CBS News Posts Prewritten Story Saying Terri Schiavo Died

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 30, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

CBS News Posts Prewritten Story Saying Terri Schiavo Died Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 30
, 2005

New York, NY ( — CBS News is coming under fire for prewriting and posting to its news web site a story claiming Terri Schiavo had died.

The article, penned by Christine Lagorio, claims Terri’s estranged husband Michael was with her when she died and was posted on the CBS News web page on Monday, according to radio talk show host Glenn Beck, who discovered it.

"Surrounded by stuffed animals and medical equipment in her small hospice room in Pinellas Park, Fla., Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo died TK," the story says.

"Known as Terri Schiavo, the severely brain damaged Florida woman spent her last months in the glare of the public eye as a few still images and several seconds of video of her repeatedly broadcast around the world," the story continued.

Lagorio wrote that after her death Terri "appeared made up and dressed" and claimed that Terri’s estranged husband Michael "was at the bedside of his wife Terri when she died."

CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius told that the story was "a draft that was stored on the web site" but not intended to be accessible to the public.

"All news organizations plan ahead for events that may happen. This draft story was never posted on our website, nor was it ever available via normal site navigation," she said.

Genelius said the news story was accidentally saved a portion of the web site accessible to search engines and she told that CBS News "removed the story as soon as the error was discovered, and we sincerely regret any confusion that may have resulted."

Lori Kehoe, who monitors end of life issues for the National Right to Life Committee, told she was amazed at the development.

"The fact that many have probably written the framework of press releases for Terri’s death highlights the nature of this monstrosity — the intent is not to relieve any of the burden from Terri but rather to make sure she dies — and they wait with bated breath," Kehoe said.

"CBS should be ashamed but everyone else should simply take note — mainstream media is again creating the news instead of reporting it," Kehoe told

Comments about Terri being "dressed up" after her death particularly outraged Kehoe.

"The media is just showing their true colors once again — make Michael out to be the loving husband and talk about how nice Terri looks," Kehoe continued.

"[T]hat should help perpetuate the lie that death by dehydration is something other than cruel and hideous and further the myth that the loving thing to do is to plan your wife’s death and wait with her," Kehoe told

Related web sites:
The CBS News story originally appeared at:

A PDF version of the Terri death story can be found at: