by Steven Ertelt
March 31, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s family marked the one year anniversary of her painful court-ordered starvation and dehydration death on Friday with news of a nationally televised press conference the day before officially launching their foundation to help disabled people.
While Terri’s former husband Michael started a political group to oust pro-life lawmakers who sided with Terri’s family in their effort to prevent her euthanasia death, the Schindler family is working to make sure disabled people get the medical treatment they want.
"We lost in our battle to save Terri, but we believe it is incumbent on us to redirect our efforts to saving the lives of the innocent, who every day are being targeted by the euthanasia cult," Mary Schindler said.
They will also work with state legislatures to pass laws requiring courts and doctors to presume that patients want food and water or lifesaving medical care if they haven’t expressed their wishes beforehand.
Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler, brother Bobby and sister Suzanne said they would fight against a culture that increasingly places less value on the lives of disabled Americans.
Bobby said the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation will also work to eliminate the reliance on the use of the term "persistent vegetative state" to classify patients as beyond hope — when some have recovered and others could recover with aggressive therapy.
Several pro-life organizations joined the Schindlers at the Washington press conference, but while members of Congress flocked to D.C. to pass a bill to help save Terri’s life, only one lawmaker showed up — Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican considering a run for president in 2008.
"As Terri’s case showed dramatically, there’s an urgent need for an organization dedicated to ensuring the rights of elderly, disabled, those among us who are most vulnerable to the increased push for euthanasia in our culture and in our society," Brownback said.
Dorothy Timbs, legislative counsel for the medical ethics department at National Right to Life, applauded the Schindler family’s efforts to help change state laws to protect the disabled.
Timbs said "the laws of all but ten states allow doctors and hospitals to disregard advance directives when they call for treatment, food, or fluids."
She cited a study in which 65 percent of doctors said they would discontinue treatment in direct conflict with an advanced directive because of the doctor’s own views on the patient’s "quality of life."
The Schindler family also released a book this week, "A Life That Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo — A Lesson For Us All." Proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the foundation.
Related web sites:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation – https://www.terrisfight.org