Competing Books on Terri Schiavo’s Euthanasia Death Hit Stores in March

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 20, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Competing Books on Terri Schiavo’s Euthanasia Death Hit Stores in March Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 20, 2006

Clearwater, FL ( — The battle over the life and death of Terri Schiavo will move from the courtroom to the bookshelves in March as both Terri’s family and her former husband put out books with each describing their side of the story.

The books will be released just weeks before the one year anniversary of Terri’s death. She died on March 31 after almost two weeks of a painful starvation dehydration death at the request of her former husband Michael.

Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler and her brother Bobby and sister Suzanne Vitadamo have penned the 272-page "A Life That Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo – A Lesson for Us All."

The book "may well change every assumption you have about Terri’s too-brief life and prolonged, agonizing death," according to Warner Books, the publisher.

"Here the people who loved her and knew her best tell the story not only of the fifteen years Terri struggled to stay alive, but of a gentle child who brought happiness to everyone she touched," Warner says.

The book promises to take the reader "inside Terri’s family when the courts ordered her feeding tube removed" and "leads inexorably to a scene that will haunt readers forever: a bereft family barred by the police from their daughter’s hospice room in the final moments of her life."

Each family member offers their perspective on Terri’s life and death.

Meanwhile, military history author Michael Hirsh will release "Terri: The Truth," a 288-page book he wrote for Michael Schiavo.

Hirsh offered Michael his services after becoming angry that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signed into law a measure approved by the Florida legislature allowing him to stop Terri’s euthanasia death. After courts renewed their decision that Michael could take Terri’s life, Governor Bush tried unsuccessfully to again prevent her from being killed.

Schiavo’s book wastes no time in launching an assault at Terri’s family and pro-life advocates who supported them and painting Michael as the victim.

"A religious zealot offered $250,000 to anyone who would kill me. My two babies were threatened with death," he explains. " I was condemned by the president, the majority leaders of the House and Senate, the governor of Florida, the pope, and the right-wing media, all because I was doing what Terri – the woman I loved — wanted."

"I didn’t respond to their attacks. I didn’t confront their lies. Until now," he adds.

According to a Knight Ridder story, the book promises to tell about why Terri collapsed — it’s alleged that Michael may have abused her that night — and why he had an affair with Jodi Centonze for years before Terri died.

Michael married Centonze last month and had two children with her before finally succeeding in euthanizing Terri.

According to Knight Ridder, both Michael and the Schindler family have national media interviews scheduled days before the anniversary of Terri’s death.

Michael will appear on NBC’s "Dateline" on March 26 and on "Today" the following morning while members of the Schindler family will appear on "Good Morning America" on March 27 and 28 and will visit with Fox’s Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes on March 27.

Meanwhile, George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who was Michael’s lawyer has a book planned. He is writing the philosophical "Beyond Schiavo: Searching for Death with Dignity."

David Gibbs, the final attorney for the Schindlers, is finishing "Fighting for Dear Life: The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo and What It Means for All of Us" which is due to hit stores in August.

"I really do believe this is the Roe v. Wade of our generation," Gibbs told Knight Ridder. "What the Schindlers went through as a family was a nightmare that should never be duplicated."