by Steven Ertelt
March 28, 2006
Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — In his new book "Terri: The Truth," which he has admitted was written to "settle a score" with Terri Schiavo’s family, Michael Schiavo explains he almost gave up on his years-long battle to euthanize her.
Michael wrote that Jodi Centonze, the woman he lived with for several years while married to Terri, urged him to "walk away" from the battle with Terri’s family the day before Terri’s feeding tube was removed for the last time.
According to an AP report, he wrote that he decided to give up on his efforts to take Terri’s life so he could move on with his own. However, his attorney, assisted suicide advocate George Felos, talked him out of it.
When he called Felos to tell him the news that he was quitting the legal battle, Felos told him euthanasia proponents were counting on Michael to win.
"(Felos) reminded me that we had to realize that it wasn’t just about Terri anymore," Michael wrote.
"It was about the rest of the people who didn’t want the government telling us how we could die and when we were allowed to decide that we didn’t want further medical treatment. And it was about who has the right to make decisions between a husband and wife," he said.
The Schindler family and pro-life groups frequently suspected Felos, a longtime euthanasia advocate who is still promoting the grisly practice at conferences and conventions, was a driving force behind Schiavo’s efforts to kill Terri.
Despite his possible change of heart, Terri’s feeding tube was removed the next day. She died thirteen days later after painfully enduring starvation and dehydration.
Michael also wrote that, had he changed his mind, he could to have stopped Terri’s death because Circuit Court Judge George Greer already ruled in favor of removing the feeding tube.
"I couldn’t have ‘given back’ Terri to her parents if I’d wanted to,” he wrote.
Others dispute that contention, noting Michael was Terri’s legal guardian and had the power to make all of her health care decisions.
According to an AP report, Michael also claimed that an eating disorder led to Terri’s collapse, though an autopsy conducted after her death doesn’t support that contention.
He said he immediately called 911 after Terri’s collapse, though there is evidence he waited.
Michael wrote that he first thought about removing Terri’s feeding tube in 1993, but said he wasn’t prepared to make that final decision until his mother died in 1997.
Centoze also offers her own perspective in the book and relates that, during the final years of the legal battle with Terri’s family, Michael was "a very sad, depressed and lonely person."
Related web sites:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation – https://www.terrisfight.org