Judge Denies Terri Schiavo’s Parents Right to Her Medical Info

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 30, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Judge Denies Terri Schiavo’s Parents Right to Her Medical Info

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 30, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — In a huge setback for the parents of Terri Schiavo, a Florida judge has ruled against a contempt of court motion Bob and Mary Schindler filed against Terri’s estranged husband Michael saying he is violating a court order by withholding information about Terri’s medical condition from them.

A 1996 judicial mandate by the Pinellas County Circuit Court requires Michael to provide Terri’s family with current information concerning her medical condition and treatment if there is a "significant change" in Terri’s condition.

In his written comments, Circuit Court Judge George Greer dismissed Mary Schindler’s affidavit as hearsay. Judge Greer said she did not "demonstrate personal knowledge" of Michael’s noncompliance with the 1996 order.

In her affidavit, Mary Schindler said nurses at the hospice would slip bits and pieces of information about Terri to her. She could not reveal their names because they feared reprisal for their actions.

That wasn’t good enough for Greer, who said Mary should have provided names and actual accounts of what she was told.

Greer said he would consider a new motion from the Schindlers provided it conformed with previous court rulings about when a party has personal knowledge that a court order has been violated.

Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, told LifeNews.com, "I feel as if Judge Greer is blatantly ignoring a very clear and concise court order."

Greer said he thought the court should revisit the 1996 order, issued by another judge, to reevaluate the meaning of the term "significant change."

"What about ‘change in medical condition’ requires interpretation," Schindler asked.

"With every hearing, it gets more obvious to me that this judge is working to insulate Michael Schiavo and, in the process, is causing harm to my sister and torturing my parents. God have mercy on other parents of disabled people in this jurisdiction," Schindler told LifeNews.com.

Mary Schindler told WorldNetDaily that she felt Judge Greer would never find Michael in contempt of court because it would require moving him as Terri’s guardian — something Greer won’t do.

Terri’s family is still not receiving information regarding her medical condition, but Michael’s attorneys claim he is following the court orders.

In February, Terri began vomiting and the Schindlers asked nursing and hospice staff what had caused it and what measures were being taken to treat Terri.

Staff told the Schindlers they were under orders from Michael’s attorneys not to divulge any information.

Earlier this month, Michael’s attorneys refused to agree to a hearing time, which prompted Judge Greer to "scold" them and he set a time himself.

Pat Anderson, attorney for Terri’s parents, presented evidence to Judge Greer showing that she offered three separate hearing times to Michael’s attorneys and they replied that none were suitable. They did not offer Anderson any other preferred time for the hearing.

Related web sites:
Contempt motion – https://www.zimp.org/documents/022404contempt.pdf
Court order requiring Michael to provide medical info –
Judge Greer’s denial – https://zimp.org/documents/032904denial.pdf
Terri Schiavo’s family – https://www.terrisfight.org