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By the time you get this, I will be on my usual "haunt" — an airplane! It seems I am living on airplanes these days. Monday, I was on a plane that circled Washington, D.C., so many times because bad weather did not permit landing that the plane got low on fuel and we had to fly to Norfolk, Virginia land, refuel, take off and fly back to D.C. So, because I am on a plane —with little sleep — I am putting you all to work in the blog. Here are your e-mails — as always, randomly grabbed except the one from Laura Ingle (search) at the end:
E-mail No. 1
Why can't Terri Schiavo (search) be granted a divorce? Her husband has clearly broken his wedding vows by getting someone else pregnant. Pleas help me understand why she can't just be granted a divorce.
ANSWER: In order to get a divorce, you have to file for it. Neither she nor Michael have filed. Of course, she cannot file.
E-mail No. 2
Greta talk to Jesse Jackson and see if he can help Terri Schiavo. He has helped a lot of people. Remember when Clinton pardoned those prisoners before he left office? Why can't Bush so something. This is one of the worse things I have ever seen happen because he wants another woman just like Scott Peterson, but this time we are watching him kill her. We are all guilty.
E-mail No. 3 — I asked on the show last night what Michael does for a living:
Michael Schiavo is employed as a nurse at the county jail.
E-mail No. 4
Dear Greta: Thank God there are still people like your guest that was on the phone that tried to get Terry some water, even though he and his children got arrested.
They remind me of the brave human beings that tried to help the Nazi concentration camp victims, even though, they themselves put themselves at risk of arrest and persecution.
I retain a little bit of faith in human beings after hearing of people like this caller. And then I hear a lawyer talk about Terri's urine output, and I am totally sickened by the cruelty of certain human beings towards other human beings. Total, total cruelty to watch this woman starve, dehydrate, measure her urine? And feel good about their win? Feel and believe that Terri really wanted to be starved to death and wither for many, many days dying like this?
Is this America, or have I somehow gone back in time and am actually viewing a Nazi concentration camp victim being tortured and starved to death and guards, police make sure nobody can help the starving victim? I will wake up from this nightmare, as I'm sure this could not be happening in the United States of America in the year 2005?
E-mail No. 5
Perhaps the writer addressing Terri's hospice care is not aware of Judge Greer's order that Terri may have no water moistened swab, sips of water, ice chips etc. in his zeal to dehydrate and starve Terri to death. This so-called "hospice care" is a mockery of both words. I am a physician, and I've seen true hospice care up close. I've written orders for "comfort measures" and that always included liquid/food as patient desired. Water to someone who is thirsting is just basic human compassion. Hospice care is for those patients with a terminal medical condition (i.e. less than six months to live) and while the time of seeking a cure has passed for the legitimate hospice patient the time for them to experience as much care of their needs never does. This isn't allowing someone to die as a result of their terminal condition this is killing them prematurely by denying them food and/or water.
Valerie Maguire, M.D.
Three Oaks, MI
E-mail No. 6
I love to watch your show every night. But it just makes my stomach sick to see all those protest out side for a dying woman that should of been able to die fifteen years ago. What about all the sex offenders that are killing our children? They spend two years out of five when then should be killed. If you want to do a story do it about the how we can save our children from sex offender.
E-mail No. 7
Greta, I wrote to a Terri Schindler-Schiavo Web site to ask her parents to look in Terri's bible to see if she left any notes about her feelings. I have discussed with my mother that we both will leave a note in our bible about our wishes. That is not as good as a living will but it would probably be better than hearsay from Michael. Would that be something that a judge would want to examine and allow her feeding tube to be restarted to allow time to consider new information? I pray there will be an intervention for Terri before time runs out.
E-mail No. 8
In 1998 I had to place my mother in a hospital. That was on June 29. On July 1st my family and I had to decide whether or not to keep her on support. From the time I was able to understand life and death I was told by her that under no circumstance was she to be kept alive artificially. If she was not able to live a normal life she wanted to go home to our Lord in savior. My point here is two things: My whole family — not just her husband — knew of her wishes. The second is here in my state of Texas not only did her husband and myself have to sign a statement that we knew of her wishes all of my siblings had to also. If we were not able to do this then no action could have been taken. She had not left anything in writing that stated her wishes ... I have prayed long and hard over this situation, hoping that something would be done. I hear everyone calling for help from the "Powers to be." Maybe now is time for us to ask the Lord to save Terri, whether it be bringing her home or letting her live. He is the only one we can turn to.
E-mail No. 9
Ms. Van Susteren,
It is obvious that Terri Schiavo is only trying to communicate what Randall Terry and his cohorts say she is trying to communicate and that is a shame that he or a group, or politicians or anybody else would take advantage of this situation for their own agenda or gain. Also I wonder why all these so-called religious nuts have abdicated their religion? Don't they believe that if god wanted Ms. Schiavo to live, she would. If God wants to end her suffering he would do that also. It is a shame for these religious people (priests included) to abdicate their religion and say they know more than God or the doctors do. Ms. Schiavo hasn't communicated in 15 years according to her doctors. God will take Ms. Schiavo when He is ready. Plain and simple.
E-mail No. 10
Terri Schiavo should have her feeding tube reinserted. Terri had not signed anything to indicate how she did or did not want to live. What Michael said she said is hearsay. How can hearsay do this to a person? Terri has been in remarkable health considering she has not had physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and other environmentally stimulating care all these years. Why would a guardian not want Terri to continually have these beneficial services? Perhaps, had these services been continually provided to Terri, she could have long ago told us what happened that night. I think Terri Schiavo should be provided a protective guardian who will reinsert her feeding tube and provide her the benefit of services to help her not kill her.
E-mail No. 11
Thanks Greta for your fair reporting tonight. I have been watching about Terri Schiavo every night and you asked some of the questions I wanted to ask also. Her family is living in a delusional state and need to be pulled out of it. They cannot possibly believe that she can talk to them, follow them around the room, etc. There is no doubt this lady is in a permanent vegetative state - look at the CAT scan. I have been in a similar situation two times. My mother died two years ago and we requested no life support and my grandson who developed an infection after birth. We were told he could live in his vegetative state for 20 years possibly. His parents decided to take him off life support also. It was very hard! We all miss him awful but unlike the Schindlers, we went on with our life. They need to do the same. Please let Terri go to be with her God and be in peace. I pray for her and Michael every night.
E-mail No. 12
I read the e-mails you have received on "Gretawire" and had a comment on one of them and a couple of my own.
First, I completely agree with T.G. Scott in Milan, TN. My husband and I are both Christians and while we can see both sides of the story, it is nothing but cruel and inhumane to keep her spirit trapped for, oh, let's say another 20, 30, 40 years! Why? If her parents are such "devout Roman Catholics" one would think they would be secure knowing their beautiful and precious daughter will be with our Lord. Yes, they will miss her dearly, as we all miss loved ones that have passed on but that's the way it is. We are born, we live and we die.
Second, it angers me that there are news reports about sensitive issues such as when her urine stopped being produced. This beautiful woman is dying ... can't a shred of her dignity be left? Having her video plastered over and over again on every news station and the step-by-step details of her failing is nothing to be proud of. Could it not be worded as, "She is beginning to show the signs that her body's organs are shutting down"?
Third, Terri's parents are somewhat of an enigma to me: in one breath they say that taking her feeding tube out is against their religious beliefs and then in the next breath say that her husband should just divorce her. Hello! The last time I checked, divorce was against the Roman Catholic religion also. So why is one okay and not the other? Do they practice their faith on their own terms or do they listen to what the Catholic Church says?
And lastly, don't you find it insane that when our pets are diagnosed with some illness that would cause them to have a poor quality of life we chose to not allow them to suffer and euthanize them? There are many owners who, at the last second before they leave the room or the needle is injected, see the eyes of their beloved animal looking at them ... frightened, pleading to live perhaps? But we still do it because it is the right thing to do! Get off your high horses people and think this over and answer honestly: would you ever want to live like that?
E-mail No. 13 — This is an update from Laura Ingle from inside the Michael Jackson (search) courtroom. Note: I can't get Jim Hammer to send me one! He is too lazy! Just kidding...
Subject: Laura note
Wow! It feels like a bolt of lightning just hit this trial. After hearing oral arguments from both the prosecution and defense, the judge has ruled that he'll allow prior child molestation allegations to be heard by jurors ... this will be complete with eye witness testimony from several people who say they saw M.J. do bad things to several other little kids.
Prosecutor Tom Sneddon's voice was filled with passion and disdain for Jackson as he listed the sorts of things the "King of Pop" allegedly did to other boys. Touching them on their genitals over their pants, and inside a couple of times. Jackson allegedly licked, kissed, hugged many boys between the ages of 10 and 13. One third party witness will apparently testify that he saw Jackson in bed with four children and the underwear of the kids and Jackson were at the side of the bed.
You can hear the investment DA Tom Sneddon has in this pursuit of a conviction against Jackson with his tone of voice today. It wasn't desperate, but you could tell he knew everything was riding on this ruling. He lashed out at Mesereau while describing the way he handled the accuser during the trial, calling him "abusive, mean spirited, and obnoxious as you could be to a child witness." While arguing to get the past allegations in, he brought up Mesereau's complaint that there were no eyewitnesses to this case — then when Sneddon says he has some for the other cases its just not good enough (Mesereau called the eye-witnesses part of a gang who have an axe to grind with Jackson), Sneddon says “your honor, he can't have it both ways."
For those of us that have rented apartments here for the trial, calls are being made to extend the leases. Looks like we will be here a while.
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