Michael Schiavo Asks Court for Lawsuit Against Terri’s Former Caregivers

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 10, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michael Schiavo Asks Court for Lawsuit Against Terri’s Former Caregivers Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 10, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s estranged husband Michael plans to file a lawsuit against her former caretakers. Michael asked a local court on Tuesday to waive the two year statute of limitations against such a lawsuit.

Mark Perenich, Michael’s new attorney, who replaces euthanasia advocate George Felos, told the Tampa Bay Tribune newspaper he could not comment on the proposed lawsuit.

Under Florida law, legal action must be taken within two years of the alleged mistreatment unless an extension is granted.

Michael could be hoping to go after Florida Governor Jeb Bush or the Florida legislature, which passed Terri’s Law in October 2003 authorizing Bush to ask doctors not to starve Terri to death.

Terri died on March 31 after a painful two week-long starvation and dehydration death following a local judge’s decision Michael could end her life. Florida lawmakers failed to pass another bill allowing Bush to save her life a second time.

While Michael may be file suit based on possible mistreatment, nurses who cared for Terri over the years say he was responsible for mistreating her.

Nurse Carla Sauer Iyer cared for Terri during the mid 1990s and said that, after one visit by Michael in Terri’s room for 20 minutes with the door shut, Iyer found Terri lethargic and "crying hysterically."

She checked Terri’s blood sugar levels and they were barely showing any reading on the glucometer, she told Fox News. She also saw a vial of "insulin concealed in the trash bin."

Iyer told ABC Radio’s Sean Hannity there were needle marks underneath Terri’s breast, under her arms, and in her groin area.

Iyer, who submitted affidavits during the legal battles between Michael and Terri’s parents, told Hannity’s radio program that Michael would complain when staff would take care of her or feed her. He would also refused to provide her with any rehabilitative treatment.

"[T]hat’s therapy — take that washcloth out," he would tell Iyer.

Another nurse, Heidi Law, said she witnessed an occasion similar to the insulin incident Iyer reports.

"I witnessed an occasion extremely similar to that and wasn’t aware that somebody else had," Law told Hannity.

"I had gone into her room and she had quite the clammy fever — or what felt like one — and I went to the charge nurse immediately," Law explained.

Law said everything she saw led her to believe her sugar levels were "off the charts."

She told the ABC News radio show host that the episode happened just after Michael had left the room after visiting Terri privately.

Law said she had never met Iyer or spoken to her about the incidents.