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BUL4602 Fall-2011 Lecture 10 , Reading 2

BUL4602 Fall-2011 Lecture 10 , Reading 2 - SCHIAVO Florida...

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SCHIAVO - Florida Courts Florida Circuit Court, Pinellas County, Probate Division. In re: THE GUARDIANSHIP OF Theresa Marie SCHIAVO, Incapacitated. Appellate Case No. 90-2908GD-003. Feb. 11, 2000. ORDER GREER, J. *1 THIS CAUSE came on to be heard upon the Petition for Authorization to Discontinue Artificial Life Support, and Suggestion for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem. The case was tried before the court sitting without jury during the week of January 24, 2000. Before the court were Michael Schiavo, Guardian of the Person of Theresa Marie Schiavo, (sometimes referred to as “Petitioner”); George J. Felos, Esquire, and Constance Felos, Esquire, attorneys for Petitioner; Robert Schindler and Mary Schindler, the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo, (sometimes referred to as “Respondants”); and Pamela A.M. Campbell, Esquire, attorney for Respondents. The court took testimony from eighteen witnesses, including the parties, the brother and sister of Theresa Marie Schiavo, (sometimes referred to as “Terri Schiavo”); the brother and sister-in-law of Petitioner, and the treating physician for Terri Schiavo. The court also received into evidence certain exhibits, including CAT scans of Terri Schiavo and, for comparison purposes, Dr. James Barnhill. The court has carefully reviewed its notes, the transcribed testimony of those non-parties who testified to conversations with Terri Schiavo regarding end of life declarations, the report of the Guardian Ad Litem, the video tape (Respondents' Exhibit No.1) and the other exhibits introduced as evidence. The court has also reviewed the case law submitted by and argued on behalf of the parties. Based upon the foregoing, the court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law. Terri Schiavo was reared in a normal, Roman Catholic nuclear family consisting of her parents and her brother and sister. She spent the majority of her life in New Jersey and moved to Pinellas County, Florida in 1986 with her husband, Michael Schiavo, whom she married on November 10, 1984. They had dated for a total of two years, being engaged for year prior to their marriage. Shortly after the move to Pinellas County by Mr. and Mrs. Schiavo, her parents and sister followed. The families on and off lived together, on and off shared expenses and generally functioned well together. Mr. Schiavo had a series of jobs including manager of a McDonald's restaurant. Terri Schiavo, after a brief period immediately following the move, resumed her employment with Prudential Insurance Company. On February 25, 1990, in the early morning hours, Terri Schiavo suffered cardiac arrest, apparently due to an imbalance of potassium in her system. Michael Schiavo awakened when he heard a thump, found her lying in the hallway and called 911. He then called her brother who was living in the same apartment complex and her mother. The paramedics came, performed CPR and took her to a hospital. She has never regained consciousness and to this day remains in a comatose state at a nursing home in Largo. Terri Schiavo is currently being nourished and hydrated via a feeding tube and by this Petition her husband seeks authority to withdraw such life support.
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