Terri Schiavo’s Family Releases New Video Proving She’s "Not a Vegetable"

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

Terri Schiavo’s Family Releases New Video Proving She’s "Not a Vegetable"

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 14, 2003

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — The family of Terri Schiavo released the contents of a videotape on Tuesday that they say shows Terri communicating with her mother and proves she is not in a "vegetative state."

The videotape was recorded secretly in defiance of an order by Circuit Court Judge George Greer that the family not provide Terri with rehabilitative care or take pictures or video of her. He is the judge who has issued the order allowing Terri’s feeding tube to be removed.

At one point in the video, made in August 2001, Mary Schindler says Terri’s name as she enters the room and Terri’s eyes light up and she attempts to sit upright in her bed. Later on, Terri is asked whether she can say the word "Mom" and she has difficulties accomplishing the task.

"She gets frustrated, you can hear it in her voice, when she can’t communicate like I’m sure she wants to, it’s difficult for her," said Mary. "But that’s her best effort to say, ‘I’m in here, and I’m trying to talk to you.’"

Bob Schindler said he made the video by smuggling a small videocamera under his shift during a visit at the hospice care facility where Terri has been living.

George Felos, Michael Schiavo’s attorney, quickly wrote a letter to Greer saying Michael would block any further unsupervised visits by the Schindlers if they violated Greer’s order again.

The Schindlers released the videotape with hopes that the Department of Children and Families will investigate Terri’s lack of proper medical and rehabilitative care.

The family has urged Florida Governor George Bush (R) to intervene. Bush has written to Judge Greer and filed an amicus brief in a federal case, but his efforts to help have been rebuffed by the courts. There is nothing legally that Bush can do to stop the removal of the feeding tube, according to a spokesman.

Despite his the limitation in what he can do, Bush said the case was "very troubling. This is not an easy situation for anyone."

"At the end of the day, if it’s possible for this woman to be able to continue to live without life support, then she should be able to do that…I don’t know if that’s the case or not, we’ll never know if it stands where it is right now."

Some doctors dismiss the communication as nothing more than natural reflexes and they say the brain damage Terri has suffered prevents her from having the mental capability of communicating the way her parents describe.

Related web sites:
Bob and Mary Schindler – https://www.terrisffight.org