Terri Schiavo’s Parents Still Can’t Visit Daughter, Despite Police Report

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 18, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Parents Still Can’t Visit Daughter, Despite Police Report

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 18, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Though a police investigation proved that Terri Schiavo’s parents are not responsible for any wrongdoing, Terri’s estranged husband Michael continues to prevent them from visiting their daughter unless they pay for security personnel to accompany them.

"We have been banned from seeing Terri for 49 days," Bob Schindler, Terri’s father, said in a press conference Monday. "Why are we being kept from our own daughter? We have not done anything wrong, the police agreed."

"For the past 14 years, my family has endured a hardship that is beyond description. I’m certain that any parent can imagine the horror of such a devastating incident happening to one of your children. It is difficult and heartbreaking to say the least," Schindler explained.

Terr’s parents have filed a lawsuit and Circuit Court Judge George Greer has scheduled a hearing for May 26 to determine whether or not Michael is unjustly denying the Schindlers their visitation rights.

But George Felos, the assisted suicide advocate who is Michael’s lawyer, said the incident raised enough concern and suspicion that the more restrictive visitation policy was justified.

"We think that raises questions and suspicions, and we’ll just let the judge decide … whether it warrants supervision when Terri’s family visits," Felos told the Associated Press.

He also said the Schindlers had taken extra video footage of their daughter without permission, and that they had to be monitored so such activities wouldn’t be repeated.

The Schindlers have also been battling the press to get a correct version of Terri’s condition in media reports about the legal battle.

The most recent Associated Press article concerning the police report and the Schindlers’ visitation repeats the oft-cited error that Terri "was left in a persistent vegetative state after collapsing from a chemical imbalance in 1990."

"My daughter is not in a persistent vegetative state. This is a point that many who have reported on the case in the past simply do not understand," Schindler explains.

"Terri is able to laugh and cry and to respond to us when we visit her. She complies with requests and does her best to please those around her. She has moods. She has good days and bad days — just like you or I," Terri’s father said in a statement Monday.

Terri’s parents are also concerned that Michael’s lack of providing Terri with adequate care is beginning to take its toll.

So far, Terri has lost five teeth because they are rotting and hospice staff are not brushing her teeth on a regular basis, according to the Schindlers.

Though she is beyond hope to some, Bob Schindler says his daughter is still very much alive and needs the nurturing bond that only her family can provide.

"She laughs at my stupid jokes. She cries when we leave. She lights up when she sees her mother. She complains when she is not comfortable. She giggles when her mother plays with her hair. She gets frustrated, happy, tearful, tired, excited — everything you and I do. She just does it in the only way she can," Schindler concluded.

Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org