Terri Schiavo’s Parents Ask Judge to Let Her Divorce Michael, He Refuses

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 28, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Parents Ask Judge to Let Her Divorce Michael, He Refuses Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 28, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — The parents of Terri Schiavo on Monday filed a request with Circuit Court Judge George Greer asking him to let Terri divorce her estranged husband Michael. Should the request be granted, Michael would not longer serve as Terri’s guardian and someone else could decide whether she should live or die.

Papers filed by Bob and Mary Schindler say Michael’s adulterous affair should qualify Terri for divorce, even though she is disabled and unable to make her own decisions.

The motion was one of 15 that the Schindlers are putting forward in another round of last-ditch efforts to prevent their daughter’s week-long starvation death, which is slated by Judge Greer to begin on March 18.

David Gibbs, the Schindlers’ lead attorney, told the Associated Press on Monday that Judge Greer has indicated he will not hold hearings on the divorce motion, which mean the matters will be taken directly to the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal.

The appeals court has not been sympathetic to the Schindlers’ concerns and has rejected previous attempts to save their daughter.

Gibbs told AP the divorce request has never been presented to the courts before.

"Whether Terri lives or dies, she still has a right to be divorced from Michael," Gibbs said. "Remaining married to him is an embarrassment."

Michael has come under considerable scrutiny for living with Jodi Centonze, even though he is still legally married to Terri. Michael and Jodi have been living together for years and have two children together.

Last week, Michael’s lead attorney, euthanasia advocate George Felos, came under fire for apologizing for Michael’s actions.

In an interview with the Florida Baptist Witness newspaper, Felos claimed Michael “deeply loves Terri” despite his affair.

“I think it’s hard-hearted to say to somebody whose spouse has Alzheimer’s, or whose spouse has had some catastrophic accident, that they are consigned to a life of loneliness and then can’t form other relationships," Felos said. "That’s a moral judgment and you know, I think people have different views on it."

The Schindlers say that Michael’s actions during the trial prove otherwise:

Michael has provided Terri with no therapy or rehabilitative treatment since 1991 and no tests since 1993.
* Terri’s teeth have not been cleaned since 1995 and she had 5 teeth extracted in 2004 as a result.

* Terri has been prohibited by Michael from going outdoors since 2000. She is not allowed to have music or flowers and cards and holiday decorations are taken down soon after the Schindler family puts them up.

* Michael has routinely denied Terri’s parents medical information, violating a court order and they were taken off approved visitor lists for a total of 8 months from 2001 through 2004.

* Michael has frequently prohibited a Catholic priest from visiting Terri and offering her a blessing or communion.

* Michael melted down Terri’s wedding ring to have one made for himself and had her cats euthanized even though the Schindlers offered to care for them.

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