Next Battle in Terri Schiavo Case Could be Visitation Issue

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 26, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Next Battle in Terri Schiavo Case Could be Visitation Issue Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 26
, 2005

Pinellas Park, FL ( — Assuming Florida and federal courts continue their rigid stance in favor of Terri Schiavo’s painful starvation death, the issue of visitation could be the next legal battleground.

Terri’s estranged husband Michael and her parents Bob and Mary Schindler have not spoken in years and they do not visit Terri at Woodside Hospice at the same time.

As Terri’s legal guardian, Michael controls which people are allowed to be placed on an approved list of visitors. Michael has spent most of the time with Terri this week and the Schindlers are permitted to visit from time to time.

A local shop owner across the street from the hospice has allowed the Schindlers to turn his business into a waiting area with couches for the Schindlers to relax and be close to Terri and the media circus outside the hospice.

With Terri close to death, the next battle in the ongoing controversy could be who gets to be with Terri if she dies.

Hamden Baskin, one of Michael’s attorneys, told the St. Petersburg Times newspaper that the two sides have no discussed who should be allow to be present with Terri when she dies.

However, he indicated Michael would likely be with Terri.

"He will be in a position to be with her in the end as he should as her husband," Baskin said. "He’s been very gracious to extend the family a great deal of time with Terri. As the time draws near, it does become a more difficult logistic situation. Michael has the right to choose the amount of time he will stay with her."

Visitation rights have always been an issue for the Schindlers.

In May 2004 they had to go before Judge George Greer and argue that their visitation rights should be restored.

This came after wild accusations by Schiavo’s attorney, euthanasia advocate George Felos, that the parents had caused puncture marks on the disabled woman’s arms and caused her feeding tube to be wrapped around her back.

Michael also haphazardly denied the Schindlers visitation rights on previous occasions, such as in October 2003 when they won a legal battle to have Terri’s feeding tube restored after it was removed the second time.

Related news stories:

Terri Schiavo’s Parents’ Last Motion on Terri Saying "I Want to Live"

Terri Schiavo Case Reveals How We Treated Disabled Americans

Neurologists: Terri Schiavo Not in Persistent Vegetative State

Terri Schiavo’s Hospice Nurses Want Her to Die, Dissenter Fired

Media Slanting News Against Terri Schiavo, Report Says

Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents –