Terri Schiavo Family Alarmed by Stark Admission From Michael’s Attorney

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 6, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo Family Alarmed by Stark Admission From Michael’s Attorney

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 6, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — In a statement on Friday, the family of Terri Schiavo says it is concerned about a statement that appears in a Florida newspaper’s editorial. George Felos, the assisted suicide advocate who is the attorney for Terri’s estranged husband Michael, is quoted as admitting that "tens of thousands" of disabled persons like Terri have faced death over the years.

The editorial in the Lakeland Herald newspaper argues that the Schindlers are intruding into the privacy rights of Terri and Michael by attempting to save their daughter’s life. Felos is quoted saying the Florida legislature has no right to intervene in the case and help Terri.

"Because of the notoriety of the Schiavo case, which is one isolated case out of tens of thousands over the years, I think the legislature is politically motivated to look like they are doing something," Felos says.

The admission that perhaps "tens of thousands" of people over the years have faced death in the same way as Terri has her family alarmed.

"People should be very frightened of how matter-of-factly Mr. Felos’ assertion is," Terri’s brother Bobby Schindler, Jr., said in response. "He openly admits that we are once again killing the those deemed less worthy."

Felos has always been known to be an advocates of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Detractors say Felos has become the next Geoffrey Feiger, the defender of the notorious death doctor Jack Kevorkian, because he has taken on 10 cases similar to Terri’s in the last decade.

The case of Estelle Browning sealed his reputation as the lawyer people want when they want someone to die.

Browning didn’t want to be kept alive by artificial means should she ever become incapacitated. She drafted a living will saying so and a year later suffered a stroke. According to the St. Petersburg Times, however, her nursing home refused to stop feeding her because she was not officially brain-dead.

Doris Herbert, Browning’s cousin and former roommate, asked Felos to take the case.

Felos is the author of "Litigation as Spiritual Practice," a book in which he claims he “soul speaks” to incapacitated patients.

He insisted on visiting Browning. Obsessed with the occult practice of yoga, Felos said his "spiritual side" allowed him to speak to Browning and he claims her soul told him, "Why am I still here?"

Browning later died of natural causes in 1989 with the legal case still unresolved.

However, the legal battle made an impact on the law as the Florida Supreme Court eventually ruled that a living will can require care providers to withhold nutrition from patients like Browning or Terri Schiavo, even though they may not be likely to die any time soon.

Felos won’t admit whether or not he has the same "spiritual" connection with Terri’s soul. However, he told the St. Petersburg newspaper that he must make sure Terri’s feeding tube is removed.

It’s necessary "to accomplish what I believe are Terri’s wishes."

Nancy Valko, a representative of Nurses for Life who actively monitors end-of-life care issues, says for Felos, the Lakeland Herald newspaper, and many assisted suicide advocates, life is viewed in terms of dollars and cents.

Valko points out that the editorial contains a "dire warning that continuing to feed people like Terri Schiavo ‘could oblige the taxpayers to spend large amounts of money to keep ‘alive’ patients who have virtually no hope of recovery.’"

"Unfortunately as with most issues, it finally comes down to money," Valko says.

Related web sites:
Lakeland Herald editorial – https://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040206/NEWS/402060311/1036

Terri Schiavo’s family – https://www.terrisfight.org