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When Lawyers Go Nuts
by David N. Bass
03 November 2003Terry Schiavo

Battles over right-to-die cases inevitably come down to the moral and spiritual content of a man’s heart, and Terry Schiavo's case is no different.

All the controversy surrounding Terri Schiavo in Florida boils down to one major issue: differing worldviews. Battles over right-to-die cases inevitably come down to the moral and spiritual content of a man’s heart, and this case is no different.

For those who’ve kept their heads in the sand for the past month, Terri Schiavo is a 39-year-old brain damaged woman who requires a feeding tube for sustenance. She receives no life support or respiration; she responds to communication, recognizes her family, and is considered physically stable. Yet her husband, Michael Shiavo, has demanded that her feeding tube be removed, forcing her to slowly starve to death. 

It’s obvious from his actions that Mr. Schiavo has little regard for his wife’s welfare. Even his appearance on a recent edition of Larry King Live was more about damage control for his own image than about Terri. If Mr. Schiavo were truly concerned about her safety and health, his past actions would show it. But they don’t.

Schiavo’s attorney George Felos is in the same boat as his client, but the two part company when it comes to motivation. Michael Schiavo may be induced by greed or selfishness, but George Felos is coming from a different -- and even more sinister -- position altogether. 

Felos has been regarded as a champion of the right-to-die movement for more than a decade. During that time he’s made no attempt to hide his inclination towards wacky New Age mysticism. Instead of a lawyerly estate, his home looks like hippie villa USA, complete with crimson couch, bright green carpeting, and a living room wall painted neon blue. When he’s not stirring up theta waves or practicing yoga, he invites friends over to chant “I am that I am…I am that I am…” while he bangs out a tune on his harmonium. 

According to a May 2001 article by the St. Petersburg Times, Felos indicated that his practice of law -- specifically cases pioneering the right-to-die movement -- open new opportunities for spiritual growth. According to the article, Felos first became interested in right-to-die cases 14 years ago, in the case of Estelle Browning. Browning had written in a living will saying she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means if she ever became ill. She suffered a stroke a year later, but hospitals refused to stop her feeding tube because she wasn’t technically brain dead.

Felos stepped in to champion the case for the right-to-die crowd. He visited Browning in the hospital, and even though she couldn’t speak, he claimed his “spiritual side” detected her soul crying out to his soul, asking “Why am I still here?”

Additionally, Felos published a book in May of 2002 entitled Litigation as Spiritual Practice in which he contends that his religious beliefs are what drive him in the courtroom. This is a point you shouldn’t miss. Felos is admittedly incorporating his New Age philosophy into the practice of law, yet liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union are conveniently silent. If the situation were reversed and George Felos’s convictions stemmed from Christianity, the liberal uproar would break your eardrums. But since Felos is an enlightened New Ager sharing the same anti-God worldview as the ACLU, he seemingly has every right to allow his beliefs to influence his interpretation of law.

Conveniently, the mainstream media has also neglected to mention Felos’s New Age inclinations. He’s openly admitted that he incorporates New Age mysticism into his practice of law, and yet his beliefs are rarely exposed or questioned.

Evidently the media thinks support of life for religious reasons is extreme, but support of death for the same reasons is perfectly acceptable.

We need to realize that the battle in Florida is not only a legal and moral issue, but a spiritual issue as well. If you think God is in everything, or that humans are simply collections of molecules coming from nowhere and going to nowhere, then why not euthanize the burdensome?

In the end, it all boils down to worldview. Men like George Felos stand for a worldview that’s the complete antithesis of godly morality. It’s a worldview our society is quickly accepting. Don’t let that lesson pass you by.

David N. Bass writes for World Newspaper Publishing and has a regular column at AmericanDaily.com, ARationalAdvocate.com, and RenewAmerica.us
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