WorldNetDaily reported today that the probate judge in Florida who ordered the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube last year will speak at a bioethics conference Monday.
Florida Circuit Court Judge George Greer on Monday will address attendees of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics 10th anniversary symposium, entitled "The legacy of the Terri Schiavo case: Why is it so hard to die in America?"
Greer intends to speak to the need for courts, not legislators, to decide the fate of incapacitated individuals like the 41-year-old Florida woman whose husband obtained Greer's authority to remove her feeding tube and cause her death, over the objections of Terri's parents and siblings.
Bobby Schindler, Terri Schiavo's brother, calls Greer's speaking engagement "offensive," and on behalf of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation Center for Health Care Ethics intends to protest Geer’s presence at 10:30 a.m. Monday outside of the university's Biomedical Research Building.
"Judge Greer's presence at the University of Pennsylvania's bioethics conference is not only outright offensive and inappropriate but it is indicative of his own biases against the disabled, and may well be in violation of Florida's judicial canons as prescribed by the Supreme Court of the State of Florida," Schindler stated in a press release. "Judge Greer is confirming exactly what my family has maintained from the beginning of Terri's case – that he has a disposition against the vulnerable people whose cases he controls."
I agree with Bobby Schindler that Judge Greer showed again and again his determination to "help" Terri die. He appeared unwilling to consider new medical advances that could give a more accurate diagnosis of Terri's condition, he refused to look into Michael Schiavo's obvious conflict of interest as Terri's guardian, and he ignored Terri's court-appointed guardian ad litem, Jay Wolfson's recommendation that Terri be given swallowing tests.
In addition to Judge Greer, Michael Schiavo will also be speaking at the conference, on Sunday.
A summary of Terri Schiavo's story can be found in a WorldNetDaily article from March of last year.
Bioethics is the practice developed within the medical community to resolve ethical conflicts such as disputes over whether to remove feeding tubes, ventilators and other life-sustaining treatment. Bioethicists believe in placing limits on a patient's liberty to demand medical care. In the wake of earlier high-profile life-and-death disputes such as that over the fate of Karen Ann Quinlan, hospitals across the country formed ethics committees to carry out bioethicist recommendations for removal of treatment deemed futile.
Neurologist Ronald Cranford, a prominent bioethicist whose testimony that Terri Schiavo was in PVS largely persuaded Greer to reaffirm his ruling in 2002, is slated to speak at the symposium later in the day Monday. Cranford has publicly stated no PVS patient should be allowed to stay on a feeding tube.
If that's what passes for ethics, bio or otherwise, I want not part of it.
As WorldNetDaily reported earlier this week, the family of Andrea Clark is scrambling to transfer their ill mother from a Houston, Texas, hospital where an ethics committee seeks to terminate her life-sustaining treatment, including a ventilator, despite the fact the 54-year-old is not in a coma, is not brain dead and wants to go on living, according to her family.
Update to "Related:"
Mary Katharine Ham at Hugh Hewitt's blog reported yesterday that Andrea Clark's life has been saved, thanks to the efforts of the pro-life community.