Terri Schiavo’s Family Releases Statement on Florida Court’s Ruling

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

Terri Schiavo’s Family Releases Statement on Florida Court’s Ruling Email this article
Printer friendly page

LifeNews.com Note: The following is a statement from Terri Schiavo’s family following the Florida Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to overturn Terri’s Law. The measure allowed Florida Governor Jeb Bush to ask doctors to prevent Terri from being starved to death.

September 18, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — For years now, lawyers and judges -– all of them total strangers — have besieged our family stating in courtrooms and the media that our severely disabled daughter, Terri, must be starved to death. We have been told that she must die in order to protect her right of privacy.

And now the Florida Supreme Court tells us that a law crafted to save Terri’s life is unconstitutional when it is applied to her.

None of this makes any sense to us.
The ruling by the Florida Supreme Court today was not unexpected; nevertheless the family is disappointed at the outcome.

We would like everyone to understand the reason the Florida legislature and Governor Bush interceded in Terri’s case was to protect Terri from a serious miscarriage of justice.

The Governor specifically wanted answers to the following questions, all of which are extremely troubling:

(1) Why Terri’s purported desire to die was hidden from the jury in the 1992 medical malpractice case, during which Michael Schiavo testified that Terri would need compensation to live out her life;

(2) What did Michael Schiavo mean when he purportedly said at Palm Gardens Nursing Home such things as “When is she going to die?” “Has she died yet?” “When is that bitch going to die?” “Can’t you do anything to accelerate her death?"

(3) What Michael Schiavo knows about the multiple traumatic injuries of relatively recent origin that were found to be present in a bone scan conducted on Terri by Dr. Campbell Walker in March of 1991?

(4) Why were nurses’ notes which documented Terri’s rehabilitation potential deleted from her chart at Palm Gardens?

(5) Why were observations of the nursing assistants regarding Terri’s level of function and responsiveness deleted from her chart? and

(6) What would Terri’s desires be regarding who should make end-of-life decisions for her if she knew that Michael Schiavo was living with another woman who has borne two children by him?

The family knows that Terri never expressed a desire to be starved to death, and the Legislature and Governor thought the case troubling enough to get involved directly.

We profoundly regret that the Florida Supreme Court felt compelled to ignore these questions and opted instead to issue a technical legal decision that doesn’t protect Terri from the cadre of crusaders who are so desperate for our daughter be starved to death.

The family knew that this outcome was probable and so we are pursuing other legal avenues, which we hope will save Terri’s life. Contributions and/or help in this fight may be made at https://www.Terrisfight.org.

The family appreciates all those who have supported their fight to save Terri, and again express to them our sincere gratitude. The family also will forever be grateful to Governor Bush and his legal team for their devotion to saving Terri’s life.