TERRI SCHIAVO TO DIE IN ATTORNEY'S "DEATH FACTORY"? SUNCOAST HOSPICE BOSS WAS GEORGE FELOS...
It reads like fiction, but it parallels the story of Michael Schiavo (the Man), Terri Schiavo (his Wife), and George J. Felos (the Lawyer/Board Member/Past Board Member of "The Hospice") - and unless some brave soul intervenes, it will end with the murder of Terri Schiavo.
Terri Schiavo, an incapacitated but warmly responsive young woman, is in the care of "The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast" ("Hospice House Woodside") at 300 East Bay Drive, Largo, Florida. But unknown to her advocates, all of Terri's medical care has been influenced by a Past Chairman of the Hospice's Board of Directors - George J. Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo, and self-described "right-to-die" advocate.
Many of the Hospice nurses, volunteers, and doctors who are charged with the care, feeding, and unbiased medical evaluation of Terri Schiavo worked for George J. Felos, a man who has publically proclaimed that Terri must die.
The death Felos has prescribed for Terri starts with a ban on all but the most basic physical care - the once beautiful woman rots in her "Hospice of the Florida Suncoast" bed; Terri's advocates claim her teeth are unbrushed, her nails untrimmed, her infections untreated. This was not always the case - even after her brain injury, Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, kept her groomed and pretty. Terri was even starting to speak again - words like "yes" "no" and "stop that" - but that was before Michael Schiavo hired George Felos to help his wife "die with dignity". Now, Terri's parents have been safely removed so as to avoid "false hope". All media and medical access is tightly controlled by Micheal Schiavo and Felos; in response, Terri has at last physically and mentally degenerated to the level where she may be exterminated by polite society.
Terri's slow death will grind down to a brutal, final starvation, executed at Felos' request on Jan 3, 2003. Upon Terri's death, several hundred thousand dollars that were earmarked for Terri's long-term care and therapy will finally be released to her husband Michael Schiavo, his new lover and their baby, to his attorney George Felos, and quite possibly in turn to the Hospice itself. It is unknown if Felos would advocate quick death for hospice patients who do not have large sums of money lubricating their exit from life; evidently the Hospice has not been forthcoming with clients in regard to George Felos' true role at the Hospice.
"The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast" has kept this information largely out of the public eye, but an investigation of the Hospice's annual reports reveals a new twist in the case of Terri Schiavo: George J. Felos was the official but unseen hand of the Hospice - and he advocates death for those in his care.
Neither George Felos nor "The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast" have openly disclosed the facts of Terri Schiavo's case to Terri's many advocates - that from February 13, 1997 until at least April 26, 2001, George J. Felos was listed as a member or recent member of the Board of Directors for "The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast" on the non-profit's annual reports.
Certainly one would hope that if the true role George Felos had been revealed in court, Judge George Greer would have made a much different ruling concerning Terri Schiavo's fate. Without knowledge of this conflict of interest, the Sixth Circuit Judge would be forgiven if he seemed to believe that such a noble institution as hospice - caring compassionately for the dying - could be trusted to make an unbiased report regarding Terri Schiavo's medical condition and with her care. With the information regarding this conflict of interest, the courts will be remiss to believe any evidence that Felos OR his "Hospice of The Florida Suncoast" might proffer in reference to Terri. Considering this new evidence, it is the opinion of this writer that the courts of Florida would be complicit in Felos' duplicity should they not review this ruling.
Conversely, if Felos' chairmanship at the Hospice was indeed known to the courts during the trial, it would have been imperative that the court make this information known to the opposing council, Terri Schiavo's parents, and to the public. Suppression of information regarding the Hospice and Felos' conflict of interest would destroy the integrity of this court, considering that Judge Greer himself was declared by the court to be Terri's guardian ad litem by default. The guardian ad litem is required to act in the best interest of Terri Schiavo - not in the best interests of Mike Schiavo, the Schindlers, Attorney Felos or the Hospice. In the minds of many, no honest court could defensibly argue that Terri's best interests would be served by lawyers, individuals or entities who stand to profit from her death.
This information regarding lack of disclosure of conflict of interest by Felos and "The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast" should warrant appeal of the Court's Nov. 22 ruling, and should spur a call for further investigation into other cases of conflict of interest concerning the Hospice and Felos. The court's Nov. 22 ruling is based in part on medical information taken from Terri while she was in the care of the Hospice - information which may have been tainted by the lack of full disclosure regarding Past Chairman/Attorney George Felos.
According to The Hospice Patients Alliance Website and the Washington Post, ("Hospices Big Business, Thanks to Medicare; Exploitation of some patients is alleged" 06/14/98) this type of unethical activity is nothing new - it also may be illegal.
If "The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast" is to cast itself as an ethical entity, it should rectify and resolve this conflict of interest regarding it's Board of Directors and Past Chairman, George Felos:
It is this writer's opinion that:
- The Board of Directors of "The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast" cannot justify their actions, or the actions of past Chairman, George Felos if The Hospice knowingly placed Terri Schiavo in the care of Felos and his paid/volunteer subordinates without disclosing his role at the Hospice to the court, the public, or the Terri Schiavo's parents.
- The Board of Directors of "The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast" cannot claim to be advocates for their clients if they are not fully open regarding the past or present roles of George Felos with their donors, the courts, or the clients they purport to serve.
- The Board of Directors of "The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast", cannot state they are caretakers if Felos and the Hospice worked together to hasten Terri Schiavo's death from the moment she was clandestinely removed from her nursing home and brought to the Hospice by Felos.
These new insights into the Hospice's inner workings raise questions that must be answered.
- How many elderly or infirm persons have Felos and the Hospice possibly exploited for monetary gain?
- How many other impaired but recovering persons may have been brought into the Hospice's "care" without their explicit consent?
- How many other incapacitated or differently-abled people might have suffered or will suffer the same fate as Terri Schiavo?
-Under Florida law, do these human beings qualify for the basic guarantees of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or are they only products to be mined by George Felos and "The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast"?
-If Felos and the Hospice espouse that incapacitated people have no rights other than those assigned to them by the Hospice and it's agents, then is "The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast" nothing more than a Death Factory?
It is the opinion of this writer that George Felos' "Hospice of The Florida Suncoast" is not an uninterested third party in this case, as they portray themselves to be. The Board of Directors hired Michael Shiavo's lawyer as their Chairman, then obscured Felos' role while bringing Terri under Hospice's care. "The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast" should come clean and come forward with any additional information they may hold regarding George Felos, Terri Schiavo, or any other hospice patients who may have been "represented" by Felos. The Hospice must also reveal any plans that they and their past Chairman of the Board may have for Terri's award money following her "facilitated" death.
For Michael Schiavo, George J. Felos and the Board of Directors of "The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast", it seems that Terri Schiavo's death cannot come soon enough - and unless the American public can persuade the courts to rule otherwise, Terri will die October 15, 2003.
Copyright November 24, 2002 - Becki Snow
Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of Becki Snow, and makes no guarantee as to the accuracy or reliability of its sources although the sources have been verified as accurately as possible through public record resources.
This article may be copied and posted in accordance with fair use, in its entirety or excerpted, but only with full credit to the author and with notification to the author. Please notify the author by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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