiritual side picked up on something. He says her soul cried out to his soul and asked, "Why am I still here?"

Source: The spirit and the law, By SHARON TUBBS, © St. Petersburg Times, published May 25, 2001

Counterpoint: Mr. Felos has repeatedly stated that he is not pro-euthanasia, and that he has no interest in promoting the agenda of the euthanasia crowd in the United States. Yet, with his first successfully litigated, court ordered death he became “the person to see when you want to let someone die.”

At this point we should discuss briefly the difference between letting someone die and forcing someone to die: If a person has become so medically incapacitated that they cannot support life functions without extraordinary intervention such as mechanical life support, removing said mechanical life support would effectively be allowing that person’s body to die or live as it pleased.

There are many documented cases of people living and recovering after mechanical life support has been removed. Left to its own devices the human body will often choose life when those around it have long since given up hope.

However, when you withhold basic necessities such as food, water, clothing, or shelter from a person in order to purposefully cause the death of an otherwise healthy body you have effectively forced that person to die. When a person has been starved/dehydrated to death there is no chance for the body to try and recover itself, and that person has effectively been forced to die by human intervention rather than dying from natural causes.

Forcing a person to die is still called murder in the United States, but Terri’s case could forever change that definition, allowing for legalized, forced death in our country.

11. Quote: Felos does not mention Schiavo in Law as Spiritual Practice, but says he wants to start a second book when the case is over. He may talk about his spiritual journey with Schiavo then. For now, he is preparing for a hearing before the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland on June 25. He thinks the court will agree that her feeding tube should be removed. That is what is necessary, he says, "to accomplish what I believe are Terri's wishes." Does Felos believe Terri Schiavo's soul has spoken to his? Felos declines to answer, showing his lawyerly side. "It's a pending case," he says.

Source: The spirit and the law, By SHARON TUBBS, © St. Petersburg Times, published May 25, 2001

Counterpoint: Yet again Mr. Felos makes it clear that he is acting on what he believes to be right for Terri, not what Terri actually believes to be right for herself.

You will also note the reference to a possible future book about Terri. Should Mr. Felos be allowed to actively seek Terri’s death when he has already hinted to the fact that he may later profit from it? Does the term “conflict of interest” still mean anything in this country?

12. Quote: In a 44-page brief, filed Oct. 29 with Judge Baird, Schiavo's attorney George Felos, a well-known "right-to-die" advocate, complains HB-35E – or "Terri's Law" – "eradicates Mrs. Schiavo's rights to privacy and due process," and is an "example of legislative and executive overreaching prohibited by the separation of powers enshrined in the Florida Constitution."

Source: Florida governor, lawmakers defend 'Terri's Law'
House speaker's brief argues legality of starvation-stopping measure, Posted: November 12, 2003, 5:00 p.m. Eastern, By Sarah Foster, © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Counterpoint: Here we see that Mr. Felos once again proclaims his concern for Terri’s privacy. Yet, on national television, he and Michael Schiavo openly discussed Terri’s gynecology and discussed her private life in intimate detail. Are these the actions of a person who is sincerely concerned about Terri Schiavo’s privacy?

Keeping a person private and keeping them imprisoned in a hospice bed seem to be evolving into the same animal in the state of Florida. Why isn’t Terri allowed to go outside and see the sunshine? Why isn’t Terri allowed to have television or radio in her room to keep her company? Why is Terri’s visitor list so short and restrictive?

Is all of this really necessary to preserve Terri’s privacy, or is it necessary to preserver the false image of Terri’s condition that has been perpetuated by the media?

Terri can hear. Terri can see. She can laugh and make her pleasure or displeasure known, and she has no physical restrictions that would cause her to be forced to stay in her room.

Is all of this really necessary to protect Terri, or is it meant strictly to keep the public from getting to know Terri? Should the public be concerned about possible abuses that may have been perpetrated against Terri in her prison of privacy?

I would also like to point out that patients who are terminally ill are allowed to be admitted to hospices. Generally speaking those with life expectancies of six months or less are admitted to hospice care. Terri has been in hospice care for years. Privacy or Prison?…you make the call.

13. Quote: The new law "gives the governor unfettered and unreviewable discretion to 'stay' the withholding of artificially provided nutrition and hydration from Mrs. Schiavo and prevent her from dying with dignity," Felos contends in his brief, adding, "nothing could be more repugnant to the Constitution of the state of Florida."

Source: Florida governor, lawmakers defend 'Terri's Law'
House speaker's brief argues legality of starvation-stopping measure, Posted: November 12, 2003, 5:00 p.m. Eastern, By Sarah Foster, © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Counterpoint: Here Mr. Felos alludes to the fact that Terri’s death from starvation/dehydration would be a dignified one. There are thousands of historical references to death by starvation/dehydration in which starvation/ dehydration is painted as one of the most horrifying deaths imaginable. Starvation/dehydration has also been used as form of extreme torture in many cultures. The bible states that it is better to be slain with the sword than by hunger.

Think back to the images we saw on television during Ethiopia’s great famine. Did those people look dignified? Did they appear to be suffering?

In this quote Mr. Felos also states that the Florida legislators somehow violated the Florida constitution by sparing Terri’s life. The very reason that the Florida constitution exists is to protect the people of Florida.

The very reason that three branches of government exist in the state of Florida rather than a single branch is to protect the people in the event that one branch of Government becomes a danger to the people. The Florida judiciary had clearly become a danger to the people where the case of Terri Schiavo is concerned. It is not only the right of the executive and legislative branches to bring these judges to heal, but it is also their duty to do so.

14. Quote: "Dr. Wolfson is free to meet with anyone he considers useful in carrying out his charge," Felos said. "I think the question is, does Dr. Wolfson consider the governor useful."

Source: Bush seeks wider Schiavo inquiry:[LATE TAMPA Edition] WILLIAM R. LEVESQUE, STEVE

BOUSQUET. St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Fla.: Nov 8, 2003. pg. 7.B

Counterpoint: Dr. Wolfson was appointed by the courts to be Terri’s guardian. At the time of his appointment Dr. Wolfson was considered by many to be a hand picked ringer from the pro-death crowd.

Where is Dr. Wolfson today, and why is he no longer Terri’s guardian? At some point in his guardianship Dr. Wolfson asked for more tests to be done to better assess Terri’s condition. He was quickly removed as Terri’s guardian. Am I the only one that finds this strange?

15. Quote: At Tiger Bay, Felos criticized Florida lawmakers for their intervention in the Schiavo case "without the Legislature even bothering to read the judicial opinions."

He said the governor's stay, issued on "on whim, on caprice," flouted the Constitution and violated the doctrine of the separation of powers. It was "a frightening action in a free society."

Source: Judge calls Terri's Law intrusive:[SOUTH PINELLAS Edition] WILLIAM R. LEVESQUE. St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Fla.: Nov 15, 2003.

Counterpoint: Does separation of powers give one branch of government the power to run ruff shod over the other two? In fact, it means just the opposite. The Florida state legislative and executive branches have taken a brutal beating from the Florida judicial branch.

If the other branches of Florida government do not fulfill their duty and fight back against the legislative branch then the Florida courts will have pulled off an coupe, effectively setting themselves up as dictatorial rulers of the state of Florida. This type of judicial power grab is now underway in several states. Please encourage your legislators to fight back as it is their duty to do so.

16. Quote: Michael Schiavo's lawyer, George Felos, scrambled to try to stop Bush's order, which he called an "illegal intrusion into the liberty and private affairs of citizens."

Source: Feeding to Resume, Fla. governor rules against ending life of comatose woman, By Hugo Kugiya, STAFF WRITER; This story was supplemented with reports from The Associated Press and the Orlando Sentinel.

Counterpoint: Whose private affairs are Mr. Felos referring to here? The private affairs of Terri Schiavo, who has been imprisoned by the court, or the private affairs of those who wish to bring about Terri’s death behind closed doors?

17. Quote: Felos called the reinsertion of the tube "an absolute horrible tragedy for Terri Schiavo."

"The governor of the state of Florida does not have the right to trump a patient's personal choice," he said.

Felos said that on Tuesday, Terri was showing signs of massive organ failure and that the reinsertion of the tube is just prolonging her death. He said he did not know her condition Wednesday.

"She was literally absconded from her death bed in the middle of her dying process," he told ABC's "Good Morning America."

Source: Fla. Family Can't Visit Disabled Woman, By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer,
October 22, 2003, 4:47 PM EDT

Counterpoint: Mr. Felos states that Terri was absconded from her death bed in the middle of her dying process. Dying is a natural process which occurs unaided and unforced. Terri’s death was being forced.

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that Terri was removed from a hospice that she never should have been in to begin with, just in time to save her from being murdered in a most horrible manner?

Here again Mr. Felos drives home the fact that death is Terri’s personal choice, and again, I ask, where is the proof? Where are the living wills and other legally binding documents that show that Terri would choose death?

18. Quote: "It is simply inhumane and barbaric to interrupt her death process," Felos said. "Just because Terri Schiavo is not conscious doesn't mean she doesn't have dignity."

Source: Fla. Family Can't Visit Disabled Woman, By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer,
October 22, 2003, 4:47 PM EDT

Counterpoint: Mr. Felos states here that Terri is not conscious. There are many videos of Terri available that show unequivocally that she is conscious and is capable of following instructions when asked to so. How could Mr. Felos and the judges involved in this case actually think that Terri is not conscious. After all, weren’t these videos shown to them in court? These videos are widely available on the internet. I encourage you to download them and see what Terri is capable of . (www.terrisfight.org)

19. Quote: "His overriding interest is to follow Terri's wishes," said Michael Schiavo's lawyer George Felos. "Who in God's name would subject themselves to what he's gone through? ... He would be unable to live the rest of his life knowing he let Terri down."

Source: Fla. Woman's Husband Vows Legal Fight, By Hugo Kugiya, Staff Correspondent, October 23, 2003, 8:45 P

Counterpoint: Here Mr. Felos paints Michael Schiavo as the loyal husband who has suffered horribly for more than a decade while he has attempted to bring about his wife’s death.

During these long years Mr. Schiavo has moved on with his life, taken a lover, had children, and experienced all the joys of a normal life, while Terri has languished in a custom made nightmare designed for her by her husband, his lawyers, and the Florida court system. Forgive me, but I think Mr. Felos’ pity has been misplaced.

20. Quote: Felos reaffirmed yesterday that Michael Schiavo will receive "no financial benefit from her death." He said what remains in her guardianship account (money won from a malpractice lawsuit 10 years ago), less than $60,000 by his accounting, will be spent on court and medical expenses.

Source: Fla. Woman's Husband Vows Legal Fight, By Hugo Kugiya, Staff Correspondent, October 23, 2003, 8:45 PM EDT

Counterpoint: Terri’s case has been widely publicized and has polarized our entire nation. There will be plenty of profit to go around for all of those who have sought to kill Terri. Are we really expected to believe that no one will profit from her demise? Are we to believe that there won’t be books, movies, and appearances on talk shows after Terri is dead? Terri’s story has Hollywood bombshell written all over it, and when the smoke clears someone is going to be making al lot of money telling Terri’s story.

21. Quote: WND incorrectly reported that Felos is an advocate of euthanasia. Felos stresses he advocates the withdrawal of feeding tubes, but opposes euthanasia, which he defines as "the active intervention of an external agent to end a life" and, as he pointed out, is a criminal act.

Source: Life, death tug of war in Florida courtroom Family fighting husband's efforts to disconnect wife's feeding tube, Posted: November 13, 2002, 8:52 p.m. Eastern, By Diana Lynne, © 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

Counterpoint: Mr. Felos clearly states here that active intervention to end a person’s life is criminal act. Terri is being held in a hospice which she does not qualify to be kept in. She has been imprisoned in her room. Her visitors are severely restricted. She is allowed to have nothing near her that might stimulate her damaged mind, and her husband and the courts seek to withhold food and water from her until she is dead. It is an obvious criminal act for a disabled person to be treated in such a manner as described in Florida Crime Law S825.102.

Why have those who have withheld food and water from Terri in the past not been charged according to this law? Have the Florida courts simply dropped the ball in Terri’s case, or have they purposefully swept the Subj: Fwd

February 16, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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This is a good post. Well worth the read.

Posted by: Paul Deignan | Mar 16, 2005 12:22:34 AM

Excellent report loaded with significant bits and pieces of factual information that really truly need to be brought to the forefront of our consciousness.

Posted by: Brian Mora | Mar 17, 2005 10:15:26 PM

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