Judge Denies Opening Abuse Records in Terri Schiavo Case

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 4, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Judge Denies Opening Abuse Records in Terri Schiavo Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 4
, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — A local judge refused to open the records of a Florida agency that is looking into allegations of abuse and neglect against Terri Schiavo by her estranged husband Michael. Florida media outlets had wanted copies of previous investigations in the case.

The Department of Children and Families had received 89 allegations of abuse and neglect in the years leading up to Terri’s starvation death.

However, Circuit Court Judge George Greer, who issued the orders resulting in Terri’s painful death, refused to allow the media access to the reports.

The St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune newspapers sought summaries of the 89 reports from the state agency.

Greer ruled the records belong to the DCF and he said that Michael Schiavo can have access to them, but they can’t be made public.

During a Thursday hearing, according to an AP report, DCF attorney Jennifer Lima-Smith asked Greer to keep the records sealed, saying "It’s time to end this case." She said the DCF investigation is ongoing.

Before Terri’s death, the agency was seeking a complete investigation of the allegations and had asked Greer to prevent starving Terri for 60 days while it proceeded.

Greer denied the request and also prevented the state agency from taking Terri into protective custody to prevent her death and investigate the charges.

Department of Children and Families supervisor Susan McPhee told Judge Greer at the time that Michael has denied her medical treatment and isolated her in her hospice room with the blinds closed and prevented her from going outdoors.

Those are just some of the "30 detailed allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation" the agency received in a 34-page document in February.

Other DCF concerns included Michael’s failure to follow state law and provide an annual guardianship and medical care plan for Terri, failure to provide Terri with medical care and rehabilitative therapy as he told a court he would do, and lack of moving Terri from her bed which caused her "severe contractures."

Related news stories:

Terri Schiavo’s Body Cremated, Schindlers Denied Autopsy Review

New Poll Shows Americans Not in Favor of Killing Terri Schiavo

Statement of the Schindler Family Following Terri Schiavo’s Death

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

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