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Michael Schiavo lawyer on board of directors of Terri's hospice

by Judi McLeod, Editor,
Friday, March 25, 2005 2:58 PM

Tragic that some of the most compelling facts in the Terri Schiavo case didn't emerge before she reached death's door.

While the mainline media was probing whether the world's most famous hospice victim had really told husband Michael she would not want to live in a persistent vegetative state, it completely missed the ties of Michael Schiavo's lawyer to the very hospice where the life-and-death drama played out.

From February 13, 1997 to about april 26, 2001 attorney George Felos was listed as a member of the Board of Directors for "The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast" on the non-profit's annual reports.

Suncoast operates the hospice where Terri Schiavo has been held.

One doesn't have to rely on the annual reports of the hospice where Terri Schiavo was left to die for proof of Felos' board membership. It is stated in the author's description in the George Felos book, Litigation as Spiritual Practice.

It was in the summer of 1998 when Felos filed the first lawsuit to withdraw food and water from the disabled Terri Schiavo.

The chronology of events is as follows: "Felos becomes Michael Shiavo's lawyer and files the petition. Then the law in Tallahassee gets changed. The Schiavo case gets heard. In that order." (The David allen Show).

Surely it's important to look at who lobbied for changing the law on the books to make food and water be defined as "artificial" life support.

In 1999, House Bill 2131 was introduced for the Florida Elder affairs and Long-Term Care Committee.

Representative Gus Michael Bilirakis, who also lists himself on the Suncoast Hospice Board of Directors, lobbied on Bill 2131.

It is difficult to understand why the mainline media did not bring these facts before the public in reporting on the Terry Schiavo case.

Perhaps these facts took a back seat in ongoing political battles between Right-to-Life and Right-to-Die factions. It may have been more important to Right-to-Lifers that Felos was a founding member of the National Legal advisors Committee on Choice in Dying.

Choice in Dying, which has led the charge in promoting living wills, morphed out of the Euthanasia Society of america.

Considering that hospices are being identified as morgues by some, the hospice that became Terri Schiavo's morgue rates a closer look.

It is reportedly the largest non-profit hospice in the world.

Hospice workers all over the country are routinely killing patients, says Ron Panzer, President of pro-life Hospice Patients alliance (HPa).

"Families who report in to HPa tell us they've overheard nurses saying things like, `I'm just like Jack Kevorkian, only I do it with morphine.'" (Panzer, "and they get away with it week after week because it's hospice!"

In operation in the United States since 1974, hospices have become a competitive industry that is favoured by the federal government and making millions with little accountability.

Death by Hospice is further compounded because local district attorneys will refuse to prosecute reports of hospice killings because they're so-called expected deaths.

Not all hospices are death morgues and Panzer points out that the hospice industry had done much to earn its golden reputation as the best end-of-life care option available.

But Panzer believes that Terri Schiavo "was placed (in hospice care) as a test case for the right-to-die movement to establish a legal precedent to end the lives of the disabled using hearsay evidence (about her end-of-life wishes), which is very common in hospice settings and in cases where only one family member wishes to end the life of the patient."

Michael Schiavo says that his wife Terri told him about her end-of-life wishes after watching a movie when she was only in her 20s.

Some would argue that you can't get much more hearsay than that.

That the lawyer who won the case to twice deny Terri Schiavo food and water was a member of the board of directors of the hospice where Terri was placed, begs an investigation by Florida State authorities.

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: [email protected]

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