Home / Jeb Bush Won’t Let Issue, Schiavo Die

Jeb Bush Won’t Let Issue, Schiavo Die

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Florida’s Governor Jeb Bush, who fought tooth and nail to keep Terri Schiavo alive in a persistent vegetative state, is refusing to let the issue die months after Terri passed away in a Florida hospice. Bush is calling for an investigation into whether Schiavo’s husband, Michael, should be prosecuted for allegedly waiting 70 minutes before calling 911 after his wife collapsed in 1990.

The explosive charge is based solely upon Michael’s recollection of a traumatic event some fifteen years ago. Michael told the Medical Examiner’s Office that he found his wife at 4:30 a.m., but 911 records show that his emergency call was not placed until 5:40 a.m. Jeb Bush and Terri’s parents are interpreting this as a possibly criminal act.

That said, it is extraordinarily unlikely that this is anything more than a foggy memory. Both Michael Schiavo’s attorney and an independent expert interviewed by the St. Petersburg Times for their story contend that Terri would have been dead if seventy minutes had really elapsed before her treatment began (paramedics got her pulse started at 6:32 a.m., which would have been over two hours since her collapse if the allegation is true).

Politically, for Governor Bush, this is an unconscionable attempt to keep the Schiavo issue afloat in order to pander to right-wing supporters and to save face after the embarrassment of the bogus court battle to save her life and now the medical evidence disclosed in the autopsy report which vindicates the other side.

For the family, there is a sad but perhaps understandable unwillingness to accept this tragic situation. This is their last-ditch effort to find a scapegoat upon which they can transfer their pain and anguish. The fact that they feel it necessary to deny to Michael the sorrow that they themselves feel is horrible, yet at least it makes sense in the context of their inability to handle grief. But what can be excused on one hand as the irrational behavior of a heartbroken family, becomes, for Jeb and others trying to capitalize on this tragedy, a vile reminder of what politics has become in the 21st Century.

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  • Nancy

    What else do we expect from the current generation of Bushes? Look at the behavior of all of them: panderers, liars, thieves, adulterers, deserters and draft evaders, and just plain scumbags. Born & brought up too rich and too privileged, they believe they live above the norms of decency as well as law, as evidenced by their actions as well as words.

  • I hope Michael Schiavo finds a way to sue Jeb Bush for harrassment at this point. Jeb can’t run a state, was advocating total anarchy and felony kidnapping during this mess, and now is calling for an investigation? Investigate Jeb for why he’s still in the Gov’s mansion considering his daughter is a felon — drug use. Florida law says Jeb is to be evicted. What gives with this guy?

  • I think if Michael Schiavo was really a prick he’d be lining up lawsuits at this point. Sean Hanity would be another one that won’t let the issue die and continues to accuse the man despite the reports that say otherwise. He could sue half the conservative press corp at this point…

  • Maybe if Jeb focused a little more on the people who are actually living, we would get less tragic stories like Jessica Lunsford and Sarah Lunde.

    He obviously wants to distract people from the fact that Florida’s child welfare system can’t find more than 500 children according to the Sun-Sentinal.


  • Bill

    There’s no way the alleged gap is true.

    Terri Schiavo was in ventricular fibrilation when the paramedics arrived, 12 minutes after the 911 call, at 5:52 AM.

    The heart doesn’t pump blood in v-fib, it just spasms.

    By then, the damage to her cortex was irreversible, as the autopsy confirmed.

    Had she been in v-fib since 4:30 AM her entire brain would have died, not just the cortex.

  • pammo

    Abuse of power.. hmmm, look at the dimmocrats and the judges who need the votes.

  • With all due respect, pammo, what on earth are you trying to say?
    By the way, the “dimmocrats,” not being in power, aren’t abusing it.

  • Bob Anderson

    Whatever happened to the allegation that the reason Terri’s father wanted her kept alive and not autopsied if she did die is because he feared evidence of his molesting her when she was a child?

    This story surfaced on another blog and seems to have just disappeared again..?

  • Judges don’t need votes. They are appointed

  • Bob, I think people need to get over this idea that someone did something really horrible to Terri and accept the fact that something unfortunate happened to her and it’s not anybody’s fault.

  • kuros

    Like many of you, I have been compelled by recent events to prepare a more detailed advance directive dealing with end-of-life issues. Here’s what mine says:

    * In the event I lapse into a persistent vegetative state, I want medical authorities to resort to extraordinary means to prolong my hellish semiexistence. Fifteen years wouldn’t be long enough for me.

    * I want my wife and my parents to compound their misery by engaging in a bitter and protracted feud that depletes their emotions and their bank accounts.

    * I want my wife to ruin the rest of her life by maintaining an interminable vigil at my bedside. I’d be really jealous if she waited less than a decade to start dating again or otherwise rebuilding a semblance of a normal life.

    * I want my case to be turned into a circus by losers and crackpots from around the country who hope to bring meaning to their empty lives by investing the same transient emotion in me that they once reserved for Laci Peterson, Chandra Levy and that little girl who got stuck in a well.

    * I want those crackpots to spread vicious lies about my wife.

    * I want to be placed in a hospice where protesters can gather to bring further grief and disruption to the lives of dozens of dying patients and families whose stories are sadder than my own.

    * I want the people who attach themselves to my case because of their deep devotion to the sanctity of life to make death threats against any judges, elected officials or health care professionals who disagree with them.

    * I want the medical geniuses and philosopher kings who populate the Florida Legislature to ignore me for more than a decade and then turn my case into a forum for weeks of politically calculated bloviation.

    * I want total strangers – oily politicians, maudlin news anchors, ersatz friars and all other hangers-on – to start calling me “Bobby,” as if they had known me since childhood.

    * I’m not insisting on this as part of my directive, but it would be nice if Congress passed a “Bobby’s Law” that applied only to me and ignored the medical needs of tens of millions of other Americans without adequate health coverage.

    * Even if the “Bobby’s Law” idea doesn’t work out, I want Congress – especially all those self-described conservatives who claim to believe in “less government and more freedom” – to trample on the decisions of doctors, judges and other experts who actually know something about my case. And I want members of Congress to launch into an extended debate that gives them another excuse to avoid pesky issues such as national security and the economy.

    * In particular, I want House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to use my case as an opportunity to divert the country’s attention from the mounting political and legal troubles stemming from his slimy misbehavior.

    * And I want Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to make a mockery of his Harvard medical degree by misrepresenting the details of my case in ways that might give a boost to his 2008 presidential campaign.

    * I want Frist and the rest of the world to judge my medical condition on the basis of a snippet of dated and demeaning videotape that should have remained private.

    * Because I think I would retain my sense of humor even in a persistent vegetative state, I’d want President Bush – the same guy who publicly mocked Karla Faye Tucker when signing off on her death warrant as governor of Texas – to claim he was intervening in my case because it is always best “to err on the side of life.”

    * I want the state Department of Children and Families to step in at the last moment to take responsibility for my well-being, because nothing bad could ever happen to anyone under DCF’s care.

    * And because Gov. Jeb Bush is the smartest and most righteous human being on the face of the Earth, I want any and all of the aforementioned directives to be disregarded if the governor happens to disagree with them. If he says he knows what’s best for me, I won’t be in any position to argue.

  • That’s very thorough, kouros.

    By the way, it was Baby Jessica what got sticked in the well.

  • Sheer genius kuros. Kudos.

    I may steal some of that, credited, for my own blog.

  • Brilliant, kuros. Bloody brillifuckingant. Crime went down eighteen years after abortion became legal. If only we knew who becomes pols, so we can abort them.

  • Ouch.

  • MTV8

    Pure “vindictiveness” on the part of Gov. Bush and the Schindler family.

    From what I’ve heard, the Schindler family isn’t done with their revenge crusade against Michael either – more to come from them soon enough. Can’t tell you more, but they want revenge pure and simple!

    Wait and see what’s next……

  • FPD

    Kuros, well done.

    What if this was nothing more than a clear cut case of male-bashing. If Schaivo had been a male, the plug would have been pulled years ago.

    My brother just went through endcare with a bad case of Agent Orange related cancer (pancreas, lung, liver and stomach), he suffered horribly – morphine worked okay, but not great. The hospital administration is crazy, giving drugs only “when needed” when with advanced terminal, painful cancer… it’s always needed. So he went on a roller coaster ride for several months… pain… pain relief… pain… pain relief… you get the idea.

    Euthanasia would have really been in order for him, if the family conditions were different, he probably would have put a bullet in his head. It was that excruciating.

    As for Jeb, and other politicians… they deal with tabulated poll results. If this is an issue among the voting public, then it’s an issue he’s going to pursue.

    Nothing happens in politics without a reason — FDR.

    and that goes for ALL politicians.

  • Governor Jeb Bush and Victims
    It is hard to fathom why Governor Bush is re-opening the Schiavo discussion with a re-examination of the actions of Mr. Schiavo at the time of Mrs. Schiavo’s collapse, but I think that it has something to do with the Gov.’s unusual (and one-sided) view of a “victim”.

    Last December I was at a clemency hearing in Tallahassee to appeal for a commutation of sentence for Taylor Wells. Taylor Wells is serving a life sentence for a very minor (and coerced) part in a burglary that ended in the death of a young man, David Codgen. The Felony Murder Rule had been inappropriately applied in Taylor’s case, and the men who had actually committed the burglary received lesser sentences than Taylor. Taylor had been in prison for over 12 years.

    All of the advisors to the governor had recommended clemency, as well as the parole board. However, the governor remained resolute and unchanging in his decision to reject Taylor’s request for a commutation of sentence.

    He has given no explanation for his decision. His legal aide seems to infer that Taylor’s family does not show enough “remorse”. Taylor has continually expressed sorrow for the death of David Codgen, but how exactly do you express remorse for a crime you did not commit?

    I do not think that the Governor has taken the time to know the real story of what happened to Taylor Wells. When he does realize what power he has yielded over this innocent victim, I hope it will shake him up some.

    Ms. Kay Day, an accomplished Southern writer is presently writing a book about what happened to Taylor, “One Night for Life”. You can read the unfolding blog about her involvement in the case of Taylor Wells.

    Please, if you are interested in how the strange zeal of Governor Bush affects the citizens of Florida, take a look at these sites. We need all the help we can get.


    Thank you,
    Beth Cioffoletti

  • Colin Havens

    I am sickened by the Repulicans currently in control of our government. Please somebody fix the Democratic party so we will have a reasonable choice other than the radical religous right at the next election.

  • Irish Mike

    I think this latest Jeb Bush move is going to come back and bite him in the ass come election time,any intelligent being can see right thru this ploy to satisfy the F-a-r-r-r right.

  • JR

    adam: If only we knew who becomes pols, so we can abort them.

    Obviously the offspring of pols become pols. And they’re not likely to adopt or enforce restrictions on their own reproduction, so it looks like we’re stuck with them.

  • Nancy

    I wouldn’t weep a single tear if someone were to take out a few of the more egregious assholes on the hill, in the administration, and around the country. In fact, I think I would probably submit them for an award of some kind, for public service above & beyond the call, etc.

    Any way to get Kuros’ comment into a newpaper somewhere, where it should be, so more people could see it?

  • JD

    Kuros, don’t forget that after Tom Delay publicly questioned Michael Schiavo’s character for his decision, it came to light that he terminated his own father’s life support in 1988.
    It’s kind of the definition of hypocrisy isn’t it? I�m sure if you asked him about it, he�d say that the two situations are completely different and unrelated (it he even commented, that is). In a way I do admire people like that. They have this peculiar ability to maintain levels of denial so massive they would cause a reasonable person to sink to the center of the earth. Now Nancy, I can�t advocate murdering anyone. It may be okay for a Right-to-Lifer to shoot someone through his living room window with a high-powered rifle. We won�t look too hard for him. But when Texas Senator, John Cornyn, says, essentially, he can understand how someone might get so upset they just have to kill a judge, it makes me wonder how understanding he would be if folks started killing Senators out of frustration. The fact that he would stand on the floor of the United States Senate and say something that flies in the face of everything a civil society stands for gives me hope that maybe if we give these people enough rope they�ll hang themselves. If not then I�m not really worried about Bin Laden, because the only difference between the society he wants to create, and the one some on the far right want seems to be what people will wear.

  • James

    This is the first example of Civil Heresy as envisioned by the Dominionist movement. Civil Heresy is retribution by the government on those who disagree with them. In this case, Michael Schiavo successfully plead his case to allow his wife to die before the Federal Courts. Much to the chagrin of Jeb Bush, a member of the Dominionist movement. (Never heard the term Dominionist, type it in your favorite search engine and all your questions will be answered.) Rather than console Michael Schiavo i9n the loss of his wife, Jeb Bush will use every means to find some way to prosecute him. He must be punished for defying the State. None of the Dominionists like to loose. Wake up people of Florida, a new type of Dictator is knocking at your door, dressed in eclesatical garb, quoting the bible. Dominionists are to be FEARED, they are dangerous people.