ANNA: When Tom Brodersen started visiting Terri Schiavo, he didn’t have a specific goal in mind. He just wanted to get to know her…see for himself what her condition was. But when he hears her whisper the word “no,” there in her hospital bed, he’s shocked.
BRODERSEN: I was just blown away. Astounded.
ANNA: This is a game changer. If Terri can be taught to communicate, even just answering yes or no questions, that could upend Michael’s case. Someone could ask her if she wants to keep living, or if she really does want to die.
Brodersen tries to get her to say “yes,” but she doesn’t have the motor control to pull it off. So he takes a different tack.
BRODERSEN: I tried to teach her by modifying a moan. To say, yeahhhhh. And said, what I want you to do is I want you to moan and then close your mouth a little bit, and then open it, and it'll sound like this: uhhyahhh. And she was able to do that, she had the motor control. And she could answer questions.
VINCENT: So the question that leaps immediately to my mind is—
BRODERSEN: Why did they let somebody like me in hospice to begin with?
VINCENT: (laughing) No.
BRODERSEN: Well, that’s what happened the next day is they quit.
BRODERSEN: I was out of there.
ANNA: From WORLD Radio, and the creative team that brings you The World and Everything in It: This is Lawless. I’m WORLD Radio Features Editor, Anna Johansen Brown.
LYNN: And I’m Lynn Vincent, New York Times bestselling author and the executive editor of WORLD Magazine.
Lawless is a true crime podcast that examines a frightening fact of American life: That not every crime is against the law. In Season 2, we’re finishing our investigation of the Terri Schiavo story, a case that in 2005 shocked the world.
This is Episode 2: Boneyard.
SPONSORSHIP SPOT: Lawless is made possible by listeners like you. Additional support comes from Compelled Podcast. Listen to unique and compelling testimonies like Virginia Prodan, a human rights attorney in Communist Romania who came face-to-face with an assassin sent to kill her for defending Christians. Listen on your favorite podcast app or at CompelledPodcast.com.
LYNN: As Tom Broderson tells Anna and me the story of teaching Terri to talk, I have to admit…I’m struggling with it. Why on earth didn’t Brodersen or the Schindlers tell anyone? If Terri really could speak, why didn’t her family keep working with her, try to get her to communicate more?
Brodersen says he tried to get the Schindlers to pick up where he left off. But they didn’t. Not really.
BRODERSEN: The family was in trauma. You know, this was still all life and death. And Michael was clearly in their mind, I assume, the prince of darkness…And trust for the judicial process was kind of at an all time low. And everybody who was deep in trauma.
VINCENT: And as you were telling it, I was thinking, What does Tom have to say to the skeptics? What does Tom have to say to those people who will say, Oh, well, you're obviously a biased witness. And, you know, why should I believe you?
BRODERSEN: Well, there will always be those and I can understand that. They don’t know me. Why would they trust me? You’re going to believe what you’re going to believe. And they’ve already decided what they’re going to believe long before I ever came along.
ANNA: Broderson didn’t stay around long. As Terri’s guardian, Michael has control over the visitor’s list. Only people he approves can see Terri, and he can block visitors at will. Brodersen doesn’t know why he was taken off the list. But he has a guess.
BRODERSEN: It was clear who I was. I was Pat Anderson’s office manager, and paralegal. And she was the enemy.
ANNA: Brodersen never gets to visit Terri again.
The Schindlers had always loved summers. When the kids were growing up, they often traveled to Corning or the Jersey Shore. Then, living in St. Petersburg, they were always close to the beach. Bobby showed us around their old neighborhood, a quiet residential neighborhood dotted with palm trees and hibiscus.
BOBBY: We would go to the beach, we go to the restaurants in the bars, and it was just, I remember it was a lot of fun memories that we had —the family spending time together.
ANNA: All that changed after Terri’s collapse in 1990.
BOBBY: Now it was like, Oh my gosh, you know, now we have to take care of my sister now we have to defend her life. So it’s not like, even though you’re still surrounded by the beauty of the beach and the beauty of Florida, and the beaches and the restaurants. It just wasn’t the same after Terri’s collapse. Everything felt different. And, and not in a good way.
ANNA: The summer of 2002 is especially tense. Every weekend, the Schindlers go to visit Terri. Mary spends Mother’s Day at the nursing home. Everyone is gearing up for the October trial, where five doctors will present their findings on Terri’s condition, and Judge Greer will once again decide if Terri stays alive or not.
Bobby hates seeing the toll on his parents.
BOBBY: Seeing my parents suffer. I mean, Terri was suffering at one level and my parents were in another way, my parents were suffering terrible. I mean you just think about parents just wanting to care for their child and seeing her being abused and neglected, and there’s nothing they can do about it.
LYNN: Here’s another reason the summer of 2002 is difficult: That’s when Terri’s money runs out. Here’s George Felos.
FELOS: Terri’s medical care, nursing home care and hospice care, was paid out of her guardianship fund until approximately 2002. Hospice of the Florida Suncoast had her on their indigent care list, so they provided her care at the organization’s expense.
LYNN: Back in 1992, Michael broke down in tears on the witness stand, telling jurors all he wanted was to care for Terri at home. A few months later, the court approved a two-million-dollar payment. Seventy percent was earmarked for Terri’s care, and thirty percent to compensate Michael Schiavo’s loss. Michael reports that after attorneys’ fees and other costs, Terri’s sum dropped to $725,000.
The balance in Terri’s account remained relatively stable throughout the 1990s. That’s probably because of all the interest it accrued. It was basically self-sustaining. In April 1999, nine years after Terri’s brain injury, the bottom line was still $725,000.
ANNA: But all that changed after the case went to trial in January of 2000. It’s hard to be sure about exact figures since trust fund records are now sealed, but investigative journalist Diana Lynne uncovered a few figures in her book Terri’s Story.
Following the trial, Lynne writes, Terri’s money started vanishing into the pockets of Michael’s attorneys. Not right away—because Felos didn’t send Terri an invoice until after the 2000 feeding tube trial. Still, by October 2002, only $110,000 remained. The next year, that number dropped to $55,000.
More on that from attorney Dan Grieco.
GRIECO: George Felos came in as private counsel for Terri. So he was going to be paid out of the funds that she obtained that were in her account. It shouldn’t have been as much as it was because he was in the case for, what, seven, eight years after that…
ANNA: Pinellas County auditor Robert Melton says that’s one of the top “Dirty Tricks of Guardianships”—draining a ward’s assets in a legal power struggle. Melton investigated various Florida guardianship cases in the early 2000s and presented his findings in a lecture at Eckerd College.
All in all, a patchwork of court records and attorneys’ statements show that over 60 percent of Terri’s 1999 deposit of $725,000 covered litigation costs, not medical care.
BOBBY: A lot of the money was going to pay George Felos and Michaels, Michaels attorneys in his pursuit to kill kill my sister. So the money that was intended to be used for Terri’s lifelong rehabilitation and care and therapies was, in fact being used to kill her.
ANNA: But Michael saw it differently. He said the money was helping achieve what Terri herself would have wanted.
LYNN: October 11, 2002. The day of the trial dawns clear-skied and humid. This is the day the Schindlers have been waiting on for months. Soon, five doctors will present their findings on Terri’s condition and odds of improvement.
By this time, Glenn Beck’s talk show has gone national. He’s exchanged the beaches of Florida for the skyline of Philadelphia. But, as the court date approaches, Beck travels back down to the Sunshine State and sets up shop in a restaurant across from the courthouse.
BECK: Teresa is nonverbal, recognizes husband….
Here he is quoting the 1993 malpractice trial transcript, when Michael Schiavo’s attorney argues to the jury that Terri is at least somewhat cognizant and alive.
BECK: There is life—live inside this woman something is flickering there. How much? We don’t know…”
LYNN: At the coming trial, Judge George Greer plans to play tapes from the doctors’ exams. Felos files a motion to conceal those videos from the media. He says news clips of the exams will only confuse viewers.
FELOS: What these little bits of videotape do are misleading. Now, if you say Terri, open your eyes, nothing may happen...If you just have a little snippet of video of the 31st time you say that. Somebody will say oh my god, look at that. She’s responding to commands. It's obvious to everyone that she’s responsive that she’s in there. But they don’t show you the first 30 times in which they give Terri the command. And this absolutely nothing.
LYNN: Local TV stations aren’t buying it though. They storm into the courthouse with their legal reps and demand access. After a verbal skirmish, Greer allows them to point their cameras at the courtroom video monitors and broadcast what they see. Watching from the courtroom seats, Bob Schindler says Greer doesn’t look happy about it.
ANNA: The five doctors are lined up to testify. Two of them are on the Schindlers’ side. Dr. William Hammesfahr, a pioneer of vasodilatation therapy — a widening of blood vessels to improve blood flow and oxygen to areas of the body that need it. And Dr. William Maxfield. Maxfield is a radiologist from Tampa who practices hyperbaric oxygen therapy on stroke victims.
On Michael’s side are two neurologists. First, Dr. Melvin Greer…no relation to Judge Greer. Dr. Greer was the first chairman of the University of Florida College of Medicine’s neurology department. He also served a stint as the president of the American Academy of Neurology.
The other is Dr. Ronald Cranford, a bioethicist and long-time neurology professor at the University of Minnesota. This isn’t Cranford’s first right-to-die case. He’s appeared as a professional witness in two other landmark cases already. That’s why, even today, attorney Pat Anderson calls Cranford “Dr. Death.” Michael says Cranford volunteered his services for free “because of his belief in Terri’s right to have her wishes carried out.”
LYNN: The court-appointed doctor is Peter Bambakidis, a neurologist from the Cleveland Clinic. He’s never testified in a trial before, and he’s not really even sure why Judge Greer picked him…of all the doctors, he admits to serious “soul-searching” before reaching a decision. He knows the stakes are high.
Since Judge Greer selected Bambakidis, the doctor is supposed to be neutral…but when his plane gets in three hours late, Felos gives Bambakidis directions from the airport, and it’s Felos and Michael who meet the doctor in the hospice lobby. But no one tells the Schindlers that the court-appointed doctor has arrived. As a result, they aren’t present for Bambakidis’ thirty-minute exam.
The purpose of this trial is to determine what condition Terri is really in…and whether or not she can get better with treatment. Doctors like William Maxfield have filed affidavits claiming that Terri does have a fighting chance at recovery. Here’s Tom Brodersen.
BRODERSON: The narrow assertion from Dr. Maxfield that with appropriate treatment, Terri might be able to be restored to a state where she could say what she wants. He had said that in the affidavit that he signed.
LYNN: At the end of the day, it’s a trial over whether or not Terri has any hope of improvement.
ANNA: Sitting in Greer’s courtroom, Mary notices how many people are gathered on their side of the aisle. Reporters sit mostly on Michael’s side because there’s no other space for them.
Terri’s primary physician testifies first. Dr. Victor Gambone tells the court Terri’s condition is beyond helping. But, he also says Terri hasn’t received any therapy since he first started treating her in 1998. Why not? Michael’s orders.
Next, the five doctors present their findings. Each gets a full day in court. Each doctor evaluated Terri in his own style. They all tried to get Terri to respond to them. Cranford instructed Terri like any other patient.
CRANFORD: Look at me over here. No, no. Over here. Look at me over here. That’s it. Come on.
ANNA: He held a balloon over Terri’s upturned face and asked her to track its motion.
CRANFORD: Can you follow that at all? Terri? Come on, Terri no, no. I’m using both sound and something. Can you follow that? [Terri moaning.] Huh? can you see that? Okay. Look over here. Look over here. That’s fine.
ANNA: Terri rolled her head slowly side to side, eyes flitting back and forth.
CRANFORD: You’re doing pretty good there Terri. Terri, look over here Terri. Look at look at the balloon. Brightly colored, isn’t it? Huh it's brightly colored, isn’t it?
ANNA: As the tapes roll, murmurs break out across the courtroom. Some viewers weep or cheer. Mary turns around to see Glenn Beck sitting still, eyes glued to the monitor. Tears streak his face. When she turns around again, he’s gone.
Watching the footage, Mary is confident Greer will finally see what she sees: “A girl responding, a girl aware.”
CRANFORD: …Look up here, come on, come on. You’re doing pretty good. Yeah. Okay. Well it’s gotta be in your field of gaze doesn’t it? Huh? It’s gonna be right in your field of gaze. You got to see it first, don’t you? Then you can follow it a little bit can’t you?
ANNA: But when Cranford testifies, he tells the court Terri’s responses—blinking, moaning, laughing—all boil down to one thing: reflex. Just the body humming along without any direction. It strikes Mary like a bolt of lightning.
MARY: Every morning that I woke up, I said “There’s nobody that’s going to take her feeding tube away.” Because I keep thinking that nobody’s going to take a disabled person’s feeding tube away and kill her.
ANNA: That testimony comes as no surprise to Michael, though. In his book, he describes the doctors’ exams. He says during Cranford’s, the doctor marched into Terri’s room, glanced at her scans, and immediately noted her EEG—Electroencephalogram. An EEG scans for electrical activity in the brain. According to Cranford, Terri’s is flat—a rare result suggesting little to no brain activity.
Drs. Greer and Bambakidis also land on Michael’s side. Based on their exams and Terri’s behavior, they believe Terri shows no sign of cognition. Maxfield and Hammesfahr, meanwhile, align with the Schindlers—that Terri is genuinely responsive.
LYNN: In his book, Michael admits Maxfield has impressive credentials, but he dismisses him as “a radiologist attempting to do a neurological exam.” In his testimony, Maxfield suggests that Terri’s recent CT scan shows signs of improvement. Judge Greer dismisses that opinion. He cites the other doctors’ testimony, saying destroyed brain tissue cannot regenerate.
But can it?
In mammals, most cells —think: blood, skin, gut—they’re constantly renewed. But for decades, scientists regarded the brain as a nonrenewable organ. Maybe you’ve even heard something along these lines: that you’re born with a certain number of brain cells and that’s all you get.
EDUCATIONAL FILM: The brain: A pulpy mass of cells and fibers is the center of the network of fibers that make up man’s nervous system…
LYNN: Dr. Santiago Ramón y Cajal is considered the “father of neuroscience.” He explored this question in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Do adult brains undergo what’s called neurogenesis, or the formation of new brain cells. Cajal’s conclusion? No. In adults, Cajal wrote, “the nerve paths are something fixed, ended, immutable. Everything may die, nothing may be regenerated.”
ANNA: But the last fifty years of research has systematically dismantled Cajal’s conclusion. In the late 1960s, researchers found “anatomical reorganization” of brain cells in adult rats in response to stress. They called this phenomenon “neuroplasticity”—meaning, the brain adapts itself to injury or as lab people like to put it, “insults.”
Then in the 1980s, researchers studied two species of songbirds.
ANNA: Scientists showed that certain neural stem cells in some brain regions can differentiate into certain neuron types and migrate to other parts of the brain. That’s exactly what happened in canaries and zebra finches in the spring as they learned new songs.
From there, science advanced rapidly. By the 1990s—soon after Terri’s brain injury—scientists had accepted that neurogenesis was actually a legitimate field of study.
SCIENTIST MONTAGE: You can actually regrow brain cells | By the time we will turn 50 we will have all exchanged the neuron we were born with in that structure with adult born neurons | I'm a neuroscientist who studies the brain in the context of aging and age related neurodegenerative disorders…
LYNN: Dr. Mark Mattson is lab director emeritus at the National Institute for aging. He’s also the most cited neuroscientist of the 20th century. Not just in America. In the world. Mattson told me he estimates that 90 percent of all neuroplasticity results from cognitive challenges to the brain. That includes therapeutic exercises that present the brain with positive stressors that grow more challenging as the patient improves.
Terri Schiavo had been allowed no such therapy in years.
ANNA: When William Hammesfahr examined Terri, he spent hours with her to “build rapport.” He massaged first one elbow, then the other, coaxing Terri’s shriveled arms to uncurl.
He repeated simple commands over and over again.
HAMMESFAHR: Open your eyes up, open your eyes. Terri open your eyes.
ANNA: At first, nothing. Then…after a twenty second pause…Terri opened her eyes wide.
HAMMESFAHR: There you go. Good. Good…good job. Good job, young lady, good job.
ANNA: Hammesfahr also checked Terri’s legs. Hammesfahr announced he could feel Terri pressing against his hand, struggling to move. Tom Brodersen remembers watching the tape.
BRODERSEN: Dr. Hammesfhar, who is a very, very talented young doctor. And he conducted a very much in depth examination of Terri, but a lot of it was necessarily subjective…And in one sequence, he put his hand on Terri's right leg and asked her to try to raise her right leg. Well, her right leg was considerably atrophied from all the time she spent in bed or a jerry chair with, with no physical therapy, or exercise. And you could tell by the reactions of Dr. Hammesfhar, that what he felt having his hand on her leg was was a little jerk. And I think he described it. And you could sort of see it on the video. But it was very low key. A lot of things like that, where, depending on your starting point or your bias, you might interpret it one of two different ways, totally opposed to each other.
ANNA: But Michael says Terri’s leg was “pretty much locked in place by contractures…” That resistance Hammesfahr felt?...Just stiffness causing her locked-up limbs to snap back into place.
But there’s something else Hammesfahr reports from the exam.
HAMMESFAHR: She had a very very stiff neck.
ANNA: This next part of Hammesfahr’s testimony is important, and we have a recording of it. But the audio quality is terrible, so I’m going to quote it.
HAMMESFAHR: TESTIMONY AUDIO
ANNA: He tells the court, “The neck was stiff in a fashion that was consistent with a brand new injury to the neck.” When asked what could cause that, he replies, “I’ve only seen this kind of injury one time before in my entire career; where you have a, from a physical standpoint a combination of what looks like a spinal cord injury, a brain injury, and a neck injury, I’ve only seen that type of injury one time before in my entire life and that was an attempted strangulation case.”
HAMMESFAHR: … and that was an attempted strangulation case.
That testimony drops on the court like a bombshell. An attempted strangulation case. Suddenly, Mary contemplates the unthinkable: Had Michael tried to choke Terri? Could this be the real explanation for Terri’s collapse? That same thought occurs to Pat Anderson.
ANNA: Could this explain the mysterious gaps and inconsistencies in Michael’s account of that night? Like the lag between Terri’s collapse and the 911 call. Or the fact that Michael said he repeatedly cradled Terri in his arms while waiting for the ambulance—but paramedics found her facedown…It all takes on a new, sinister tone in the Schindlers’ minds. And their fears are about to get even darker.
LYNN: At first glance, Pat Anderson and Eleanor Drechsel don’t seem to have much in common. Anderson, the liberal civil rights lawyer, and Drechsel, a nurse and staunch conservative. But the atypical partnership they formed was typical for the Schiavo case.
Drechsel was from Boston. Her main practice area was working with mothers and babies. As a devout Catholic, she also worked to eliminate abortion. Schindler attorney Jim Eckert knew both Drechsel and Anderson, so he introduced them.
LYNN: I visited Dreschel with production assistant Lillian Hamman, in February 2022. Right off, we asked for a tour of the sprawling Florida condo she shares with her husband. It’s filled with the treasures of a fifty-year adventure in marriage.
Finally, we sit down in the Dreschels’ cozy living room. Lillian and I are in armchairs across from Dreschel, who perches on a couch. She starts pulling out files she wants to share with us. They’re files from the early 2000s that she’s saved all these years. Drechsel is a tiny octogenarian, and still fiery about her calling to protect life.
DRECHSEL: Today you think oh well this is really maybe the first incident of legalized murder and I thought no, it was the second because abortion was the first.
LYNN: When Drechsel gets involved, Anderson and Brodersen are up to their eyeballs in case files. They’d inherited an avalanche of discovery when they joined the case in 2001. Piles of folders and loose documents. Completely disorganized. Drechsel volunteers to help sort it out.
DRECHSEL: And so what we did was we went back and we looked at those files that were most relevant to where she was at where the case was at and what she wanted.
LYNN: Then Drechsel finds something that seems very relevant. In fact, it seems like a game-changer. It’s just a few weeks after the PVS trial and the doctors’ testimonies…but Judge Greer hasn’t announced his ruling yet.
DRECHSEL: One day, I went in looking around and I saw this little box with some files in it. And I thought, I don’t think we’ve gone through that. I don't remember seeing that. Because they weren't really a part of the rest of the files. I started going through and, lo and behold, I pull out these files and I thought oh my gosh these have to be pretty important…
LYNN: They’re bone scans conducted on Terri—11 years earlier. The Schindlers had never seen the scans. And if any of their long procession of lawyers had ever seen them, they did not mention the bone scans to the family.
Here’s Pat Anderson:
ANDERSON: I was in my office. Eleanor came in sort of white faced and said, Look at this. And I read the notes. And was aghast …
ANNA: The report is from Mediplex, where Terri stayed for six months the year after her collapse: January to July of 1991.
ANDERSON: And the bone scan report reported some fractures that didn’t seem normal. They seemed abnormal.
ANNA: The examining radiologist writes that Terri’s scan suggests “a history of trauma.” He concludes the injuries must have occurred in the 12 to 18 months prior. That time frame stretches back to right around the time of Terri’s brain injury.
The new information is deeply troubling to Anderson, especially in light of Hammesfahr’s testimony about strangulation. And that’s not all the report shows.
ANDERSON: There was also a rehabilitation series of notes in which Terri said, no and stop, because the therapy was so painful to her, probably because of these fractures. I took the deposition of that doctor and he thought that in looking at his records that she had probably been a traffic accident. It was consistent with a traffic accident. I was aghast because, of course, the other side was putting out that Terri was brain dead and here early on, she had been saying no and stop.
ANNA: Anderson thinks Michael’s attorneys buried the bone scan in a mountain of files on purpose. It’s a technique Felos calls the “avalanche,” and he writes about it in his 2002 book, Litigation as Spiritual Practice: “Bury the smoking gun in a mountain of information,” he writes. “…You strategically place your client’s incriminating internal memo among thousands upon thousands of pages of useless but similar looking data. A less-than-diligent opposing counsel may not discover the needle in the haystack.”
LYNN: Anderson calls the Schindlers. And details return to Mary’s mind. Forgotten memories. Like bruises on Terri’s arms from “roughhousing” with Michael.
Mary recalls one time in the living room when Michael and Terri started “fooling around”…
MARY: I was watching. And all of a sudden, Terri got on top of Michael. And she was like, hold, trying to hold him down, you know, just laughing, she was giggling and laughing. And all of a sudden, I saw his hand. And he took her thigh, and he pinched it so hard. I mean, really pinched it that she yelled and she jumped off him. And he had a look on his face. I'll never forget it. It was vicious—Get off me. And she wasn't getting off fast enough. But she was just playing, but he pinched her so hard. And when she the next day she had a black and blue mark there you wouldn’t believe…
LYNN: Terri’s sister Suzanne says she remembers, too.
SUZANNE: Michael would horseplay quite a bit and horse play, right. I mean, he even gave me bruises when he would horseplay, but she would always attribute it to that…
LYNN: That’s Suzanne telling Nancy Grace about it on CNN’s Headline News.
SUZANNE: So of course, Nancy, hindsight is 20-20. I mean, there were signs that we see now, of course, you know, all along. We just didn’t put two and two together and Terri did a very good job at hiding a lot…
LYNN: Mary is panicked at the thought that Michael might have hurt Terri…might have caused her injury and collapse. The bone scan feeds all their fears about him. They take the theory and run with it. Here’s Suzanne in a 2003 FOX interview.
SUZANNE: Recently, there was some evidence that came forward that we found, for example, Terri had a neck injury, and also found she had multiple broken bones. And we believe that, you know, there was something that possibly happened that night to cause this to happen to her. And therefore, we believe also that this is one of the reasons why he hasn't given Terry rehabilitation in 10 years, because he’s afraid that she’ll wake up. And actually, you know, say what happened that night.
LYNN: And here’s Bobby:
BOBBY: Michael has instructed the judge to cremate her body immediately upon her death, which adds even more suspicion …
LYNN: Anderson appeals to Greer, holding up the bone scan as new evidence. George Felos is irate. He calls the allegation “garbage.”
ANNA: On November 22, Greer issues his ruling in the doctors’ trial. He rules against the Schindlers. At first glance, he writes, Terri does seem to show signs of cognition. But her responses are inconsistent. Terri smiles lovingly at her mother…sometimes. Other times, she doesn’t seem to register her presence at all.
At one point in the video, it looks like Terri’s tracking a Mickey Mouse balloon that her dad is holding…but the next time he tries the experiment, it’s unsuccessful.
For Greer, here’s the bottom line: None of the treatments put forward offer Terri a strong chance of improvement…at least, not enough to overturn his earlier decision about Terri’s wishes.
Greer is especially disgusted by Dr. Hammesfahr—he skewers him as a “self-promoter” whose “vasodilatation therapy” is clearly not recognized in the medical community.
Greer also dismisses the bone scan as irrelevant. He says that while the question of what happened to Terri in 1990 may be interesting, it has no bearing on the case now.
ANDERSON: Greer had his mind on her wishes. And he would not hear any contravening evidence that her wishes were not as found by him in the first trial. And so none of this mattered to him. This was an exercise in futility.
LYNN: Greer sets a new death date for Terri: January 3, 2003. Here’s how the verdict reads: “It is further ordered and adjudged that Michael Schiavo, as Guardian of the Person of Theresa Marie Schiavo, shall withdraw or cause to be withdrawn the artificial life-support…from Theresa Marie Schiavo….”
Michael’s lawyer, George Felos points out an important distinction in the ruling.
FELOS: It’s not discretionary on his part. That is, it’s a mandatory injunction.
LYNN: In other words, Greer’s ruling doesn’t say that Michael could end Terri’s life. It says that he shall. It’s the first time in the history of the American legal system that a civil court—and not a criminal one—orders that a person be put to death.
ANNA: Lawless is a production of WORLD Radio. Paul Butler is our executive producer and sound engineer. Music by Will Shehan. Lawless is reported and written by Grace Snell, Lynn Vincent, and me, Anna Johansen Brown. For more resources related to this and other episodes, visit LawlessPodcast.com. Thanks for joining us.
SPONSORSHIP MESSAGE: Additional support comes from Compelled Podcast. Listen to unique and compelling testimonies like Ron Adkins, who at the age of 19, was sentenced to almost 500 years in prison. Ron's violence eventually led him to solitary confinement for over a decade where he was told he
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(in order of appearance)
George Felos - Lessons From the Schiavo Case Part 3, Youtube video by George Felos & Meditation For Lawyers
Audio from Glenn Beck, Tampa WFLA AM
Between Life & Death - the Terri Schiavo Story, video by beanfieldproductions
Dr. Cranford Examination of Terri Schiavo (Part 1 of 2), Youtube video by Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network
The Human Brain - Educational film describing how the brain works [Most Wanted Movies], Youtube video by Most Wanted Movies
Renew & Protect Your Brain Cells | Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor – Dr. Berg on Neurogenesis, Youtube video by Dr. Eric Berg DC
You can grow new brain cells. Here's how | Sandrine Thuret, Youtube video by TED
Mark Mattson, Youtube video by hormesis1ed
The Judicial Murder of Terri Schindler Schiavo, Youtube video by Endeavor Freedom
Nancy Grace and Scarborough Country pt. 1 [3/28/2006], Terri Schiavo archives at Ave Maria University
FOX: Rita Cosby, Bobby, Suzanne [10/18/03], Terri Schiavo archives at Ave Maria University
FOX: On the Record with Greta van Susteren - Felos, Bobby, Gibbs [2/1/05], Terri Schiavo archives at Ave Maria University
WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.