Saturday, March 26, 2005

Starving Terri Schiavo is Illegal Assisted Suicide

Judge Greer's decision is controlled by Florida law, specifically Florida's Health Care Advance Directives, Chapter 365 of Florida Statutes.

The judge may only rule on questions of fact and law relating to these provisions. He may not write new law from the bench.

Judge Greer ruled that Michael Shiavo, Terry Shiavo's husband, was legally entitled to act in place of Terri and carry out her wishes regarding her medical treatment. He ruled that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state and would have wished to refuse artificial extension of her life by medical means, such as a gastric feeding tube providing her artificial sustenance and hydration.

But that ends the scope of Michael Shiavo's guardianship and Judge Greer's authority.

Judge Greer, as finder of fact, has determined that Terri would wish to die. By forbidding Terri's father, mother, sister, brother, and other volunteers from attempting to give Terri water or liquid nourishment by mouth -- testing whether she currently has the capability to swallow -- the hospice personnel, Michael Schiavo, and Judge Greer are engaging in an attempt at assisted suicide, which is forbidden by Florida law, and for which the only exemption contemplated by Florida statute is artificial provision of sustenance or hydration. Giving water and liquid nourishment orally, which is being interrupted by Terri's enforced isolation as a patient in the hospice, is not artificial. It is natural. And allowing the giving of swallowing assistance for liquids for sustenance and hydration to an otherwise healthy mentally handicapped woman is not artificial use of medical means to extend Terri Schiavo's life.

For Michael Shiavo to act to end Terry's life beyond what is permitted by Florida law is either homicide, if Terri would not have agreed, or assisted suicide, if she would have agreed. Both are forbidden by Florida law. Judge Greer may not issue a court order, and hospice personnel and police, may not enact or enforce a court order, which is contrary to Florida law. To do so is abuse of power under color of authority, and may be stopped by any law-enforcement or judicial officer in Florida, local, county, or state.

Governor Bush should immediately take custody of Terri Schiavo as the chief law-enforcement officer of the State of Florida, and cause her medical condition to be stabilized. No court order is necessary for any law-enforcement officer to stop a felony in progress.

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist should issue warrants for the arrest of Michael Shiavo and all hospice personnel in charge of Terri who are forbidding her liquid nourishment and water for conspiracy to engage in illegal assisted suicide, and Judge Greer should be arrested for abuse of power under color of authority for issuing directives beyond the scope of his charge.

The cases should be placed before a Grand Jury and prosecuted.

J. Neil Schulman
March 26, 2005




GENERAL PROVISIONS (ss. 765.101-765.113)


LIFE-PROLONGING PROCEDURES (ss. 765.301-765.309)

765.101 Definitions.--As used in this chapter:

(10) "Life-prolonging procedure" means any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention, including artificially provided sustenance and hydration, which sustains, restores, or supplants a spontaneous vital function. The term does not include the administration of medication or performance of medical procedure, when such medication or procedure is deemed necessary to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.

765.309 Mercy killing or euthanasia not authorized; suicide distinguished.--

(1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying.

(2) The withholding or withdrawal of life-prolonging procedures from a patient in accordance with any provision of this chapter does not, for any purpose, constitute a suicide.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Any Florida Law Enforcement Officer May Protect Terri Schiavo from Starvation and Dehydration

My friends:

It does not take a court order to save Terri Schiavo from dehydration and starvation.

It does not require an order from Governor Jeb Bush or the Florida DCF to place her under protection.

It does not require permission of Terri Schiavo's husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, to give her food and water.

Michael Schiavo's legal guardianship only extends to medical and financial decisions, not basic human rights such as feeding or water
given by mouth, since eating and drinking are basic human rights necessary to survive.

Terri Schiavo has the basic right to eat and drink by mouth if she is capable of doing so. Her consent to live is implicit in her swallowing the food and water and negates any presumption that in the absence of a legal document that she wishes to die.

Her cognitive handicaps are medically and legally irrelevant. Her medical prognosis is irrelevant to her basic himan rights. Whether or not her cognitive abilities will improve are irrelevant to the question of her asic human right to live.

Guardianship cannot include crimes against the person, such as prevention of feeding or drinking. Denial of water and food is not a medical issue. It is beyond the legal scope of a guardianship since it is a basic human-rights issue. No judge's authority extends to denying the basic right to life, except for those convicted of a crime. Being handicapped does not diminish human rights. In fact, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the handicapped are entitled to special protections from attempts to deny them access to basic human necessities.

Nobody is denying that Terri is being denied food and water -- there is no legal controversy on this fact -- so there is no need for a legal finding by Florida DCF in order to protect her human right to be fed or given water by mouth. Police can arrest anyone who has been denying Terri Schiavo food and water by mouth since it is a felony in progress, and no court order is necessary to prevent a felony in progress.

Prevention of giving food and water to someone capable of eating and drinking is contrary to Florida law, and is a felony. This includes actionsby judges who commit a felony under color of authority by issuing an order beyond the scope of their legal authority. It is beyond the power of a judge to order someone to be denied food and water if they are capable of eating and drinking.

Governor Jeb Bush has duty to enforce the law, which is not related to the judge or his court order. The court's jurisdiction only extended to the question of guardianship. No guardian may deny a human being under their charge basic human rights, and to do so is a felony, regardless of a judge's granting a right to make a medical decision regarding a feeding tube's removal. The judge may allow the guardian to remove the gastric feeding tube. The judge may not go beyond this medical question and forbid the patient to be fed and given water by mouth. The medical question of whether or not Terri Schiavo's guardian may remove her feeding tube is the only question the court had the right to rule on. No court has the right to go beyond the medical decision and deny Terri Schiavo her basic human right to eat and drink, if she is able to do so,

Police and citizens have a right and duty to stop the crime of starvation by unlawful imprisonment. Any representative of the police, sheriff, or attorney general can enforce this Florida law without any court order, because there is a felony in progress.

Anyone who attempts to prevent feeding or giving a drink of water or ice chips is committing a felony, and legal force can be used against them and they can be arrested and charged as co-conspirators. This includes any lawyer, bailiff, police officer, sheriff, security guard, or law enforcement officer who is complicit in preventing attempts to feed Terri Schiavo and give her water or ice by mouth.

If anyone is hurt during the attempt to stop the commission of that felony, that may be a compounding felony.

All statutes regarding police failure to protect are irrelevant because the police authority is being used under color of authority to commit a felony crime.

Judge Greer's order to prevent Terri Schiavo from being given food or water by mouth is an illegal abuse of judicial authority, and he may be held personally liable (civilly and criminally) for each act which denies Terri Schiavo food or water.

Judge Greer's authority -- the question the judge had the authority to decide -- extended only to the question of who was rightfully authorized to make medical decisions for Terri Schiavo and specifically whether the gastric tube could legally be removed by order of her legal guardian. Anything preventing her well-being beyond that medical decision is abuse of power under color of authority and is felonious.

If Judge Greer attempts to prevent Terri's rescue, the judge is compounding the felonies and may be arrested for it and may be held criminally and civilly liable.

Because Terri Schiavo's life has been placed in danger by this crime of denying any attempt to give her food or water by mouth, the use of a gastric tube to rehydrate her and give her nutrition until she is stable and may again eat and drink on her own may be done by any duly constituted authority, and does not require the consent of her guardian. In other words, if six days ago when the gastric tube was removed, which was a medical decision within the scope of her legal guardian, hospice personnel and Terri's family had been permitted to attempt to give her food and water orally, no crime would have been committed. Since Terri Schiavo has been placed in danger of death by forbidding her being offered food or water by mouth, a crime is in progress and any medical means to stabilize her are called form including the reinsertion of a gastric feeding tube.

No court order or permission is necessary to save Terri Schiavo. Any sworn state, county, or local law enforcement officer or judicial officer in the State of Florida may stop the felony in progress of denying Terri Schiavo the offer of food and water by mouth, or to reintroduce her feeding tube until she is medically stable and capable of eating and drinking by mouth, and bring whatever legal force necessary to rescue her from those illegally holding her captive in a hospice.

J. Neil Schulman &
Randall Herrst, JD

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Saving Terri Schiavo

Like many people, I have been following the tragedy of Terri Schindler Schiavo. I am unconvinced that she would have ever freely chosen to die by dehydration and starvation. I am unconvinced that her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, is faithfully representing her wishes. I am also uninterested in any medical professional's prognostication as to whether Terri Schiavo will ever regain full cognition. Her natural family wishes her to live and to take responsibility to take care of her, is suspicious of her husband's motives, and contests the medical diagnosis. These facts alone are enough for me to conclude that Terri Schiavo's right to life is being violated by her adulterous and possibly bigamous husband, with the active complicity of both Florida and federal judges, who are using government force to prevent Terri Schiavo from having access to water and food. I call this premeditated murder. I am shocked that this is happening in the United States rather than in Cuba, North Korea, or Iran. I am shocked that even the President of the United States and the Congress of the United States, not to mention the Governor of Florida, are intimidated by judges into taking no actual action to save Terri Schiavo's life.

If all that they need is a legal excuse to cover their asses, may I suggest a few:

1) President George W. Bush has the power to declare Terri Schiavo an enemy combatant, and send federal agents to arrest her. She can then be transported to an undisclosed location where she can be given the medical care guaranteed a prisoner of war until she is capable of being interrogated. Let's see how well Michael Schiavo fares in getting a habeas petition.

2) Florida Governor Jeb Bush can send Florida state troopers to take Terri Schiavo into protective custody as a potential witness against Michael Schiavo for her impending murder, based on the sworn statements of a nurse who declares Michael Schiavo's injected Terri with insulin with the intent to cause her death. It does not matter that Florida's statute for a charge of attempted murder has already passed. Murder does not have a statutory time limit, and I can't think of a reason why she can't be placed into protective custody as a witness against him until such time as she dies.

3) Anyone want to file a civil suit against Terri Schiavo, and demand she be kept alive until she can be deposed? I can think of lots of reasons to sue her, particularly if anyone holding vigil for her gets hurt.

4) Pray for a miracle. If God can raise the dead, God can restore a liquified cerebral cortex.

J. Neil Schulman
March 23, 2005

Sunday, March 13, 2005

FEC Threatens Free Speech

Bradley Smith writes that the FEC may soon crack down on blogs and websites, preventing them from licking to candidates sites during elections.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Ann Coulter, Anti-American

Regarding the Easton Jordan affair (the CNN editor thought to have accused the US govt of targeting journalists in Iraq; he says he was misquoted), THE NATION (March 14, 2005) writes: "It was on CNBC's Kudlow & Cramer that the satanic spawn Ann Coulter was invited to giggle about how nice it would be if the US military really were deliberately murdering journalists."

To those libertarians who still confuse Coulter with being a champion of liberty, I would remind that Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787: "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

I'll take Jefferson over Coulter.