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This includes the "absence of voluntary action" and an "inability to communicate or interact purposefully". Pearse found that there was no possibility of improvement but that Michael Schiavo's decisions might have been influenced by the potential to inherit what remained of Terri Schiavo's estate as long as he remained married to her. Due to a lack of a living will and questions regarding Michael's credibility, Pearse recommended denying his petition to remove her feeding tube. Pearse reported that the issue of conflict of interest applied to the Schindlers as well since, had Michael divorced Terri as they wanted him to, they would have inherited the remainder of Mrs.
Schiavo's estate upon her death. Given the lack of a living will , a trial was held before Pinellas County Judge George Greer during the week of January 24, , to determine what Terri Schiavo's wishes would have been regarding life-prolonging procedures. The trial included testimony from eighteen witnesses regarding her medical condition and her end-of-life wishes.
Michael Schiavo claimed that his wife would not want to be kept on a machine where her chance for recovery was minuscule. According to Abstract Appeal Trial Order, her parents "claimed that Terri was a devout Roman Catholic who would not wish to violate the Church's teachings on euthanasia by refusing nutrition and hydration ". Judge Greer issued his order granting the petition for authorization to discontinue artificial life support for Terri Schiavo in February In this decision, the court found that Terri Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state and that she had made reliable oral declarations that she would have wanted the feeding tube removed.
In March , the Schindlers filed a motion to permit assisted feeding of Terri, which is not considered a life-prolonging procedure under Florida law. Since clinical records indicated that Terri Schiavo was not responsive to swallowing tests and required a feeding tube,  Judge Greer ruled that she was not capable of orally ingesting sufficient nutrition and hydration to sustain life, and denied the request.
In , the Schindlers again challenged Michael Schiavo's guardianship. The Schindlers suggested that he was wasting the assets within the guardianship account by transferring Terri Schiavo to a Pinellas Park, Florida hospice "after it was clear that she was not 'terminal' within Medicare guidelines" for hospices.
By this time, while still legally married to Terri Schiavo, Michael Schiavo was in a relationship with Jodi Centonze, and had fathered their first child. He said he chose not to divorce his wife and relinquish guardianship because he wanted to ensure her final wishes not to be kept alive in a PVS were carried out. The court denied the motion to remove the guardian, allowing that the evidence was not sufficient and in some instances, not relevant. It set April 24, , as the date on which the tube was to be removed. In April , the Schindlers filed a motion for relief from judgment citing new evidence of Terri Schiavo's wishes.
Judge Greer denied the motion as untimely under Rule 1. On April 24, , Terri's feeding tube was removed for the first time. The Schindlers filed a civil suit against Michael Schiavo alleging perjury , which was assigned to another court.
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The judge, Frank Quesada, issued an injunction against the removal of feeding tube until this was settled. The feeding tube was reinserted on April 26, In the same time frame, Michael Schiavo filed a motion to enforce the mandate of the guardianship court that the feeding tube be removed. The Second District Court of Appeal denied the motion.
These three decisions, all published in a single order by Florida's Second District Court of Appeal,  came to be known by the court as Schiavo II in its later rulings.
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On August 10, , on remand from the Florida Second District Court of Appeal , Judge Greer heard a motion from the Schindlers claiming that new medical treatment could restore sufficient cognitive ability such that Terri Schiavo herself would be able to decide to continue life-prolonging measures.
The court also heard motions from the Schindlers to remove the guardian Michael Schiavo and to require Judge Greer to recuse himself. On October 17, , the Court of Appeal affirmed the denials of the motions to remove and recuse. The Court of Appeals acknowledged that their opinion misled the trial court, and they remanded the question of Terri Schiavo's wishes back to the trial court and required an evidentiary hearing to be held.
The court specified that five board certified neurologists were to testify. The Schindlers were allowed to choose two doctors to present findings at an evidentiary hearing while Schiavo could introduce two rebuttal experts. Finally, the trial court itself would appoint a new independent physician to examine and evaluate Terri Schiavo's condition. These decisions, all published in a single order by the Florida Second District Court of Appeal,  came to be known by the court as Schiavo III in its later rulings.
In October , on remand by the Second District Court of Appeal, an evidentiary hearing was held in Judge Greer's court to determine whether new therapy treatments could help Terri Schiavo restore any cognitive function. In preparation for the trial, a new computed axial tomography scan CAT scan was performed, which showed severe cerebral atrophy. An EEG showed no measurable brain activity. The five physicians chosen were Dr.
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William Maxfield, a radiologist , and four neurologists : Dr. William Hammesfahr , Dr. Ronald Cranford, Dr. Melvin Greer and Dr. Peter Bambakidis.
The five doctors examined Terri Schiavo's medical records, brain scans, the videos, and Terri herself. Cranford, Greer, and Bambakidis testified that Terri Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state. Maxfield and Hammesfahr testified that she was in a minimally conscious state. As part of the court-ordered medical exam, six hours of video of Terri Schiavo were taped and filed at the Pinellas County courthouse.
The tape included Terri Schiavo with her mother and neurologist William Hammesfahr. The entire tape was viewed by Judge Greer, who wrote, Terri "clearly does not consistently respond to her mother". From that six hours of video, the Schindlers and their supporters produced six clips showing reactions and emotions, totaling less than six minutes, and released those clips to public websites. The trial court order was particularly critical of Hammesfahr's testimony, which claimed positive results in similar cases by use of Vasodilation therapy, the success of which is unsupported in the medical literature.
The court concluded that "if we were called upon to review the guardianship court's decision de novo , we would still affirm it". Around the start of , the Schindlers began to create more publicity by lobbying for their case to keep their daughter alive. They selected pro-life activist Randall Terry as their spokesman and continued to pursue their available legal options. On September 11, , the Schindlers petitioned the court to forestall removal of the feeding tube in order to provide for "eight weeks' therapy".
Accompanying the petition were four affidavits from members of the Schindler family and one from Dr. Alexander T. At the hearing, the Schindlers' counsel read into the record additional affidavits from three speech professionals and two nurses. In particular, Nurse Carla Sauer lyer asserted that she was able to feed Terri Schiavo orally but that Michael characterized any such interaction as "therapy" and ordered her not to do so. Iyer claimed in her affidavit that her initial training in consisted solely of the instruction, "Do what Michael Schiavo tells you or you're terminated", and that standing orders were not to contact the Schindler family, but that she "would call them anyway".
Schindler to re-litigate the entire case. It is not even a veiled or disguised attempt. The exhibits relied upon by them, clearly demonstrate this to be true. Iyer details what amounts to a month cover-up from April through July , which include the staff of Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center, the Guardian of the Person, the guardian ad litem , the medical professionals, the police and, believe it or not, Mr.
It is impossible to believe that Mr. Schindler would not have subpoenaed Ms. Iyer for the January evidentiary hearing had Iyer contacted them in as her affidavit alleges". On October 15, , Schiavo's feeding tube was removed. Within a week, when the Schindlers' final appeal was exhausted, State Rep. Frank Attkisson and the Florida Legislature passed "Terri's Law" in an emergency session giving Governor Jeb Bush the authority to intervene in the case.
Governor Bush immediately ordered the feeding tube reinserted. She was taken to Morton Plant Rehabilitation Hospital in Clearwater, where her feeding tube was surgically reinserted. Part of the legislation required the appointment of a guardian ad litem GAL , Dr. Jay Wolfson, to "deduce and represent the best wishes and best interests" of Schiavo, and report them to Governor Bush. Wolfson's report did not change Michael's role as her legal guardian and did not otherwise obstruct him legally.
At the same time, Robert and Mary Schindler, her parents, attempted to intervene and participate in the "Terri's Law" case but were denied by Judge W. On March 17, Baird denied the Schindlers the right to intervene a second time. On May 5, , Baird found "Terri's Law" unconstitutional , and struck it down. The Florida Supreme Court then overturned the law as unconstitutional.
On February 23, , the Schindlers filed a motion for relief from judgment pending medical evaluations. The motion was accompanied by thirty-three affidavits from doctors in several specialties, speech-language pathologists and therapists, and a few neuropsychologists, all urging that new tests be undertaken.
On February 28, the Schindlers filed a motion, asking for permission to attempt to provide Schiavo with "Food and Water by Natural Means. The same declarations are being used for both motions and the motion appears to be an alternative pleading to the previous motion. Both are asking for an experimental procedure. Greer noted that "most of the doctor affidavits submitted are based on their understanding of Schiavo's condition from news reports or video clips they have seen. Many are obviously not aware of the medical exams undertaken for the trial.