Tragic Battle

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Dear Viewers,

Monday night was, from my perspective, technically problem free. Of course I can't see the television screen like you, so I don't know if there was a problem I just could not see. When I do the show, I see a television screen without the crawl, weather, bug, lower third (the names under the guests, information), etc. You can actually see much more at home than I can see in the studio.

Last night sure seemed particularly tragic — while the lawyer for Terri Schiavo (search) seems to have hope things will improve in that matter, I don't. There are no winners. There have been legal battles for seven years and the deadline is rapidly approaching. I have posted a bunch of e-mails below about Terri. As always, they are grabbed randomly.

In case you missed it, I have streamed my interview with the Schindler family attorney on today's blog. To watch it, click the link in the video box above.

And where is Lisa Underwood (search) and her son Jayden? At one point I referred to her home as a "murder scene" — obviously displaying my real thought about what has happened to her. While I corrected myself on air and said that we did not know if it is a murder scene, the pool of blood in her living room gave me only a very grim thought of what happened. I hope I am wrong. I am sure others watching have the same grim opinion.

E-mail No. 1

Have not heard the argument that taking away Terri's feeding and water tube at 1 p.m. today would be an assisted suicide not at all like Dr. Kevorkian, who is now in prison as a convicted felon for murder.
Terri's husband would also be assisting Terri since he claimed she would never want to live as she is now. So whether one gives or takes away a persons life with some type of method, the outcome is still the same... death. So why when Dr. Kevorkian gave drugs to people who claimed they wanted to die rather than live, is this any different than taking away a person's source to sustain life? I don't know who else to contact, but I feel it is a very strong argument.
Greta, if you can find a way to propose this argument to anyone else who can help PLEASE DO IT. Remember Jeb Bush is 100 percent behind keeping Terri alive.
There is a second argument: If Terri ever told anyone that she would divorce a husband if they ever cheated. Perhaps an attorney can represent Terri in a divorce since her husband chose to go on with his life and live with a girlfriend and have two children.
Third: If she is Catholic that would be grounds for the Catholic Church to grant Terri an annulment.
Finally, you know that the worst of the worst who are executed in this country get more humane treatment during death than what Terri is facing.
Thank you for taking time to read this e-mail. Please do anything you can to save Terri's life.
Kathy Masullo

E-mail No. 2

As much as possibly 90 percent of Terri's brain has been replaced by spinal fluid. Why don't you put some experts on to explain what a persistent vegetative state is? She makes the same noises and expressions even when no one is in the room. They are reflexive. She is already gone. I live locally. I work in health care here in this community. All I can say is SHE IS GONE! Come on get some medical experts on. You do it with legal issues.
Lisa Stevens
St. Petersburg, FL

E-mail No. 3

Dear Greta:
Terri and her family should be given every chance possible. Once the feeding tube is pulled it will be too late.
When watching video clips on TV she seems to respond to her family. We have heard only the husband's word as to what Terri would want, her parents and brother believe otherwise. Since Terri never left written directions how can we decide which party is right. The family also say that the court has never visited her. A judge and independent doctors should visit to be sure everything has been done for her, and to also access weather she is responding to the family.
Let her husband get a divorce and go on with his life.
After honest assessment by the judge and doctors, and some therapy that the family has asked for there would still be time to pull the feeding tube. Her family states that the Husband has not allowed certain checks and therapies that they have asked to be done. I know we can't spend forever on people that have no chance, lets just make sure that everything has been checked.
Pat Brink
Old Saybrook, CT

E-mail No. 4

Dear Greta,
First I want to tell you that my husband and I enjoy your show immensely. We were just watching the segment on Terri Schiavo and saw the attorney for the family explain that Terri is far more coherent than we see on TV. In fact, you asked him if he had ever seen Terri in person, and he said he had and that he was very surprised and impressed. He then invited you to go and see Terri for yourself. We think that you should, you have made this case far more visible than it would have been if you did not follow it. You are a journalist and like to be in the middle of things, that is why you follow cases that may not get the exposure they should. This is the perfect setting. Truly, if not for your show Terri Schiavo probably would not be living now. Please go on the record and set things straight. I, myself, have said that I would not like to live in a vegetative state but after watching this case I find myself rethinking that. Terri's parents want to care and take care of her. Her husband has obviously moved on with a girlfriend and two children. He should go and live his life and allow Terri the dignity of living hers. Please go and see Terri. Thank you.
Yours truly,
Stacie Burgin

E-mail No. 5

Dear Ms. Van Susteren,
It pains me to listen to newscasters, you included, grossly mispronouncing repeatedly Terri Schiavo' s name. The Italian name Schiavo is pronounced "Skiavo" in the upper class and "Shiavo" on the street, NOT "Shaivo" as careless newscasters mispronounce. Please make the necessary corrections...
Arik Samson

ANSWER: Arik, I pronounce the name like the family does. Second, at this point, with an important deadline approaching in a most serious matter, I find your "pain" (how the name is pronounced) to be trivial. I am sure all the parties involved — both sides of the issue — would agree.

E-mail No. 6

Isn't it ironic that Terri Schiavo is in a vegetative state because of anorexia? Maybe a feeding tube should have been inserted when she was starving herself to death!
Susan Quinn
Nashville, TN

E-mail No. 7

I think it is absolutely horrible that the government can permit a man to murder his wife for the apparent crime of being disabled, especially when her own parents don't agree. I am the Mom of a disabled adult man who became disabled in a near drowning incident eight years ago. I am able to care for him at home. I thank God he wasn't married when this happened to him, or I might have gone through the same thing the Schiavos have. It is horrible enough to go through the horror of watching your once healthy child become disabled, but to have to deal with a son-in-law who fights with all his might to murder her is beyond what one should have to endure. My son has medication, and a passive exercise machine which keeps the contractures away, unlike Terri, whose money has been wasted lining lawyers pockets. She could have been helped if her husband had had a heart to actually help her, and was committed to his vows to love, honor, and cherish her till death they part. I pray the Lord forgive him for this horrible crime. I mostly am bewildered by the courts who have never had Terri's best interest at heart. She should have had an attorney of her own a long time ago, though the courts have no business giving permission to murder anyone. What a horrible injustice this is. God have mercy on her husbands soul come the true Judgment Day.
Sandy Yother
Albany, OR

E-mail No. 8

Great show tonight, I am extremely disturbed by Terri's husband and his eagerness to pull the plug on Terri. I work at the world renowned Mayo Clinic here in Rochester and get the opportunity to talk to patients and family members every day that have had miracles happen where others had given up on them but they made one more call. Shouldn't they really leave it up to the people who are paid to give Terri her medical care to make the decision on it being a hopeless case or not? I don't think it should be up to her husband or a judge to make that decision or her family for that matter if the Drs had said there was no hope. I realize there are some situations where there is no hope but what about all these Drs. that are requesting Terri get rehab they must have some hope? I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes 13 years ago at age 18 then I could not eat sugar at all today I can eat almost anything, this is because of the technology advancements that have been made in insulin, etc that I take. My situation is very small compared to Terri's but with all my hope, the judge will make the correct decision
Mike C.
Rochester, MN

E-mail No. 9

The wife and I are disgusted by Amber, making money with a book and resulting movie about the murder of a woman and her baby by her "boyfriend". No reasonable person should buy the book or go to the movie.
Doug and Victoria Schnabel
Nunnelly, TN

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