Judge George Greer
Judge George Greer, the Florida county jurist at the center of the Terri Schiavo case, ruled against a woman who was fighting to keep her husband alive in 2000.
While Greer has ruled consistently with husband Michael Schiavo, who seeks to terminate his wife’s life by depriving of her of food and water, the parallel case suggests the judge may have a predisposition to removal of any life-support devices rather than an inclination toward the legal guardian.
The 2000 case heard by Greer involved the life of St. Petersburg lawyer Blair Clark, a University of South Florida professor. After suffering a heart attack Sept. 9, 2000, his children, who stood to inherit much of his estate, claimed they wanted to honor his wishes to remove him from a ventilator and feeding tube and allow him to die. His wife, Ping, however, believed his condition could improve with therapy and claimed only one month later treatments had not been given enough time.
Unlike Terri Schiavo, Blair Clark, 58, had a living will, which stated: “If the situation should arise in which there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from severe physical or mental disability, I request that I be allowed to die and that life-prolonging procedures not be provided.”
However, his wife believed there was still a reasonable expectation of recovery.
“His living will did not say, ‘Don’t save me, just let me die,’” his wife pleaded. “They want to kill Blair and I don’t know why. I want to ask, ‘What’s the rush?’ I’m the only one who wants to save him. Every time I say yes, they say no. I had to go to court to give him blood.”
But on Oct. 24, 2000, Greer ruled in favor of the children and against the wishes of the wife, ordering all mechanical ventilation and intravenous nutrition stopped.
Ping Clark, of Chinese descent, argued that four days of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture treatments had showed promise. She asked only for 30 more days of ventilator support and treatments.
Clark relied heavily on the opinion of neurologists, some of whom claimed Clark’s chances of recovery were no greater than one in a thousand.
“If you love somebody, one in 1,000 is a chance worth taking, argued Dennis Rogers, Ping Clark’s attorney.
After the ruling, Clark’s wife was distraught and couldn’t bear to visit the hospital to watch him die.
“I cannot see him die,” she cried. “I know how much he wants to live. They’ll be guilty their whole lives for killing Blair Clark.”
Clark died a week after the ruling, Oct. 31, 2000.
Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed Friday by order of Greer at the request of her estranged husband, Michael Schiavo, who contends Terri had expressed a wish to not live under her present condition. Parents Robert and Mary Schindler dispute the court’s finding that their daughter is in a “persistent vegetative state,” citing numerous physicians who believe she is responsive and could benefit from therapy.
Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily has been reporting on the Terri Schiavo story since 2002 – far longer than any other national news organization – and exposing the many troubling, scandalous, and possibly criminal, aspects of the case that to this day rarely surface in news reports. Read WorldNetDaily’s unparalleled, in-depth coverage of the life-and-death fight over Terri Schiavo, including over 150 original stories and columns.