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Schiavo neurologist views Alzheimer patients as physician-assisted "suicides"

by Judi McLeod, Editor,
Monday, April 4, 2005

Years before he categorized Terri Schindler Schiavo in the persistent vegetative state, which led to her death by dehydration, neurologist Dr. Ronald Cranford was building the case for removing feeding tubes from society's vulnerable.

"…The United States has thousands or tens of thousands of patients in vegetative states; nobody knows for sure exactly how many," Cranford wrote in a 1997 Minneapolis Star Tribune opinion piece titled: When a feeding tube borders on the barbaric. (WorldNetDaily. Com, March 23, 2005). "But before long, this country will have several million patients with Alzheimer's dementia. The challenges and costs of maintaining vegetative state patients will pale in comparison to the problems presented by Alzheimer's disease.

"The answer, he suggested, was physician-assisted suicide."

Cranford blames the medical profession for society's rush toward physician-assisted suicide…"our archaic responses to pain and suffering; our failure to accept death as a reality and an inevitable outcome of life; our inability to be realistic and humane in treating irreversibly ill people. All of this has shaken the public's confidence in the medical profession."

Could it be no-food-no-water, white-coated doctors, propelled by right-to-die activism, that is shaking the public's confidence in today's medical profession?

Alleged to have participated in states like California without courtesy of a legal license, Cranfeld openly applauds European values that embrace euthanasia. Countries like Belgium, where experts believe that 10 percent of all deaths now result from euthanasia or by drugs administered by doctors to hasten death.

The neurologist, who is a member of the board of directors of the Choice in Dying Society, worries how modern medicine offers a great potential for prolonging a dehumanizing existence for the patient.

Guess the Hippocratic oath was lost on him.

He blames "right-to-lifers" and "disability groups" for discouraging families from making the choice for euthanasia.

Cranford, right-to-die attorney George Felos and Florida circuit Judge George Greer are the three amigos, whose successful mission to deprive Terri Schiavo of food and water, ended in her death.

If Cranford views several million Alzheimer patients as grounds for physician-assisted "suicide", which group will he nominate next?

By his standards, the path could eventually lead to the front door of Judge Greer, who is alleged to be legally blind.

(Editor's note: On Friday, April 1, a telephone caller to Rush Limbaugh's Radio show asked why Michael Schiavo attorney George Felos "looked surprised" when he was asked by Fox News to shed light on allegations of his membership in the Hemlock Society. Felos, the subject of a cover story about conflicts of interests in the players of the Terri Schiavo tragedy, is a self-styled dying-with-dignity crusader, and a past chairman of the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, which runs Woodside Hospice, where Terri died. It is neurologist Ronald Cranford who has the ties to the Hemlock Society. Cranford was a featured speaker at the 1992 national conference of the Hemlock Society. The group recently changed its name to End of Life Choices. Cranford is a member of the board of directors of the Choice in Dying Society, which promotes doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia. (

Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on, Drudge Report,, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at:

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