[Marxism] FW: Terri Schiavo case: follow the money

Richard Fidler rfidler at cyberus.ca
Wed Mar 30 07:32:33 MST 2005


The Terri Schiavo case: follow the money

Endless court cases funded by ultraconservative foundations.

Dateline: Monday, March 28, 2005

by Jon B Eisenberg, for the Recorder

Have you ever wondered who is bankrolling the seemingly endless 
courtroom effort to keep Terri Schiavo's feeding tube attached?

During the Watergate scandal, investigative reporters Bob Woodward and 
Carl Bernstein were famously advised to "follow the money." In the 
Schiavo case, the money leads to a consortium of conservative 
foundations, with $2 billion in total assets, that are funding a legal 
and public relations war of attrition intended to prolong Terri's life 
indefinitely in order to further their own faith-based cultural agendas.

For the past 12 years, Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, and her 
parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, have been locked in a bitter dispute 
over whether to withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration from Terri, 
whom the courts have determined is in a persistent vegetative state with 
no hope of recovery. The Schindlers want the doctors to keep Terri 
alive; Michael does not. Late last year, in Bush v. Schiavo, the Florida 
Supreme Court ruled that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush violated the 
constitutional separation of powers, when he attempted to overturn a 
court order to remove Terri's feeding tube. A few weeks ago, the US 
Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

I filed an amicus curiae brief in the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of 
55 bioethicists and a disability rights organization opposing the 
governor's action. Two months later I participated in a public debate on 
the case at Florida State University. Among the participants supporting 
Gov. Bush's position were Pat Anderson, one of multiple attorneys who 
have represented the Schindlers, and Wesley Smith and Rita Marker, two 
activists whose specialty is opposing surrogate removal of life-support 
from comatose and persistent vegetative state patients. I found myself 
wondering: "I'm doing this pro bono; are they?"

I did some Internet research and learned that many of the attorneys, 
activists and organizations working to keep Schiavo on life support all 
these years have been funded by members of the Philanthropy Roundtable.

The Philanthropy Roundtable is a collection of foundations that have 
funded conservative causes ranging from abolition of Social Security to 
anti-tax crusades and United Nations conspiracy theories. The Roundtable 
members' founders include scions of America's wealthiest families, 
including Richard Mellon Scaife (heir to the Mellon industrial, oil, and 
banking fortune), Harry Bradley (electronics), Joseph Coors (beer), and 
the Smith Richardson family (pharmaceutical products).

I found a website called mediatransparency.com which tracks funding for 
these foundations. Using just that website and the Schindlers' own site, 
terrisfight.org, I learned of a network of funding connections between 
some of the Philanthropy Roundtable's members and various organizations 
behind the Schindlers, their lawyers and supporters, and the lawyers who 
represented Gov. Bush in Bush v. Schiavo.

Here are a few examples: ...

For the whole story, go to the sites below.

[Jon B Eisenberg is an appellate practitioner based in Oakland CA USA 
and is a prolific writer on appellate matters.]

Related addresses:
URL 1: www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/4/173932/1891
URL 2: 
blog.bioethics.net/2005/03/have-conservatives-bought-bioethics.html
URL 3: mediatransparency.com 





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