Terri Schiavo’s Family Seeks Gov’s Help to Prevent Her Death

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 14, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Family Seeks Gov’s Help to Prevent Her Death

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 14, 2003

Tampa, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo was 26 in 1990 when she suddenly collapsed in her home after her heart stopped from what doctors initially believed was a potassium imbalance. The loss of oxygen to her brain left her in a condition where she could breathe on her own but was left reliant on a liquid nutritional supplement and water delivered through a tube.

Schiavo’s parents have been battling her husband and guardian, Michael Schiavo, who says his wife would not want to be kept on life support.

Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, say their daughter reacts to them with tears and smiles, moves her head and moans. They have doctors who believe she could be rehabilitated with new and aggressive therapy.

The latest court decision condemns Terri to death.

On Friday, the family learned that the Florida Appeals Court would not help them keep Terri alive. In two weeks, Terri’s case will head back to Judge George Greer’s court where he will order Terri’s starvation death to commence.

Perhaps the only hope left in saving Terri, her parents say, is for pro-life Governor Jeb Bush to grant a ‘stay of execution’ while he conducts an investigation to determine the actual cause of Terri’s mysterious collapse.

"For over 10 years, Terri’s husband, Michael Schiavo, sealed Terri’s medical records from inspection. Only recently, doctors other than those selected by Michael Schiavo, reviewed these medical records," explains Pamela Hennessy, a volunteer with a foundation set up to help Terri and her family.

"It was found that a heart attack did not cause Terri’s collapse as everyone was led to believe. Rather, according to one physician, Terri may have been a strangulation victim."

Hennessy said the new evidence leads Terri’s family and their attorney to believe Terri may have been abused by Michael. If true, the allegations demand an investigation she said.

Nancy Valko, the president of Missouri Nurses for Life and a spokesman for the national Nurses for Life organization told LifeNews.com, "[Pro-life nurses] have also seen family members willing to care for loved ones as Terri Schiavo portrayed in the press as cruel and unrealistic while spouses who want food, water and basic medical care withdrawn are portrayed as compassionate and loving."

"Cases like Terri’s set precedents and can discourage other families from even trying to get treatment continued for their loved ones. Now, we even have hospitals adopt medical futility policies to enforce the ‘right to die’ on such families," Valko explained.

Two physicians selected by the parents testified that Schiavo could recover with specialized therapy. A video shown in court showed Schiavo’s eyes open and appearing to track movement with her eyes.

One of the physicians said Terri has never received the kind of recovery care she’s needed in the 13 years since she entered the coma-like state. The family says Michael has been motivated by a $700,000 medical insurance policy and wants to marry another women with whom he has already had a child.

ACTION: The family urges pro-life advocates to contact Governor Jeb Bush and urge him to stop Terri’s death from proceeding. You can contact Governor Bush at 850-488-4441, send a fax to 850-922-4292 or send him an email at [email protected]. You can also sign a petition in Terri’s favor and send comments to Governor Bush at https://www.zimp.org/pet.html.

Related web sites:

Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundationhttps://www.terrisfight.org
Governor Jeb Bushhttps://www.state.fl.us/eog