by Steven Ertelt
May 1, 2006
Philadelphia, PA (LifeNews.com) — Michael Schiavo told a bioethics conference at the University of Pennsylvania that he should have pressed for his former wife Terri’s euthanasia death sooner than he did. He also attacked pro-life advocates who he says have constantly criticized him and his character.
Michael told those at the conference that bioethicists, church leaders and other have no right to intervene in a familial dispute about someone’s lifesaving medical treatment.
He said he regretted not speaking out in favor of euthanizing her sooner.
”In retrospect, I guess I should have spoken out in the very beginning, but I had no idea it was going to get so big and that the other side was going to run away with it,” he said, according to an AP report.
Michael also attacked pro-life news services like LifeNews.com and other pro-life advocates who have closely followed the difficult plight of Terri’s family to prevent their daughter’s painful death and to protect disabled people from a similar fate.
”Every day, the pro-life blogs continue to bash me, as they are outside today,” Schiavo said.
In fact, a large contingent of pro-life advocates protested outside of the University of Pennsylvania campus, host of the bioethics conference.
"We are going to this symposium to say that Terri Schiavo did not die with dignity," Brandi Swindell, director of the youth pro-life group Generation Life, said about protesting the conference. "Rather, she died a barbaric death that if she were an animal would have been against the law."
"The lesson we must learn from Terri’s tragic death is that as a nation we must learn to treat the weakest of our society with compassion and justice," she added.
The conference, called "The Legacy of the Terri Schiavo Case: Why is it so hard to die in America" has already come under attack as a one-sided look at end of life issues.
Edel Finnegan, a spokesperson for the Pro-life Union, a Pennsylvania-based pro-life group, told LifeNews.com in a statement, "It is a total outrage that the University of Pennsylvania is celebrating the cruel murder of Terri Schiavo, an inspirational and courageous woman."
"The 10th Anniversary Symposium is a one-sided event that attempts to give credibility to the murderous actions of Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer," he explained. "We are standing witness to remember Terri and all the other disabled Americans whose lives are threatened by activist judges like George Greer and selfish family members like Michael Schiavo."
Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, will appear the conference and protest Greer’s appearance, according to a statement sent to LifeNews.com. He said he was upset that Circuit Court Judge George Greer, who ordered Terri’s euthanasia death at Michael’s request, will address attendees.
"Judge Geer’s presence at the University of Pennsylvania’s bioethics conference is not only outright offensive and inappropriate but it is indicative of his own biases against the disabled," Schindler said.
"We are entitled to a fair and unbiased judiciary," Schindler added. "Judge Greer is confirming exactly what my family has maintained from the beginning of Terri’s case – that he has a disposition against the vulnerable people whose cases he controls."
The Penn bioethics conference runs from April 30 through May 1 and not only features Greer, but Terri’s former husband Michael Schiavo and Jay Wolfson, appointed as Terri’s guardian ad litem for a short time.
Since Terri’s euthanasia death, Schindler and the rest of his family have headed up the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, a group to help disabled patients. Bobby and his sister Suzanne Vitadamo gave her full-time jobs to work at the center.
Meanwhile, Michael formed a political group to target pro-life lawmakers who sided with Terri’s family during the legal battle.
TAKE ACTION: Express your views by going to https://www.bioethics.upenn.edu/bioethics/?pageId=10