Wrong Terri Schiavo Investigation Reports Released to Show Abuse

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 25, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wrong Terri Schiavo Investigation Reports Released to Show Abuse

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 25, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — When a local judge ordered a Florida agency to release investigative reports on Terri Schiavo to the media, news outlets immediately seized on them and announced they proved Terri’s estranged husband’s contention he had not abused her. However, the reports were not the ones expected to show such abuse.

According to Pat Anderson, the former lead attorney for Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, Circuit Court Judge George Greer only ordered the release of older records, not ones compiled by the Florida Department of Children and Families in the weeks leading up to Terri’s painful starvation death.

"Everyone should be aware that Judge Greer ordered the release, only, of the old abuse reports," Anderson said, "not the records of the current DCF investigation."

Anderson said the agency was not doing any investigation into Terri’s case last year, even though Terri had four teeth pulled in April 2004 because of poor dental care.

"All of us involved in the Schiavo case knew that DCF was not doing any ‘investigating’ last year," Anderson explained. "However, this year, for whatever reason, the DCF received more reports and decided to investigate for real this time."

Anderson said the unreleased reports showing Terri was subject to abuse and neglect were from the more recent investigations — ones Judge Greer ignored when he allowed Michael Schiavo to starve Terri to death.

"[W]hen they went before Judge Greer, saying their investigation showed evidence of abuse and neglect and asking for an emergency tube reinsertion order from him, not only did he refuse their request, he enjoined them from further access to her," Anderson said.

"Do not be deceived by this little [public relations] ploy," Anderson concluded. "It’s the current reports I want to see."

According to Department of Children and Families supervisor Susan McPhee Michael had denied Terri medical treatment and isolated her in her hospice room with the blinds closed. He also prevented her from going outdoors.

The unreleased reports also included concerns about a bone scan taken on Terri that showed signs of possible physical abuse and broken bones.

Michael has denied abusing Terri and one of his attorneys, Hamden Baskin, told the Associated Press "the fractures resulted from osteoporosis caused by the woman’s years of immobility and complications of her medication."

However, the bone scan was taken in August 1991, just 18 months after Terri’s February 1990 collapse that put her in the disabled state she was in before her starvation death.

Other DCF concerns in the unreleased reports 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 web sites:
Terri’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org