Fox Program "The Family Guy" Mocks Terri Schiavo Near Death Anniversary

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fox Program "The Family Guy" Mocks Terri Schiavo Near Death Anniversary

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 22
, 2010

New York, NY ( — Near the fifth anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo, the disabled woman whose husband won a court order to take her life, the Fox program "The Family Guy" featured a satire about her. Terri’s family expressed shock and sadness that Fox would allow such insensitive programming during prime time.

Five years ago, Terri was a disabled woman whose family hoped to get medical and rehabilitative treatment.

After a lengthy court battle, her husband Michael Schiavo won a court order to kill her by depriving her of food and water. After 13 painful days, Terri died.

During the Family Guy program, a horrific sketch was titled "Terri Schiavo: The Musical," aired.

In this sketch, Terri is mocked and the memory of the suffering she endured ridiculed as she is portrayed as someone on a number of mechanical life support systems. She is referred to as a vegetable and the sketch ends with characters calling for pulling the plug.

Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler, told today that both inferences are false regarding Terri’s case.

"My family was astonished at the cruelty and bigotry towards our beloved sister, and all disabled people that we witnessed in this show. My first thought was how this attempt at satire must have been enormously difficult and painful for my mother," he said.

"After further thought, I realized that using my deceased sister as fodder for satire also validates what our family has been saying for many years. There is growing, deep-rooted prejudice against people with brain injuries and other cognitive disabilities," he said. "This sort of bare-faced bigotry is dehumanizing to those with disabilities and cruel to those who work tirelessly to ensure that people with disabilities are provided the proper care, protection and respect. People are not vegetables."

Schindler points out Terri was not kept alive on mechanical life support.

She made use of a feeding tube after some doctors determined it safer for her than swallowing food and fluids on her own.

"The depiction of Terri in The Family Guy episode on March 21 is not only inaccurate," Schindler told, "it seems to take the position that certain people are simply not worthy of receiving medical care because they are viewed as burdens on the health care system."

Schindler also believes it is not a coincidence that this terrible prime time skit took place 10 days prior to the five year anniversary of Terri’s death, on March 31, 2005.

The painful satire comes just weeks before the foundation’s first ever Terri’s Life and Hope Concert featuring Randy Travis and Collin Raye, slated for April 11th in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Schindler is calling on disability rights organizations and pro-life organizations to join his family in admonishing the producers and writers of The Family Guy.

The family’s foundation will also begin pursuing the sponsors and advertisers of The Family Guy, urging them to stop advertising in this program.

After Terri’s death, the Schindler family established the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation to protect the rights of people with disabilities. It has communicated and supported with more than 1,000 families since Terri’s Death – families who have loved one’s living with brain injuries.

ACTION: Lodge your complaints at

Related web sites:
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation –

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.