Terri Schiavo’s Estranged Husband Will Allow Autopsy

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 29, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Estranged Husband Will Allow Autopsy Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 29
, 2005

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — Changing his mind on a key concern of issue to Terri Schiavo’s parents, her estranged husband Michael has changed his mind about whether to allow local officials to conduct an autopsy on her should she die from her painful starvation.

George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael’s lawyer confirmed Monday that Dr. John Thogmartin, the chief medical examiner for Pinellas County, Florida, will conduct an autopsy.

Felos told reporters that Michael changed his mind because he wants to reveal the extent of Terri’s brain damage and exonerate himself from charges that he physically abused Terri, causing her incapacitation.

Michael "believes it’s important to have the public know the full and massive extent of the damage that occurred to Mrs. Schiavo’s brain in 1990,” Felos said.

David Gibbs, the lead attorney for Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler said Terri’s family strongly supports an autopsy and noted they had asked Judge George Greer to approve one.

"We would certainly support and encourage an autopsy to be done, with all the unanswered questions," Gibbs told the Associated Press.

Felos described the rationale behind the decision.

"We didn’t think it was appropriate to talk about an autopsy prior to Mrs. Schiavo’s death," Felos told reporters, according to a Reuters report. "But because claims have been made by, I guess, opponents of carrying out her wishes that there was some motive behind the cremation of Mrs. Schiavo we felt it was necessary to make that announcement today."

Michael previously planned to cremate Terri’s body and bury her in a plot he owns where the couple met outside Philadelphia. Critics say that could cover up allegations of physical abuse.

While Michael, the courts and the media contend Terri collapsed in February 1990 as a result of an eating disorder, Terri’s family, friends and some doctors and nurses believe there was foul play.

LifeNews.com previously reported on a friend of Terri’s who indicated she repeatedly had bruises on her arms and legs. Terri’s friends said the couple had a heated argument the night before Terri collapsed.

A bone scan taken of Terri in 1991 shows possible physical trauma, but if Terri’s body is cremated, the question of whether physical abuse led to Terri’s incapacitation may be taken to her grave.

A nurse who took care of Terri during the mid 1990s told ABC Radio host Sean Hannity on Friday that Michael put forward a motion for Terri to be cremated as soon as attorneys for Terri’s parents discovered the bone scan.

"He wanted her cremated after the bone fractures and dislocations were found," nurse Carla Sauer Iyer told Hannity.

The bone scan found "an extensive number of focal abnormal areas" including "multiple bilateral ribs … both sacroiliac joints … both knees and both ankles."

Radiographs reveal "presumably traumatic … compression fractures" of the spine and right femur, according to a report located on Terri’s parents’ web site.

Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, have long alleged that Michael may have abused Terri. However, requests made for an investigation into the bone scan after the legal battle begin in 1998 were ignored. Local prosecutors said the scan was too old to be reliable.

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

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