Outside Terri Schiavo's hospice. (AP)
Getting the Schiavo backstory on the record
ASK THIS | March 25, 2005
When a story becomes as powerful and emblematic as the Terri Schiavo case has, the basics should be common knowledge. But some essential elements have been glossed over, or only reported here and there.
By Barry Sussman
Q. Aside from Michael Schiavo, who heard Terri Schiavo say she wouldn’t want to be kept alive under her current conditions?
Q. How much money did Michael Schiavo win in a medical malpractice suit, and what has happened to that money?
Q. Who is paying for Terri Schiavo's care, and how much has that care cost to date?
Q. Who is paying the legal fees for Michael Schiavo, and for the Schindlers, the parents of Terri Schiavo?
Q. How is Michael Schiavo supporting himself now?
Q. What are the financial implications for Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers when Terri Schiavo dies?
Q. What are the views of religious leaders of various denominations in the Schiavo case?
Q. It was clear in this last round of hearings that court rulings would be appealed as long as possible. Since that was so obvious, what is the explanation for not reinserting the feeding tube in the meantime? Has any judge explained the decision not to reinsert the tube for that period?
News stories have addressed some of these questions. For example, it would appear that two people, a brother and sister-in-law of Michael Schiavo—not just Michael himself—testified that Terri Schiavo said she wouldn’t want to live as a helpless burden to others.
But what has generally been lacking is solid, authoritative and widely shared answers. Part of the problem could be that the reporting of this tragedy has been largely corraled by cable TV, where, with a few exceptions, people say anything they want, not letting facts get in the way.
Any story that captivates as many people as this one is by definition important, telling us a lot about ourselves and divisions in society. It is a saga of enormous human interest: tragic, emotional, terribly sad.
The Schiavo case is also a hot political story. Evangelical fundamentalists and right-to-lifers have seized on the plight of the Schindlers. Republican leaders took extreme positions, trying to order the courts around, while their Democratic counterparts tended to remain in their own sort of vegetative state. Only time will tell how the politics plays out--whether, as some have said, few will recall the name 'Schiavo' in a few months, or whether it will be an issue in people's minds when they vote next year.
Here are some stories helping to contribute to the knowledge base:
- USA Today, a story laying out how the feud between Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers may be as much over money as principle.
- An L.A. Times story on the vilification of Michael Schiavo.
- A Chicago Tribune article that goes into the cost of care for Terri Schiavo.
- A Detroit Free Press story on the personal side of Michael Schiavo.
- A St. Petersburg Times story on testimony regarding Terri Schiavo’s wishes.
- A Washington Post story about the network of Christian and other conservative activists who helped support the Schindlers.
- A Washington Post story about some of the medical finances involved.
- An Atlanta Journal-Constitution Q&A about life insurance and other issues. (Registration required)
Barry Sussman is the editor of the Nieman Watchdog Project. He is the author of The Great Cover-Up: Nixon and the Scandal of Watergate, now in its fourth edition.
Shhh America's secret the only legalized child abuse left....
Padme Brown - Nonprofit
05/01/2006, 05:35 PM
AND WHY NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IT?
What would you do?
Sugar and spice and everything nice.
This is suppose to every little girls life.
What happens when life is not like that?
What if your life is filled with constant abuse by the people who suppose to protect you?
For little Katelynn of Indiana, her life is filled with this from a father, stepmother and father's family; everyone but her the relatives that love her have been deined the ability to see her.
What happens when the police will not stop this?
Than try Child Protection Service, but they will not stop this either.
The next thing to do is go to the court.
What would you do if the Child Protection Services and the court helped the abusers hurt her?
The media might work but they ignore majority of average people.
In this search for help, several politicians ignored or said stop bothering them.
If these people will not help little katelynn than who will?
Will this little girl have to pay the ultimate price for these adults mistakes? What would you do?
Indiana's Shame Teardrops for Katelynn
Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation :: Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories Aired on PBS http://www.mkacf.org/BreakTheSilence.html ...
Breaking the Silence
Battered Women, Abused Children, and Child Custody: A NATIONAL CRISIS
Petition for Justice for Katelynn: