by Steven Ertelt
April 1, 2005
Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — The euthanasia advocate who is the lead attorney for Terri Schiavo’s estranged husband Michael blasted Terri’s family and a leading Catholic priest who visited with Terri Thursday morning and complained when Terri’s family was kicked out of her room shortly before her death.
Visiting Terri with her brother Bobby and sister Suzanne, Father Frank Pavone, the director of the pro-life group Priests for Life, said he was astonished when Michael asked Terri’s family members to leave the room 10 minutes before Terri passed away.
"And so his heartless cruelty continues until this very last moment," Pavone told reporters about Michael’s decision.
In a press conference with reporters Thursday, Michael’s attorney George Felos harshly criticized Pavone calling his statement "venom" and "highly inappropriate under the circumstances."
Felos said Pavone should have been looking for an opportunity to unify Terri’s parents and her estranged husband.
"Instead of words of healing, words of reconciliation, compassion and understanding, we had a platform for an ideological agenda. It was counterproductive and disquieting," Felos said.
Felos also blasted the Schindler family.
"The level of acrimony hurled at Mr. Schiavo by the Schindlers – I mean, he’s been called a murderer, a wife abuser," he said. "That is not conduct and behavior that lead to reconciliation."
"Our family abhors any violence or any threats of violence," Terri’s sister Suzanne Vitadamo retorted. "We would ask that all of those who support our family be completely kind in their words and deeds toward others."
Asked during the press conference why access to Terri during her final moments wasn’t worked out in advance, Felos claimed it was due to "the level of acrimony hurled at Mr. Schiavo by the Schindlers."
Felos even directed his anger toward a reporter who asked about Terri’s thirteen days of starvation.
The reporter asked Felos how Terri’s death could be described as a "death with dignity" when she was "starved to death."
"I’m sure you know that’s an inaccurate question," Felos retorted. "Patients don’t starve to death by removal of artificial nutrition and hydration."
Pavone and Felos disagree on Terri’s state as she died from thirteen days without food and water.
Pavone said she "was obviously in deep distress and suffering" while Felos claimed it was calm, peaceful and gentle."
"This is not only a death, with all the sadness that brings, this is a killing," Pavone concluded. "We not only grieve for Terri, we grieve that our nation would allow such an atrocity as this, and we pray it will never happen again."
Related news stories:
Terri Schiavo Case Reveals How We Treated Disabled Americans
Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org