Michael Responds to Gov Bush 911 Investigation on Terri Schiavo

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 20, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michael Responds to Gov Bush 911 Investigation on Terri Schiavo

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 20, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s estranged husband Michael has responded to a request from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to investigate why he didn’t call 911 until over an hour after Terri collapsed in 1990. Michael claims there was no delay.

"I have consistently said over the years that I didn’t wait but ‘ran’ to call 911 after Terri collapsed," Michael said in a statement made public Monday.

Meanwhile, George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael’s lead attorney, defended his client.

"It’s just shameful and disgraceful that Governor Bush has for years used this case to perpetuate his own agenda," Felos said.

In a letter faxed to Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Bush highlights the disparity in Michael’s claims.

A first version of what happened the night Terri collapsed came during a 1992 medical malpractice suit which awarded Michael $1.5 million, part of which was designated for, but not spent, on Terri’s medical care and rehabilitation. Then, Michael claimed his wife collapsed at 5 a.m.

Later, in a 2003 interview on CNN’s "Larry King Live," Michael says he found Terri at 4:30 a.m. and did not call 911 until 5:40 a.m.

"Between 40 and 70 minutes elapsed before the call was made, and I am aware of no explanation for the delay," Bush wrote in the letter. "In light of this new information, I urge you to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome."

Though McCabe couldn’t initially confirm the discrepancy, he told Bush he would look into it. Terri’s parents have had a hard time in the past getting McCabe to examine problems associated with Michael’s treatment of Terri.

Felos conceded that Michael may have confused the times over the years, but said Terri would have died that day had Michael not called 911 immediately.

"There is no hour gap or other gap to the point Michael heard Terri fall and called 911," Felos said at a Wednesday press conference. "We’ve seen the baseless allegations in this case fall by the wayside one by one. That’s what I would call it, a baseless claim to perpetuate a controversy that in fact doesn’t exist."

Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, told LifeNews.com last week that local investigators should have taken up an investigation back in 1990.

"Because she didn’t die, it wasn’t worth looking into," Schindler told LifeNews.com. "There were no thorough investigations at all at that time. Everyone assumed there was no foul play."

"I’d like to see Michael answer some questions about her collapse, but he never will unless there is an investigation," he said.