For Schiavo's lawyer, work part of a journey

Published March 31, 2005

George Felos sat at the woman's bedside, pondering whether to take her case. Estelle Browning, who had suffered a stroke in 1986 when she was 86, had written a living will saying she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means. But her nursing home refused to disconnect her feeding tube.

As Felos stared into Browning's empty blue eyes, he said he felt lightheaded. He saw the light in the room change. He felt Browning's soul cry out to him in despair.

"Why am I still here?" Browning's soul said.

Felos decided to take the case, which would lead to a landmark Florida ruling at the heart of the Terri Schiavo case.

In his book Litigation as Spiritual Practice, Felos wrote that his work is part of a spiritual journey to higher enlightenment. His ideology is rooted in teachings of yoga and meditation that say existence transcends the body and mind.

The 53-year-old attorney, who represents Michael Schiavo, is a graduate of Boston University law school. He is a former board member and volunteer for Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, which operates the hospice where Terri stayed.

Both of Felos' marriages ended in divorce.

Once while flying, he imagined what it would feel like to die if the plane crashed. Moments later, the plane started to plunge. After the plane steadied, Felos wrote that God spoke to him: " "Be careful what you think,' God said. "You are more powerful than you realize.' "