- Text smaller
- Text bigger
“I think Mr. Felos has some infatuation with death.”
That’s what Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri’s Schiavo, now in her 12th day of court-ordered starvation, said on Fox News’ “Hannity and Colmes” last night.
He was commenting on claims made by attorney George Felos, long-time counsel of Terri’s estranged husband Michael Schiavo, that Terri looked “beautiful” as she lay dying.
While virtually all other eyewitnesses described the dying brain-injured woman as “gaunt,” “drawn,” “struggling” and “fighting like hell” for life, Felos described Terri as “beautiful” and “peaceful” to reporters during a Saturday press conference:
“She is calm, she is peaceful, she is resting comfortably. … Her lips are not chapped, they’re not bleeding. Her skin’s not peeling. Frankly when I saw her … she looked beautiful. In all the years I’ve seen Mrs. Schiavo, I’ve never seen such a look of peace and beauty upon her.”
Following the controversial press conference, TV pundits debated the propriety of Felos’ remarks and his unusual characterization of a person starving to death as emanating “beauty.”
One explanation for Felos’ comments is suggested in the attorney’s own 2002 book, “Litigation As Spiritual Practice.” In one passage, Felos, a longtime volunteer hospice worker, says he promised one patient he would “do everything in my power” to bring her life to an end.
The patient was Estelle Browning, focal point of a landmark “right-to-die” case. Browning, profoundly debilitated by a stroke, had been confined to a nursing home for over a year and a half when Mrs. Herbert, her cousin and caregiver, sought to have Browning’s feeding tube removed, in accordance with her living will. Felos took the case.
Recalling his first encounter with Browning, Felos writes: “‘Mrs. Browning, do you want to die? … Do you want to die?’ – I near shouted as I continued to peer into her pools of strikingly beautiful but incognizant blue. It was so eerie. Her eyes were wide open and crystal clear, but instead of the warmth of lucidity, they burned with the ice of expressionlessness.”
Chapter 8, titled “Soul-Speak,” Felos describes a psychic communication between him and the “vegetative” Browning, during which he promised to “help” her leave this earthly life. The narrative describes a strange, spiritual experience of some sort:
As I continued to stay beside Mrs. Browning at her nursing home bed, I felt my mind relax and my weight sink into the ground. I began to feel light-headed as I became more reposed. Although feeling like I could drift into sleep, I also experienced a sense of heightened awareness. As Mrs. Browning lay motionless before my gaze, I suddenly heard a loud, deep moan and scream and wondered if the nursing home personnel heard it and would respond to the unfortunate resident. In the next moment, as this cry of pain and torment continued, I realized it was Mrs. Browning.
I felt the mid-section of my body open and noticed a strange quality to the light in the room. I sensed her soul in agony. As she screamed I heard her say, in confusion, ‘Why am I still here … why am I here?’ My soul touched hers and in some way I communicated that she was still locked in her body. I promised I would do everything in my power to gain the release her soul cried for. With that the screaming immediately stopped. I felt like I was back in my head again, the room resumed its normal appearance, and Mrs. Browning, as she had throughout this experience, lay silent.
I knew without a doubt what had transpired was real and dispelled the thought as intellect’s attempt to assert its own version of reality.
Despite saturation press coverage of the Terri Schiavo case, Felos’ New Age spirituality has not emerged as an issue. However, as Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said to the St. Petersburg Times, the Terri Schiavo case represents a “clash of two very disparate civilizations – the Judeo-Christian civilization, which is based upon the sanctity of human life, and the neopagan, relativist, quality-of-life civilization.”
Adds James A. Smith Sr., executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness: “Both worldviews are in play in the Schiavo debate and it’s long past time for the public to understand this.”
For backround on the 15-year saga, read “The whole Terri Schiavo story.”
Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily has been reporting on the Terri Schiavo story since 2002 – far longer than most 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.
Court documents and other information are posted on the Schindler family website.
Links to all “Terri briefs” regarding the governor’s defense of Terri’s Law are on the Florida Supreme Court website, public information.