Synopses & Reviews
The Terri Schiavo case was a key battle in a larger political struggle over abortion, stem-cell research, physician-assisted suicide, gay rights, and the appointment of federal judges. The religious Right chose to make it a national spectacle because they thought they could win. They were wrong. But there are many more battles to come. Jon Eisenberg, who served as one of the lead attorneys on Michael Schiavo's side, exposes the religious Right's strategies and follows the money trail to reveal how they are organized, who is funding the movement, and where we can expect future legal maneuvers to combat the American traditions of autonomy and freedom.
Jon Eisenberg has experienced the family struggle of removing a feeding tube from a loved one and witnessed firsthand the Florida drama that will continue to have national legal and political consequences for years to come. What tactics can we expect to see in courtrooms and state legislatures all across this country in the days ahead? Who is behind the funding and what do they hope to accomplish and when? What are the religious and bioethical issues that are at the center of these debates and how will they affect future legal battles? Using Terri gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what happened and what's coming.
"The debate among Terri Schiavo's relatives over whether to withdraw the feeding tube that kept her alive in a persistent vegetative state for over a decade was settled in March, when, after seven years of litigation and several attempts by state and national legislatures to overturn Florida's court ruling, the tube was removed and Terri died in her husband Michael's arms. But according to Eisenberg, a lawyer who filed briefs on behalf of Michael, the national debate over whether Americans have the right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment is just getting started. Eisenberg draws upon his previous experience with right-to-die cases to situate the Schiavo drama into an ongoing battle among bioethicists, clergy, right-to-lifers, doctors, politicians, lawyers and individual families. His book is as much a clarion call to protect the rights of personal autonomy as it is a step-by-step review of the Schiavo proceedings and a clear analysis of the legal issues involved. He speaks with engaging intimacy of his introduction to the debate through the illness of a favorite cousin, and the personal touch continues in the book's combination of analysis, reportage, declaration and memoir. Eisenberg raises substantial and urgent legal issues, and the accusations he fires-that the video clips of Terri shown on TV were grossly distorted by editing, that Tom DeLay, who sponsored a Congressional bill mandating the reinsertion of Terri's feeding tube, once ended life-sustaining treatment for his own father, that the religious right aims to dismantle the court system entirely-are potent. With legislation that would bar feeding tube removal pending in 12 states, this book is a timely and cogent argument for Americans' right to decide such end of life issues for themselves." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Fascinating and frightening...a much-needed wake up call for America. A terrific read by a first-rate legal mind." Nadine Strossen, resident, American Civil Liberties Union, and Professor of Law, New York Law School
"A beautifully written book that shows how the religious Right is waging a well-funded campaign threatening all our freedoms." Erwin Chemerinsky, Alston & Bird Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, Duke University
"If you care about preserving your right to control how you die this book will prove to be vital reading." Arthur Caplan, The Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Director, Center for Bioethics University of Pennsylvania
"A frank and unsettling account of the legal and political machinations surrounding the tragic death of Terri Schiavo." Edward Lazarus, author of Closed Chambers: The Rise, Fall, and Future of the Modern Supreme Court
As one of the lead attorneys on Michael Shiavo's side, Eisenberg reveals what the public didn't know about the Terri Shiavo case and how it will impact the battles still to come. He covers Gov. Jeb Bush's actions including how he tried to seize Terri but was stopped by Judge George Greer and the impact of the religious right.
One of the lead attorneys on Michael Schiavo's side offers a behind-the-scenes look at what we didn't know about the Terri Schiavo case. He reveals:
- What Terri Schiavo's parents didn't say publically how far they were willing to go to keep her alive; what they would have done if Terri had made an advance directive; how they really felt about Michael dating other women.
- Tom DeLay's hypocrisy how he pulled the plug on his own father but tried to prevent Michael Schiavo from doing the same for Terri.
- What the law says about pulling the plug the role of personal autonomy and choice in other cases like Terri's.
- "Schiavo-gate" the true story of how the lawyers for Terri's parents and Governor Jeb Bush were funded by a shadowy group of right-wing think tanks and religious fanatics.
- The attempted abduction the little-known story of how Governor Bush tried to seize Terri from her bed, and how Judge Greer stopped him. Plus, "Terri's Law" and Governor Bush's attempt to subvert the Florida courts.
- Governor Bush's betrayal of the religious right will the Schiavo case cost him the Presidency?
- The coming battles how the religious right will try to use the Schiavo case to attack our judges, change the right-to-die laws, and deprive you of your constitutional right to refuse unwanted medical treatment.
- Advance directives what you can do to take control over your medical care and prevent the religious right from keeping you alive against your will.
About the Author
Jon B. Eisenberg was one of the lead attorneys on Michael Schiavo's side in the Terri Schiavo case. Eisenberg is widely regarded as one of the top civil appellate attorneys in the country. He participated in other right-to-die litigation as counsel for a nation-wide group of bioethicists and has argued frequently in a large variety of cases before the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal, and the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the California law firm of Horvitz & Levy LLP and teaches appellate procedure at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.