Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Judge Greer Orders Brain-Damaged Firefighter To Move To Florida

Feeding tube to be inserted upon arrival, says court

Miami--Acting on the testimony of medical officials in New York, Pinellas County court judge, George Greer, has ordered brain-injured firefighter, George Herbert and his family, to move to Florida immediately.

"The court finds the testimony of Dr. Jamil Amhed to be especially compelling," said judge Greer in his written opinion. "His references to Mr. Herbert's 'almost being in a persistent vegetative coma state,' require the immediate enactment of an unfortunate and prolonged legal battle. The court orders Mr. Herbert to become the recipient of liquidated food through a feeding tube, until this court later deems it appropriate to deprive him of said nourishment."

Herbert was injured in a house fire in 1995, and has not spoken a word. Saturday, he awoke, asked for his wife, and engaged them heartily for the next 14 hours, until he fell asleep. Since then he has lapsed in and out of varying degrees of lucidity. Democratic activists say that despite Mr. Herbert's conversational bent in recent days, that his animations and dialogue are really a cry for help.

“Judge Greer’s foresight is simply amazing,” said California senator, Barbara Boxer. “By getting this man his needed nourishment through a feeding tube, it brings the whole unfortunate situation into focus. That tube needs to be there for the sake of everyone—the family, the judges. When the time comes to remove it, we won’t have to do the legal backtracking of having it installed, only to immediately take it right back out—like taping off a house before you paint.”

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