Bob Schindler Talks With About Terri Schiavo

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 19, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bob Schindler Talks With About Terri Schiavo

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 19, 2003

Pinellas Park, FL ( — On Thursday, Terri Schiavo’s father Bob Schindler talked with about the latest events in Terri’s life and the ordeals he and the Schindler family are going through in their battle to save the life of their daughter.

On Tuesday, Terri was moved from the Pinellas Park, Florida hospice where she has lived for years to a retirement home in nearby Clearwater. The hospice is undergoing a major renovation and moving all of their patients to other locations.

Bob and Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, visited Terri at her new location.

"Since Terri’s starvation ordeal, it is apparent she is very weak and obviously tired," Bob Schindler told "To my delight, yesterday she was extremely responsive and interacted with my son and I. Terri attempted to talk as best as she can. She actually would try to answer questions I would ask her. Sadly, I can’t understand exactly what she is saying because her verbal responses are unclear."

Bob and Terri had a humorous exchange when he tried to kiss her a few times. "She had a look on her face like she was sucking on a lemon," he said.

The reaction was funny, Schindler said, and he playfully scolded her. "Then she smiled and began to laugh."

With all that Terri has been through, it is amazing how well Terri looks. "She has a strong will to live."

However, Schindler said Terri is still not receiving appropriate medical treatment.

Last September, Terri was discovered to have a kidney stone and Schindler is not sure if Terri has ever been treated for it, or if doctors will ever examine it as long as her estranged husband Michael is her legal guardian.

While at the hospice, there were times Terri showed discomfort as a result of the kidney stone. Other times she appeared to be sedated, but Schindler told there is no way he can confirm the suspicion.

Contrary to a 1996 court order, the Schindler family is still being denied information from Michael concerning Terri’s medical care.

Terri’s caretakers have occasionally defied Michael’s orders. Schindler told that there are nurses and certified nurse assistants who will sometimes divulge information.

However, a doctor who told the Schindler family about Terri’s kidney stone "was soon relieved of his responsibility to care for Terri," he said.

As was the case at the hospice, Terri is being confined to a room at the assisted living facility with only a limited amount of visitation. Other than trips to the hospital, Terri has not been outside for a lengthy period of time in three years.

Michael and his attorneys are making it difficult for the Schindler family to visit their daughter.

"At the Pinellas Park Hospice facility the police were stationed at the front entrance where we had to show identification to enter the building. There was also a policeman stationed at the entrance to Terri’s room," Schindler explained.

"We have to sign a register when we enter the building and once again before we enter Terri’s room. We are not permitted to carry any cell phones or anything that may be interpreted as a potential weapon. The police watch us when we are in the room with Terri and recently questioned her mother when she was simply applying lip gloss to Terri’s dried lips," Schindler added.

Bob told that he sometimes wished Terri had committed a crime and was in prison.

If in prison, she wouldn’t be denied food and water, she’d be able to go outside for fresh air, and she wouldn’t be placed in solitary confinement, as she is now, he said.

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Terri Schiavo’s family –