Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013, November 21, 2003, Page 13, Image 13

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Continued from Page 11
received third-quarter 2003 grants that added up
to $166,000. So far this year the foundation has
awarded $ 379,100 to 79 charitable organizations
in Oregon.
W hite Bird, a nonprofit founded in July 1997
hy gay men Walter Jaffe and Paul King, received
$ 15,000 to bring world-renowned dance troupes
to Oregon. T he grant will fund outreach
performances hy acclaimed choreographer Paul
Taylor in April 2004 at nontraditional venues
such as hospitals, AIDS hospices, retirement
communities and fire and police stations.
For more information visit wum.1. pgcfowuLititm.org.
T eam T ennis
S hares the L ove
) ortland Team Tennis presented $400 and
$500 checks Nov. 16 to three charities serv­
ing people with H1V/A1DS.
T he money was raised at the 1 5th Rose
C ity O pen tournam ent, which was held during
Labor Pay weekend. This year’s recipients
were Esther’s Pantry, which provides food and
personal care items to low income people; O ur
House of Portland, a residential care facility;
and
W om en’s
Intercom m unity
A ID S
Resource, which offers guidance and counsel­
ing, advocacy, education, peer programs, pre­
vention and referrals.
1
Front row from left, Ray Scott of Team Tennis presents checks Nov. 16 to Dave Dishman of
Esther’s Pantry, Denise Blair of W om en’s Intercom m unity A ID S Resource and Tricia
Bergman of O u r H ouse of Portland
Team Tennis meets from 8:30 a.m. to noon
Sundays at U niversity of Portland. All levels
of experience are welcome, and first-timers
play for free.
For outre mformatum call 503-735-9058 or
503-282-7210. To sign u[t as a sponsor call
360-576-0590 or e-mail rayscottvuK&yahoo.com.
G ay M a n ' s D eath
U nderscores F amily
C onflict , B udget C uts
L
ess than two days after being removed from
life support hy order of a court-appointed
guardian, a Portland gay man died Nov. 18 at
Adventist Medical Center.
Douglas K. Schm idt, 37, suffered a massive
epileptic seizure March 1. Unconscious and
severely hrain-damaged, he spent the next
8 1/2 m onths in three Portland hospitals, a
N ortheast Portland adult care facility and a
nursing home in Vancouver, Wash. Medical
expenses are projected to total near $1 million,
largely assumed hy the state, which in February
ended coverage of his $13-a-day epilepsy drug
because of budget cuts.
Conflict among Schm idt’s family members
led a Multnomah County judge in September to
appoint Nancy P ity as the m an’s guardian.
After consulting with family members and
health care staff, P ity reported to the court, “It
has been determined hy medical professionals
that Pm glas Schmidt will not recover his neu­
rological functions that allow him to express
himself as a person.”
Greg Schmidt told The Oregtmuin that his
brother experienced numerous life-threatening
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illnesses, including kidney failure, pneumonia
and other infections as well as gastrointestinal
problems. He relied on a ventilator to breathe
and could not see, eat, swallow without choking
or control his bowels.
Despite a “dissenting o p in io n ” hy Kith
Schm idt’s sister Stephanie W ight and his part­
ner, W erth Sargent, P ity asked that Schm idt’s
life support he discontinued, allowing him to
die. Wight and Sargent went to court Nov. 17
for a restraining order that would restore life
support, hut M ultnom ah C ounty Circuit Judge
K atherine Tennyson found “no reason to
change the decision that has been made."
According to The Oregimian, Sargent called
the decision to withdraw life support cruel, say­
ing: “If G od makes the decision, th at’s one
thing. This wasn’t G od." W ight said, "Some-
Nxly is killing somehiKly, and it’s not right.’’
The conflict surrounding Schm idt’s medical
care illustrates a challenge common among sex­
ual minorities when a family member’s wishes
are not known or honored regarding health care
in the event of incapacitation.
“This family has been absolutely traumatized
hy this whole experience, hut a lot of the trauma
came from within the family," P ity said. “If you
have specific wishes, you had better put them in
writing, or you may get stuck with a guardian
who may he a very unpopular person."
Schmidt died in the company of seven fami­
ly members and friends, including his mother,
Sandra Wierzha of Murrieta, Calif. "This is the
hardest thing I’ve ever done," she told The
Associated Press. “I talked to myself all night
long, and it’s the right thing for P lu g .’’ J H
Compiled hy J im R aiw sta
and T imothy K rause
* |13