Terri Schiavo’s Parents Want Estranged Husband’s Guardianship Ended

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 11, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Parents Want Estranged Husband’s Guardianship Ended Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 11, 2005

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — The parents of Terri Schiavo have asked a judge to end her estranged husband Michael’s legal guardianship. Bob and Mary Schindler say Michael has numerous conflicts of interest which prevent him from doing an adequate job as Terri’s caretaker.

The Schindlers say that Michael Schiavo should be removed as Terri’s guardian because of personal, legal, financial and religious conflicts of interest.

David Gibbs, the lead counsel for the Schindlers, says "any one of these four conflicts of interest should provide the court with a sufficient reason to terminate Mr. Schiavo’s guardianship and appoint a replacement guardian."

Though legally married to Terri, Michael has been living with Jodi Centonze for ten years and has had two children with her. He has refused the Schindlers’ requests that he divorce Terri and allow them to care for her.

Should Michael grant Terri a divorce, he would likely lose the remainder of a $1.5 million medical malpractice judgment awarded to him supposedly to be used to pay for rehabilitative and medical care for Terri.

Though promising to spent most of it on care for Terri, Michael has racked up $500,000 in legal bills in his bid to end her life. If Terri dies, Michael inherits what remains.

The Schinlers’ motion also cites Michael’s failure to provide Terri with her own legal counsel to advocate her best interest during the years of court battles between the two parties.

Terri’s parents are also concerned about religious conflicts of interest.

They have failed to win court backing of their argument that starving Terri to death by removing her food and water would violate her Catholic beliefs. In recent comments, Pope John Paul II called denying food and water to a disabled patient like Terri "euthanasia by omission."

However, they say in the motion that Michael should have done more to protest Terri’s religious liberties and argue that she would have opposed a starvation death were she able to communicate her wishes.

The Schindlers also say Michael has prevented Terri from receiving communion from a family priest in her hospice room.

Attorneys for the Schindlers hope to depose Michael to support their motion, but he has previously refused to show up at two scheduled depositions.

This isn’t the first time the Schindlers have made an effort to remove Michael as Terri’s guardian. Citing his failure to file required care plans on an annual basis, they previously asked Circuit Court Judge George Greer to void the guardianship rights he enjoys.

Should the courts grant their request to replace Michael with Terri’s brother Bobby, the battle over Terri’s life would be over.

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