Continued Denial of Civil Rights

Date:    October 27, 2003

To:       Attorney General John Ashcroft
Delegate Bob Marshall

Ref:      Continuation for Request of Intervention on behalf of Terri Schiavo (October 21st)

As in previous letters dated October 21st, 22nd and 23rd, this letter serves as our request for urgent action on behalf of Terri Schiavo by Federal officials.  We are asking for:

An immediate criminal investigation of Michael Schiavo, Judge George Greer and the Federally funded Woodside Hospice Center in Pinellas Park Fl, all who have grossly violated Terri Schiavo’s rights under both State and Federal statutes.

We further request an immediate intervention to provide protective custody and care for Terri Schiavo.

Please see attached statements which overwhelmingly substantiate the need for urgent action on your part.

Sincerely,

Debra L. Vinnedge

Cc:       Robert & Mary Schindler, Robert Schindler Jr., Suzanne Carr (family)
Dr. Jay Carpenter, Dr. William Hammesfahr, Jana Carpenter, RN, Eleanor Dreschel, RN, Msgr. Thaddeus Malanowski

Attachment Pages 1-4


Criminal Investigation of Michael Schiavo

1) Nurses’ testimony: Heidi Law, Carla Sauer-Iyer, Carolyn Johnson have been ignored and dismissed without hearing; each testified that Michael was abusive to Terri and may have attempted to kill her by insulin injection and attempts to induce pneumonia by turning the thermostat in her room to 64 degrees.

2) Michael Baden, top forensic pathologist in country and interviewed on Fox News National Television broadcast October 25, 2003 on Terri’s bone scan and injuries states that:

a) Terri’s injuries are not consistent with a heart attack; no cardiac evidence to support it
b) Extremely rare for potassium imbalance on woman her age and in her good health
c) Injuries are consistent with severe trauma possibly caused by a beating
d) The injuries in medical records warrant an immediate investigation

3) Dr. William Hammesfahr, Nobel prize nominee and neurologist testified that Terri’s neck injuries are consistent with only one type of injury: that of strangulation.

4) Terri’s doctor, Dr. Gambone resigned; he had previously testified Terri would die within a few days of starvation/dehydration.  Terri has an obvious will to live.

5) Michael has enlisted the services of a new doctor, Stanton Tripodis, who has 5 malpractice suits against him.  Clearly, Michael is attempting to provide sub-standard care for his wife.

Case no. 97007946C1 filed 11-25-97
Case no. 94003739C1 filed 6-27-94
Case no. 95000873C1 filed 2-14-95
Case no. 96001434C1 filed 3-6-96
Case no. 98002289C1 filed 4-7-98

6) Michael is committing adultery by living with another woman who has already born one child with another on the way, thereby creating an obvious conflict of interest as guardian.

7) Michael has committed both perjury (2 counts) and insurance fraud by promising to provide care and therapy for his wife in exchange for the court award of 1.2 million dollars in 1993.  No care has ever been provided to Terri.

8) Michael Schiavo has also prevented Terri from undergoing a barium swallow test, a procedure necessary to ascertain the consistency of foods able to be taken by mouth.

9) Co-conspirator George J. Felos combined and conspired with Michael Schiavo to arrange for Terri’s “free” stay at Hospice Woodside as part of an “exit protocol” designed to advance Felos’ self-perceived messianic mission of “helping” incapacitated people to die by categorizing them as “terminal,” warehousing them, and depriving them of therapy and rehabilitation services. (Attorney Felos is Director of Florida Right to Die and has testified that he can ascertain a person’s desire to die by “looking into their eyes and letting their spirit speak directly to him”)

10) Investigate Insurance company established in Jan 2001 at the home of Michael Schiavo and his girlfriend/fiancee Jody Centonze. (Jerger and Centonze Insurnace Agency Inc.) Michael is listed on the Board of Directors for the corporation.  Note: Insurance is deliberately misspelled in the State of Florida Corporate filing, possibly to avoid investigation.

11) Michael continues to deny Terri the right to receive Holy Communion as part of her Catholic and civil right.

Criminal Investigation of Greer for Prejudice and Judicial Misconduct

1) Refusal to hear credible testimony

Judge Greer refused to acknowledge testimony of 10 doctors and 3 nurses who have cared for Terri and who testify that:

a) Terri is not in a persistive vegetative state

b) Terri is able to be rehabilitated with care and therapy

c) Terri’s original injuries are questionable and consistent with spouse abuse and attempted strangulation

d) Terri has been abused and neglected by her husband; denied treatment for infection and possible attempted murder while in nursing home care (discovery of empty insulin vial and temperature in room set at 64 degrees)

Jude Greer instead chose to believe contrary testimony by two of Michael’s representatives who are:

a) A doctor who rarely sees Terri  (Dr. Gambone who has now resigned as Terri’s doctor)

b) Ronald Cranford, Hannipeg County Medical Center , Minnesota who makes an avocation of testifying in cases such as Terri’s throughout the country, always on the side of dehydration and starvation.

Example of testimony ignored:
Dr. Alexander T. Gimon, Clinical Neuro-psychologist, presents evidence that Terri Schiavo does indeed have cognitive function and should receive therapy: “Given the neglect which Terri has suffered…it is striking that her current cognitive functioning is as strong and varied in expression as it is. This indicates that sufficient brain structure exists for further cognitive and behavioral progress to be made. Terri is an excellent subject for a variety of cognitive treatment protocols designed to improve her neurological function, including neuroaerobics, physical therapy, recreational/occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy.”

2) Judicial Canon violation – motion to dismiss Greer

a) Greer revealed information about the case, predisposition as to how he would rule, merits of the case, testimony he had received to local reporters without counsel present.

b)Judge Greer advised Tampa Atty General office that if Gov Bush was a lawyer, his letter to the judge would be a grievous offense under Fl Bar rules; statements made without counsel present.

c) Motion to Disqualify Judge Greer filed on Fri. Sept 5th at which time Judge Greer contacted Deputy Atty General John Carassas and Sheriff Rice in an attempt to attack the factual basis of the motion and affidavits.

3) Conflict of Interest and Prejudice

Judge George Greer is not impartial. He has worked side by side as county commissioner with Barbara Sheen Todd (county commissioner) for eight years. Barbara Sheen Todd is on the board of the hospice. Also, Judge Greer’s fellow judge, Judge John Lenderman is the brother of Martha Lenderman, also on the hospice board. Greer accepted as the basis of his rulings, the questionable testimony of Michael Schiavo that Terri would wish to be killed, yet Michael never stated this until he had received the 1.2 million dollar settlement. Greer also accepted as the basis of his rulings, the “opinion” of a third doctor who is the brother of a close associate of George Felos, right-to-kill attorney, and very significantly, former Chairman of the hospice board.

4) Denial of Guardian appointment to Ensure Medical Care

Judge Greer refused to allow a non-biased guardian to be appointed for Terri’s care, despite numerous citations of the violation of Terri’s rights under State and Federal Law for disabled persons, including assignment of guardian as a requirement under Fl Law, Section 744.  Moreover, in the state court proceedings initiated by defendant Michael Schiavo, Terri Schiavo, a severely disabled individual, had no guardian ad litem and no lawyer for the majority of the proceedings. Attorney Pearse who was assigned by the court in 1998 was dismissed from the case by the state court on motion by Michael Schiavo’s attorney George J. Felos.

5) ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND EXPLOITATION OF ELDERLY PERSONS AND DISABLED ADULTS

“… 825.103 Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult; penalties.–

(1) “Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult” means:

(a) Knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtaining or using, or endeavoring to obtain or use, an elderly person’s or disabled adult’s funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the elderly person or disabled adult, by a person who:[Felos and Greer need to be investigated by the State of Florida and the US Attorney General.]

1. Stands in a position of trust and confidence with the elderly person or disabled adult; or

2. Has a business relationship with the elderly person or disabled adult; or

(b) Obtaining or using, endeavoring to obtain or use, or conspiring with another to obtain or use an elderly person’s or disabled adult’s funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the elderly person or disabled adult, by a person who knows or reasonably should know that the elderly person or disabled adult lacks the capacity to consent.

(2)(a) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at $100,000 or more, the offender commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. [Terri’s fund reportedly only has $50,000 left. Felos himself has admitted receiving $500,000 to assist in killing Terri.]

(b) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000, the offender commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult is valued at less than $20,000, the offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.–s. 4, ch. 95-158; s. 5, ch. 96-322; s. 1, ch. 97-78.

Criminal Investigation of Hospice On the Following Counts:

1) Conflict of interest; violation of federal policy: Mary Laybak, CEO of Woodside Hospice has direct ties to Euthanasia Society of America and Hemlock for Hospice, an organization that seeks to accelerate the dying process. Federal funds may not be used for these purposes (see below)

2) Hospice is a federally funded program designed for terminally ill and those whose death is eminent.  Terri has been in Hospice illegally for three years under Medicaid payments.

3) US Dept of Health and Human Services is currently trying to collect  $14.8 million from Florida Suncoast Hospice, owed to them since 1997.

4) Hospice is accused of patient brokering and several lawsuits filed by Attorney Jonathan Alpert are pending.

5) Violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794, prohibits discrimination against an “otherwise qualified” handicapped individual, solely by reason of his or her handicap, under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Hospitals and hospices that accept Medicare and Medicaid funding are subject to the Act….” Hospice Woodside is subject to the Act because it receives federal funding.

6) The Americans With Disabilities Act (A.D.A.), 42 U.S.C. Sections 12101 et seq., provides that necessary and appropriate rehabilitation services and physical/motor skill therapy not be denied a substantially disabled patient in the United States of America.

Moreover, the pertinent federal regulations for implementation of the A.D.A. specifically provide that Nothing in the Act or this part authorizes the representative or guardian of an individual with a disability to decline food, water, medical treatment, or medical services for that individual.” (cf. 28 C.F.R. Ch. 1, Subpart B, Section 35.130) The failure and refusal of defendant Michael Schiavo, acting under the color of state law, to furnish Theresa Marie Schiavo with necessary and appropriate speech and motor skills therapy, rehabilitation services, and the basic essential medical services, and his demand that she be deprived of food and water, violate her rights under the A.D.A. and constitute unlawful discrimination against her because of her disability.

7) Under Federal Statute TITLE 42  CHAPTER 138 Sec. 14402. Sec. 14402. – Restriction on use of Federal funds under health care programs

(a) Restriction on Federal funding of health care services

 

Subject to subsection (b) of this section, no funds appropriated by Congress for the purpose of paying (directly or indirectly) for the provision of health care services may be used –

(1) to provide any health care item or service furnished for the purpose of causing, or for the purpose of assisting in causing, the death of any individual, such as by assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing;

 

Nothing in subsection (a) of this section, or in any other provision of this chapter (or in any amendment made by this chapter), shall be construed to apply to or to affect any limitation relating to –

(1) the withholding or withdrawing of medical treatment or medical care;

(2) the withholding or withdrawing of nutrition or hydration;

(3) abortion; or

(4) the use of an item, good, benefit, or service furnished for the purpose of alleviating pain or discomfort, even if such use may increase the risk of death, so long as such item, good, benefit, or service is not also furnished for the purpose of causing, or the purpose of assisting in causing, death, for any reason.


October 23, 2003

To:       Delegate Bob Marshall
Attorney General John Ashcroft

Ref:      Denial of Civil Rights Continues:  Letter 3
In Continuation of complaint sent October 21st on behalf of Terri Schiavo

Oct 22nd (AM)
Upon arrival at Morton Plant Hospital , where Terri was brought under the Governor’s order for ambulatory care, Michael Schiavo mandated the hospital to block all information on the patient and any visits to Terri’s parents, her siblings and their family priest have been denied.

3:15pm
Morton Plant Hospital Nurse, Melanie MacAuliffe refuses to acknowledge Terri is a patient at the hospital to attorneys for the family.  Attorneys filed an emergency motion to restore visitation at once.

5:15pm
Michael’s attorney Debra Bushnell faxed a letter to the parents’ attorney, Pat Anderson authorizing the family visits. The family priest, Msgr. Malanowski was not included in their letter and was still barred from visiting Terri.

6:30
When the family arrived to visit Terri, they discovered she had been moved to “an undisclosed location”.  The family was not notified she would be moved, nor were they told where she would be taken and no medical information as to the status of Terri’s health was provided.

Wed Night (time of arrival unknown)
Terri was returned to hospice and her feeding tube was reinserted.  Terri is still being refused the right to receive Holy Communion as part of her Catholic Rite.

Mr. Ashcroft, it is clear that Mr. Schiavo and his attorney have absolute disregard for the best interests of Terri Schiavo.  After starving her for 7 days with no food or water, she has now once again been prematurely released from the hospital. On August 14th of this year, Terri was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and three days later, Michael ordered her to be released. She would spend the next two weeks in and out of the hospital due to the instruction of Michael to have her sent back to hospice, despite her fever and obvious labored breathing from a collapsed lung.

Michael Schiavo has attempted to further her debilitation and weaken her condition and must be immediately removed from any guardianship concerning her medical care and therapy.  He has continued to spit in the face of Governor Bush, the Fl Senate and House with no regard for the care that Terri was awarded by the courts.

The court today ordered a guardian ad litem to be assigned for litigation only and this will not provide the relief and protection regarding medical and therapeutic care that Terri is entitled to as a disabled American, under both Federal and Florida law.  We ask for your immediate intercession to remove Terri from her husband’s care.

Sincerely,

Debra L. Vinnedge

CC:    Robert & Mary Schindler, Robert Schindler Jr., Suzanne Carr (family)Dr. Jay Carpenter, Dr. William             Hammesfahr, Jana Carpenter, RN, Eleanor Dreschel, RN, Msgr. Thaddeus Malanowski


October 22, 2003

To:       Delegate Bob Marshall
Attorney General John Ashcroft

Ref:      Continued Denial of Civil Rights – Terri Schiavo

October 21st
A Catholic miraculous medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary that had been blessed by Pope John Paul II was brought to Terri Schiavo to be placed on her person, bedside or where she could visibly see it in her room at Woodside Hospice.  However, the medal could not be given to her because in fact, all religious holy cards of various saints and various Catholic artifacts had been removed from her room and thrown away.  We were fore-warned that if the medal was placed anywhere in her room or on her body it would be thrown away.

October 21st 5:00PM
The Executive Order signed by Governor Bush to immediately begin hydration and nutrition was received at Hospice by both fax transmission and official delivery.  Hospice refused to reinsert the feeding tube, claiming there was no medical personnel to do so, despite the fact that they were the ones who removed it on October 15th.  They promised to transfer Terri to a local hospital as quickly as possible.

In addition, two medical doctors had been summoned to Hospice and were denied entrance to perform the procedure as indicated by Governor Jeb Bush.  They were also denied access to observe the patient and her condition.

6:30PM
An ambulance arrived to take Terri to Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater.  Upon arrival at the hospital, medical staff refused to comply with the Governor’s order to re-insert her feeding tube or an IV, stating they had been threatened with litigation by Michael Schiavo’s attorneys if any medical care was given to Terri.  At approximately 9:30PM an IV was inserted.

Michael Schiavo has denied visitation at the hospital to all members of Terri’s family.

A request for immediate appointment of a guardian ad litem to protect Terri’s medical interests and physical well being was denied by Judge David A. Demers.

In light of the fact that the court order to provide therapy for Terri Schiavo under the malpractice settlement has been denied by the husband; that he has access to Terri and can cause her harm and that he clearly does not represent her best interests, we request immediate intervention to:

1) Appoint a guardian ad litem to protect Terri Schiavo’s interests and ensure she is given proper medical treatment.

2) Open an immediate criminal investigation which has never been conducted in this case.

3) Block the cremation of Terri’s body should death ensue, so that evidence is not destroyed.

4) Restore the rights of visitation and access to the family.

Sincerely,

Debra L. Vinnedge


Date:     October 21, 2003

To:        Attorney General John Aschcroft

 

On Behalf of Theresa Maria Schiavo – Violation of Civil Rights Against the Handicapped

 

We the undersigned family, friends and medical caregivers of Theresa (Terri) Maria Schiavo request an immediate investigation and emergency intervention to stop her starvation dehydration death due to the following violations of her civil rights under the US Constitution:

 

Denial of Civil Rights by Michael Schiavo, husband:

 

By court order in a malpractice suit filed by Michael Schiavo in 1993, $700,000.00 of the settlement was to be used exclusively for Theresa’s rehabilitation.  To date, no rehabilitation, medical or physical therapy has ever been provided to Terri.

 

Upon receipt of the award in 1993 medical records were ordered sealed by Michael Schiavo.  Ten years later these records were unsealed and would reveal massive injury and a history of possible domestic violence and abuse.

 

While under nursing home and hospice care, Michael Schiavo ordered no physical therapy, oral feeding or treatment for Terri. He further directed that Terri only be sustained in a nursing home which is contrary to the intent of the award money.  Michael Schiavo has on two occasions unsuccessfully attempted to end Terri’s life by instructing her caretakers not to medicate Terri for potentially fatal infections, the first of which occurred less than nine months after receiving the malpractice award money.

As Terri’s legal guardian, her husband has used her medical fund money to offset the legal costs when his guardianship of Terri was initially challenged and to pay the current legal costs to have Terri’s life ended.

May 1, 2000 A Court hearing was cancelled after Michael Schiavo verbally committed to sign an agreement that Terri will get the necessary medical treatment at Hospice.

June 18, 2000 – After reneging on his previously agreed terms of the agreement, Michael Schiavo later signed an amended agreement stating he will not withdraw or terminate Terri’s medical care or treatment for potential fatal infections, without prior notice to the court.

 

Denial of Civil Rights by Judge Greer:

 

February 2000 – Judge Greer condemns Terri to death by dehydration/starvation without any clear and convincing evidence as required by statute.  There is no written living directive.

 

March 2000 – Sworn affidavits provided to the court by three physicians that Terri is able to eat.  Judge Greer denies a petition to the court to perform swallowing tests on Terri, part of her court-ordered therapy.

 

Judge Greer further authorized personal security personnel costs for Michael Schiavo to be taken from Terri’s medical fund.

 

May 7, 2001 – Dr. Hammesfahr (neurology), filed a six page affidavit with the court stating Terri was not in a Persistent Vegetative State, accompanied by a formal letter requesting Schiavo’s permission to allow Terri to begin rehabilitation treatment; request denied.

 

September 26, 2001  A three-member panel consisting of Judges Jerry Parker, Chris Altenbernd and John Blue presided at the Appellate Court “oral argument hearing.” The core of the appeal is that Judge Greer did not follow the Appellate Court’s July 11, 2001 instructions. Judge Greer admitted he ignored the doctors’ sworn opinions and summarily rejected additional evidence that unmistakably proved Michael Schiavo lied to the court at the original trial.

NOTE: NO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION HAS EVER BEEN CONDUCTED IN THIS CASE AND ATTEMPTS TO DEMAND SUCH INVESTIGATION HAVE BEEN SUMMARILY DENIED AND BLOCKED UNDER COURT ORDER OF JUDGE GREER. IMMEDIATE CREMATION OF THE BODY WILL OCCUR UPON HER DEATH, THUS DESTROYING ALL CRIMINAL EVIDENCE.

 

Denial of Civil Rights by Michael Schiavo’s appointed physicians:

 

There is no court order to deny Terri Schiavo oral feeding.  This was put in place by Michael Schiavo’s appointed doctors, in direct violation of the previous court orders to provide therapy and rehabilitation for Terri.

 

Denial of Civil Rights by Pinellas Park Police, Michael Schiavo and his attorneys:

On October 15th at 2:00PM Terri’s feeding tube was removed.  Although the court does not deny the right to provide oral hydration or feeding, the doctor’s orders to hospice are to prohibit any type of oral feeding.

 

On October 18th, 19th and 20th Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski was refused the right to administer Holy Communion to Terri as part of her Catholic Last Rites.  This order was expressed directly by Michael Schiavo, his attorneys and the local police guarding Terri’s room who told the priest they would “stop him if he attempted to give her Holy Communion.”

 

It is a criminal violation to abuse, neglect or exploit a disabled person, all of which have been perpetrated on Terri Schaivo and we petition your immediate intervention and investigation.

 

 

Presented by:    Debra L. Vinnedge

Mary and Bob Schindler

Robert Schindler, JR

Suzanne Carr

William Hammesfahr, MD

J.D. Young, MD

James Eckart, MD

Jay Carpenter, MD

Eleanor Dreschel, RN, MS

Jana Carpenter, RN, MS

Msgr. Thaddeus Malanowsk

 

STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY OF PINELLAS
Filed this 21st Day of October, 2003