Terri Schiavo’s Family Blasts ABC, New York Times on Faulty Reporting

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 19, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Family Blasts ABC, New York Times on Faulty Reporting Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 19,

Tampa, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s family is upset with the media for again erroneously depicting the disabled woman as "brain dead" when she was able to interact with them before her former husband took her life. This time, the Schindler family says ABC News and the New York Times wrongly reported on her condition.

Yesterday on ABC’s "This Week" program, George Stephanopoulos, in an interview with Senator Fred Thompson, commented that Terri Schiavo’s autopsy proved she was "brain dead."

The New York Times reported on the television interview, and repeated the erroneous claim.

Terri’s brother Bobby Schindler told LifeNews.com on Monday that the "brain dead" assessment is patently false. He said Terri’s family is requesting that the media immediately stop using this "offensive and inaccurate expression" to describe her condition.

"Brain death is an authentic diagnosis, not some catch phrase that should be loosely used based upon a ‘summary of widespread response’ or opinions that have been written about my sister,’ Schindler said.

"We are requesting that the media take a few minutes to research the facts regarding Terri’s case and, more importantly, her condition," he added. In doing so they would learn that not one doctor ever diagnosed Terri as being ‘brain-dead.’"

Schindler said that included those physicians who wrote her autopsy report.

He told LifeNews.com that media reports on Terri’s painful 13-day starvation and dehydration euthanasia death rarely mention the more than 40 doctors’ affidavits submitted to the court.

Those legal papers either contradicted that Terri was in a so-called persistent vegetative state and they indicated she could have been helped with proper rehabilitation.

Schindler said the media also fails to report the medical records confirming that Terri at one time was beginning to speak, or the videos of Terri interacting with her family and her surroundings. Those prove she was alive and responsive, he said.

"This has been a major problem with the mainstream media — not just that they are writing that Terri was brain dead, but how they continue to inaccurately and irresponsibly report blatant falsehoods regarding my sister’s condition," Schindler explained.

Suzanne Vitadamo, Terri’s sister, chimed in as well.

"If the media took the time to research Terri’s case, perhaps they would understand that she was simply a woman living with a disability, just like the 50 million persons living with a disability in our country today," she told LifeNews.com.

Vitadamo added that Terri "was in need of only love and compassion."

"The media’s continuing quest to somehow justify her death is offensive to her memory and even more offensive to the tens of thousands of people who live with cognitive disabilities similar to Terri’s," Vitadamo added.

Terri’s sister said Terri fell victim to a "quality of life" standard that is increasingly being used to determine which patients should life or die.

"Terri was a daughter, a sister and a friend who was loved by many who feel the pain of her loss every single day. She was guilty only of having a brain injury and being dependent on others for her care," Vitadamo concluded.

"Sadly, in today’s culture, this was not enough to save her from being killed."

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