Prayer Vigil Rallies Support for Terri Schiavo in Her Final Days

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

Prayer Vigil Rallies Support for Terri Schiavo in Her Final Days

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 14, 2003

Clearwater, FL ( — With her feeding tube scheduled to be removed on Wednesday, friends, family and supporters of Terri Schiavo staged a rally and began a round-the-clock prayer vigil for her outside the hospice where she lives.

About 10 supporters began the rally at noon on Monday at Woodside Hospice. They plan to stay there 24 hours a day until Terri is given proper care or she dies.

"We love our daughter very much and we want her home. Over the last 13 years, Terri has laughed with us, cried with us, talked with us, and even tried to get out of her chair. The accusations that Terri is in a coma or is a ‘vegetable’ are a lie," Bob and Marcy Schindler, her parents, said in a statement.

Also on Monday, the Schindlers, Terri’s parents filed an emergency motion with the 2nd District Court of Appeal seeking allow Terri to learn to learn to eat and drink on her own before the gastric tube is removed. Circuit Court Judge George Greer previously denied their motion and a federal judge refused to hear the case.

A separate motion asking that Greer be removed from the case is pending. The family believes that Greer has been colluding with Michael Schiavo and his attorney in an attempt to end Terri’s life.

Bob Schindler said he would fight until the end and again asked Florida Governor Jeb Bush to get involved in the case.

He wants Bush, who has been twice denied by the courts the ability to get involved in the case, to launch an investigation into whether Michael Schiavo illegally withheld money to pay for rehabilitative treatment for Terri.

"I guess I’m pleading with Governor Bush as one dad to another, to save Terri," Schindler said, fighting back tears.

Bush says he doesn’t have the legal authority to overrule the courts and stop the removal of the feeding tube. He already asked that an independent guardian be appointed and that Terri be allowed to learn to eat and drink on her own. Courts denied both requests.

Bush said in August he had received tens of thousands of e-mails urging him to keep Schiavo alive.

The Schindlers also issued a public plea for Michael Schiavo to step aside and let the family have a chance to rehabilitate Terri.

"We beg Michael Schiavo, and those working with him to end our daughter’s life, to let her come home to her family. We will sign any agreement you want, giving you all monies related to Terri’s collapse and any insurance money that may be forthcoming. You take the money. We just want our daughter," Terri’s pareents said.

Michael says he can’t stop the feeding tube removal because it was ordered by Greer and Greer believes that this would be Terri’s preference.

Once Terri’s feeding tube is removed, she is expected to die within two weeks.

Related web sites:
Bob and Mary Schindler –