Terri Schiavo’s Parents File Emergency Petition to Restore Visitation

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 12, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Parents File Emergency Petition to Restore Visitation

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 12, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s parents have been prevented from seeing their daughter for 44 days and have been told by her estranged husband Michael that they must hire a police officer to accompany them if they want to visit her. On Monday, an attorney for the Schindlers filed a petition seeking an emergency hearing to restore their visitation rights.

Following the suspicious discovery of puncture wounds on Terri’s arms on March 29, the Schindlers were turned away from visiting Terri by nursing staff who told them they were acting on Michael’s orders.

Last week, Deborah Bushnell, one of Michael’s lawyers, faxed a letter to Pat Anderson, an attorney for the Schindlers.

Bushnell said the Schindlers could visit their daughter, but only if they would agree to hire an off-duty police officer to accompany them. Should Terri’s parents fail to meet the request, they would continue to be denied visitation rights.

Not content to pay to visit their daughter, the Schindlers have asked Anderson to seek an emergency hearing to restore visitation.

"This family is enduring a nightmare, all because of a staged incident," Anderson said. "Terri’s mother cannot even see her own daughter, comfort her, touch her or interact with her."

Judge George Greer, who presides over the guardianship matter involving Terri Schiavo has already refused to hear the motion on an expedited basis, stating he does not consider this an emergency matter.

If Greer does allow a hearing on the motion, it will be set on a timetable he approves.

"It’s amazing to me that anyone would think Terri Schiavo deserves this form of punishment," Anderson explained. "For her to be confined and isolated in this fashion is something I find cruel and completely contrary to Florida statutes. Death row inmates get better treatment."

Anderson blasted Michael for the way he and his attorneys have handled the matter.

Following the discovery of the marks on Terri’s arms, Michael’s attorney George Felos, an assisted suicide advocate, sent out "a press release to several dozen print and electronic media outlets, in essence accusing the parents of criminally assaulting their beloved daughter."

The press release was sent to the media before Terri’s family was made aware of the incident. Anderson said a 1996 court order requires Michael to make the Schindler family aware of Terri’s medical condition.

Bob Schindler, Terri’s father, learned of the puncture marks only after a local television station called for comment on the matter.

Michael and his attorneys have accused the Schindlers of attempting to inject something into Terri, while the Schindlers say Terri was wearing street clothes when they visited last and hospice staff found drug paraphernalia in a medical gown when they discovered the marks.

A toxicology study concluded that no unauthorized chemicals were found in Terri’s system.

Related web sites:
Anderson motion for emergency hearing –
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org