by Steven Ertelt
March 26, 2006
Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s brother and a pro-life priest who helped her parents and siblings in the days leading up to her euthanasia death responded to comments her former husband made in an appearance on NBC’s "Dateline" on Sunday.
Schiavo admitted his book he wrote about Terri and the controversy surrounding her was meant to "settle a score" with her family. He also said he had nothing to do with Terri’s collapse in 1990 that put her in an incapacitated state.
Responding to allegations that he may have physically abused Terri, leading to her collapse, Michael told NBC News, "They’re wrong. I heard the thud. Ran to Terri. Called after that little gasp, I mean, it was within a minute I was on the phone with 911. They can think whatever."
Terri’s initial collapse was blamed on a potassium imbalance, but an autopsy ruled that out. A bone scan performed after Terri’s collapse found evidence of possible trauma and friends later revealed the couple go into a heated argument on the day Terri collapsed.
"We believe he knows what happened to her that night," Bobby Schindler, her brother, told Reuters. He said he still believes Michael should be questioned about what happened that night to cause Terri to collapse.
Michael claimed Terri is in Heaven "praising" him for subjecting her to a painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death.
"Our family will never believe Terri wanted to die this way," Schindler responded.
Meanwhile, Father Frank Pavone, who was with the Schindler family in the days and hours leading up to Terri’s death, released an open letter over the weekend criticizing Michael and correcting his take on what happened.
"[Y]ou were the one insisting that she continue to be deprived of food and water, right up to her death," Pavone said. "I watched her face for hours on end, right up to moments before her last breath. Her death was not peaceful, nor was it beautiful."
"This week, tens of millions of Americans will remember those agonizing days last year, and will scratch their heads trying to figure out why you didn’t simply let Terri’s mom, dad, and siblings take care of her, as they were willing to do," Pavone added.
"She had no terminal illness. She was simply a disabled woman who needed extra care that you weren’t willing to give," he said.
"Terri’s case was not one of judging treatment to be worthless – which is sometimes the case; rather, it was about judging a life to be worthless, which is never the case," Pavone concluded.