Terri Schiavo’s Family Upset Judge Greer Involved in Penn Bioethics Conference
by Steven Ertelt
April 28, 2006
St. Petersburg, FL (LifeNews.com) — Why should a local judge who repeatedly authorized a disabled woman’s painful euthanasia death be a featured speaker at a bioethics conference at one of the nation’s premier Ivy League colleges? That’s what the family of Terri Schiavo wants to know about Circuit Court Judge George Greer’s appearance at a seminar at the University of Pennsylvania.
Greer is slated to appear at the college’s 10th anniversary event for its Center for Bioethics.
The title of the symposium sheds some light on why Greer may be featured. The bioethics center, which doesn’t approach issues from a pro-life perspective, will run a conference called "The Legacy of the Terri Schiavo Case: Why is it so hard to die in America?"
Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, will appear the conference and protest Greer’s appearance, according to a statement sent to LifeNews.com.
"Judge Geer’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," Schindler said.
He also wonders if Greer’s appearance is a "violation of Florida’s judicial canons as prescribed by the Supreme Court of the State of Florida."
"We are entitled to a fair and unbiased judiciary," Schindler added. "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."
Greer has achieved considerably notoriety and fame from those who back euthanasia following his role in sentencing Terri to a painful 13 day starvation and dehydration death.
In December, the Pinellas County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union honored Judge Greer at an awards dinner.
Judge Greer came under intense scrutiny in the Terri Schiavo case and was accused of colluding with Michael’s attorney, assisted suicide advocate George Felos, in appointing an "impartial" doctor to assess Terri’s condition whose brother had previously worked with Felos.
Greer was also accused of violating the state code of judicial conduct.
The code says that, while a proceeding is pending in court, judges should not "make any public comment that might reasonably be expected to affect its outcome or impair its fairness or make any non-public comment that might substantially interfere with a fair trial or hearing."
Yet, Judge Greer frequently discussed the case with media outlets.
"Judges are duty-bound to be an unbiased, fair finder of fact, not an advocate of the ‘right-to-die’ movement," Bobby Schdiner explained. "Judge Greer is not retired. He is a seated judge who still hears guardianship and life/death cases in the probate court. Do you want him sitting in judgment of you or your loved ones’ life?"
The Penn bioethics conference runs from April 30 through May 1 and not only features Greer, but Terri’s former husband Michael Schiavo and Jay Wolfson, appointed as Terri’s guardian ad litem for a short time.
Since Terri’s euthanasia death, Schindler and the rest of his family have headed up the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, a group to help disabled patients. Bobby and his sister Suzanne Vitadamo gave her full-time jobs to work at the center.
Meanwhile, Michael formed a political group to target pro-life lawmakers who sided with Terri’s family during the legal battle.
TAKE ACTION: Express your views by going to https://www.bioethics.upenn.edu/bioethics/?pageId=10