George W. Greer, the Florida judge who ordered Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube removed, will receive an award today from his law colleagues, but a spiritual adviser to the late brain-injured woman’s parents still insists the jurist is a “murderer.”
“On the night before Terri Schiavo died, I said to the national media that Judge Greer was a murderer,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.
“I repeat that today,” he said. “I use the word not in its legal meaning but in its moral meaning, that is, a deliberate action or series of actions that intentionally kill an innocent person.”
Greer, who presided over the Schiavo case for seven years, will be honored with the Special Justice Award by the local West Pasco Bar Association.
Schiavo died March 31, nearly two weeks after her life-sustaining feeding tube was removed by Greer’s order, carried out more than a decade of bitter legal wrangling between parents Robert and Mary Schindler and their son-in-law Michael Schiavo, who contended Terri had verbally expressed a desire to not live if she were in such a condition.
“Terri was not dying until she stopped receiving food and water,” Pavone said. “Once deprived of that sustenance, she died. It does not require any legal or medical expertise to recognize that as murder. Nobody who has lost the basic capability to understand that should be honored.”
Alan Scott Miller, a member of the West Pasco Bar Association, told the Tampa Tribune Greer’s professionalism and integrity was punctuated by the way he handled the Schiavo case.
“He’s getting this award for all of his contributions on the bench, not just the Schiavo case,” Miller said. “It’s like a lifetime achievement award for an actor.”
Pavone said, “Whatever judgment, furthermore, is made on Judge Greer’s legal authority to do what he did, no court has the moral authority to directly and deliberately take innocent life, and those ordered to carry out such decisions are morally obliged to resist them by conscientious objection. Pope John Paul II made that teaching clear in his encyclical letter ‘The Gospel of Life.’”
Some of the appeals to Greer’s rulings, which were upheld, argued there was not enough clear and convincing evidence that Terri Schiavo had expressed a wish to not live in her current condition.
Greer’s court in Pinellas County, Fla., determined she was in a persistent vegetative state. The Schindlers countered that assessment with statements from neurologists who claimed she was in a “minimally conscious state,” able to respond to stimuli.
The Schindlers had pleaded with their son-in-law to allow them to be with their daughter in her final hours, but according to family spokesmen, they were not present when she died.
Pavone was in Terri’s room at Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., about 15 minutes before she died. But the priest said he was instructed to leave 10 minutes before her death by order of Michael Schiavo.
“His heartless cruelty continues until this very last moment,” Pavone said of Terri’s estranged husband, who for 10 years has lived with another woman with whom he has two children.
After Terri died, immediate family members were allowed in the room, the priest said.
Pavone said on the day of her death, “This is not only a death, with all the sadness that brings, this is a killing. We not only grieve for Terri, we grieve that our nation would allow such an atrocity as this, and we pray it will never happen again.”
For background on the 15-year saga, read “The whole Terri Schiavo story.”
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.
Editor’s note: “Life and Death in America” – a stunning special investigative report that will start with the Terri Schiavo story, but will go on to expose as never before America’s rapidly expanding euthanasia/”right-to-die” movement – will be the focus of an upcoming issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine.