Terri Schiavo Cremated, Schindlers Denied Autopsy Reviewer

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 2, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo Cremated, Schindlers Denied Autopsy Reviewer Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 2
, 2005

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — The remains of Terri Schiavo’s body were cremated on Saturday, according to an attorney for her estranged husband Michael. Meanwhile, Terri’s parents were been denied the opportunity to have an independent expert come in and examine Terri’s body or her autopsy.

Judge George Greer had issued a court order Tuesday, before Terri’s starvation death, allowing Michael to cremate her body and bury her in a secret location outside Philadelphia.

Bob and Mary Schindler said the cremation would violate Terri’s religious beliefs and had hoped to bury Terri in Florida, where they live.

Greer sided with Michael on both requests. He required Michael to inform the Schindlers where Terri is buried, but only after the burial service is completed.

George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael’s lead attorney, confirmed to the media that the cremation occurred but said Terri’s remains had not yet been buried.

"The remains … were cremated this morning at approximately 9:00 a.m. at the National Cremation Society, in accordance with an order of the Pinellas County Probate Court," Felos said in a statement. "No further plans have as yet been determined."

The Schindlers hoped to have an independent expert observe the autopsy. They wanted to bring in Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, the well-known forensic pathologist and coroner of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Wecht told the Schindlers he would observe an autopsy, but Schindler attorney David Gibbs told Reuters Saturday that the Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s office refused their request.

The Schindlers hope the autopsy will confirm their contention that Terri was not in a persistent vegetative state and that Michael physically abused her, leading to her incapacitation.

Gibbs told the Associated Press that videos, pictures, and tissue samples could be obtained for other experts to review.

Paul O’Donnell, the Franciscan monk who helped advise the family during the two weeks Terri starved, said a funeral service the Schindlers and supporters are organizing would be announced soon.

While the autopsy will not likely be able to show whether Terri was PVS or minimally conscious and able to interact, it would show whether or not Terri had broken bones that eventually healed.

A 1991 bone scan showed broken bones and possible indications of physical trauma.

The autopsy was completed on Friday and results are not expected for several weeks. Information from it will be made public, but pictures of Terri’s body will not.

Statement of the Schindler Family Following Terri Schiavo’s Death

Michael Will Hide Where Terri Schiavo is Buried From Family

Michael’s Attorney Backs Kicking Out Terri Schiavo’s Parents

Catholic Priest: Terri Schiavo Responsive Til Death, Prayed With Family

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