year after the death of Terri Schiavo, the judge who ordered her
feeding tube removed spoke at a right-to-die symposium; something
Schiavo’s family calls a disturbing conflict of interests.
The two-day event the University of Pennsylvania was titled The Legacy of the Terri Schiavo Case: Why is it so hard to die in America? It was held to mark the 10th anniversary of the university’s Center for Bioethics.
In March 2005, Circuit Judge George Greer ruled in favor of Michael Schiavo and ordered the disabled Florida woman’s feeding tube removed. She died of marked dehydration.
The panel at the symposium included Greer, Michael Schiavo and Dr. Jay Wolfson, who testified that Terri was in a vegetative state.
Terri’s family was alarmed by Greer’s presence at the conference.
Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler, said the judge’s participation in the symposium “is indicative of [Greer’s] 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," claimed Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother.
Schindler pointed out that Geer is not retired. "Judges are duty-bound to be an unbiased, fair finder of fact, not an advocate of the ‘right-to-die’ movement,” said Schindler.
"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,” Schindler claimed. Schindler protested Greer’s presence on the panel outside of the university’s biomedical research building.
Organizers of the symposium held April 30 and May 1, said the event was designed to encourage a national dialogue about the future of end-of-life issues.
The Schindler family now works full time for the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation Center for Health Care Ethics, which promotes the rights of disabled, elderly and vulnerable citizens against care rationing, euthanasia and medical killing.