Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A Medical Fraud

That's what the doctors in Michael Schiavo's employ, and Hospice of the Florida Suncoast seem to have perpetrated in order to get and keep Terri Schiavo in hospice care for over five years.

Dr. Victor Gambone of Tampa certified, on March 3 of 2000, that Terri was terminally ill, and that the course of her disease could be expected to end her life within six months of that date. (The document is not available online, but I will e-mail a copy of it to anyone who e-mails me and asks for it.) Dr. Gambone signed his name to the statement "I expect this patient has a limited life expectancy of six (6) months or less, if disease continues to take its usual course, and hereby certify this patient as eligible for Hospice care." 

The problem, of course, is that Terri was not then suffering from any disease process which could have been expected to end her life in the forseeable future. Nor does she suffer from any such disease process now. If she dies, it will be because she is starved and dehydrated to death upon the orders of her husband.

In order to be eligible for hospice care, ordinarily one must have a life expectancy of less than six months. So how did Hospice of the Florida Suncoast come to accept Terri as a patient when she didn't meet the criteria?

Oh, that's right... Michael Schiavo's attorney and "death-with-dignity" advocate George Felos was, until recently, thechairman of the Board of Directors of the Hospice.

You know the saying, it's not what you know but who you know...