Terri Schiavo’s Next to Last Day: A Look Back, "I Want to Live"

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Next to Last Day: A Look Back, "I Want to Live" Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 30
, 2007

St. Petersburg, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s family will never forget the next to last day of her life two years ago. It started with a Supreme Court ruling and a judgment by a federal appeals court, and ended with the knowledge that their daughter wanted to live.

The U.S. Supreme Court, on that Wednesday, issued a decision allowing Terri Schiavo’s painful starvation death. It wound up being the last legal decision in the long battle between Bob and Mary Schindler and Terri’s former husband Michael.

The once-sentence ruling was issued just hours after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals again voted 10-2 not to get involved in the case and reviewing a decision by a local judge to have Michael kill Terri.
The Supreme Court offered no explanation for turning back the latest request and provided no vote tally of members to determine if any wanted to take the case.

"We’re watching a black mark in American history," David Gibbs, the lead attorney for the Schindlers, said afterwards.

The Schindlers also faced another setback that day when the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Florida upheld Judge George Greer’s ruling preventing the Florida Department of Children and Families from taking Terri in to protective custody.

The state agency hoped to do that while it investigated allegations of abuse and neglect against Michael.

CBS News also angered its viewers and Terri Schiavo supporters that day.

It came under fire for prewriting and posting to its news web site a story claiming Terri Schiavo had died.

The article, penned by Christine Lagorio, claimed Michael was with her when she died and was posted on the CBS News web page three days before her actual death, according to radio talk show host Glenn Beck, who discovered it.

CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius told LifeNews.com that the story was "a draft that was stored on the web site" but not intended to be accessible to the public.

The day before, euthanasia advocate George Felos, Michael’s attorney, said Michael had changed his mind and would allow an autopsy to be conducted on Terri. The altruistic statement declared Michael wanted to exonerate himself on accusations he abused Terri and to show Terri is very severely brain damaged.

Yet, the decision to conduct an autopsy had already been made when Felos spoke with the media — and not by Michael or Felos.

Jon Thogmartin, medical examiner for Pinellas and Pasco counties, told the St. Petersburg Times newspaper he made the decision to conduct an autopsy if necessary and said it had nothing to do with Michael’s change of heart.

Terri’s parents ended the day before Terri’s death with the knowledge that their daughter wanted to live.

Just before representatives of Michael’s removed her feeding tube Terri Schiavo reportedly told an attorney for her parents that she wanted to live.

"Terri, if you would just say, ‘I want to live,’ all of this will be over," Barbara Weller, one of the attorneys for Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler, said.

Weller said Terri desperately tried to repeat her words.

"’I waaaaannt …,’ Schiavo allegedly said. Weller described it as a prolonged yell that was loud enough that police stationed nearby entered the hospice room.

"She just started yelling, ‘I waaaannt, I waaaannt,’" Weller explained.

Terri’s parents filed a legal motion to try to get her planned euthanasia death reverser, but to no avail.

Related web sites:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation – https://www.terrisfight.org