Terri Schiavo’s Painful Deprivation of Food and Water Began Four Years Ago

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 19, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Painful Deprivation of Food and Water Began Four Years Ago

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 19
, 2009

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s painful 13 day-long euthanasia death began four years ago yesterday and her eventual euthanasia death still sparks a controversial debate. After several years fighting to protect their daughter’s right to live, Terri’s parents were told to leave, unable to be with their daughter as her estranged husband began the process that killed her.

Only Michael Schiavo was present when doctors removed the feeding tube.

"Please, please, please save my little girl," a tearful Mary Schindler told a news conference.

Michael refused and instead took his case to the media.

"I am 100 percent sure," that killing Terri is the right thing to do, he told NBC’s "Today" program.

In what the Schindler family considered a further slap in the face, final word of the feeding tube removal reached some reporters when the brother of Michael’s live-in girlfriend stepped out of their house and disclosed what had happened.

Cheryl Ford, a nurse and spokeswoman for the Schindler Foundation at the time, who has written a new book called Our Fight for Terri, said Michael also held a private religious service for Terri. He refused to allow the Schindler family to attend.

"Terri’s parents were asked to leave their daughter’s room," she said.

The removal of the feeding tube was also surrounded with controversy. Staff at Woodside Hospice, where Terri lived, insisted that Terri’s personal doctor do it.

Terri last received any food or water at 11 a.m. that morning and died 13 days later.

Like Terri’s parents, family and supporters, Ford was upset that Terri was treated so inhumanely during the euthanasia death.

"There was no reason to pull her tube and put her through pain and discomfort," Ford concluded. "They could have capped her feeding tube off and prevented the pain she experienced from having a feeding tune pulled from her abdomen."

President Bush phoned his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and told him he supported his efforts to prevent her death and Congress approved a bill to help Terri’s parents take their case to federal courts in an effort to stop the euthanasia death.

But Circuit Court Judge George Greer, who authorized Terri’s euthanasia death, wouldn’t back down, even in the face of Congressional subpoenas attempting to stop him.

"I have had no cogent reason why the (Congressional) committee should intervene," Greer said.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said it was a "sad day for our country" to starve a woman to death. For the Schindler family, there is still sadness, but they have a new hope in their work to help others in Terri’s name.

Terri’s family began the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation to help disabled patients like Terri and their families find the medical care and legal help they need.

Proving they were more interested in protecting people than the lure of the cameras, Terri’s family hasn’t stopped fighting for the disabled. The foundation now serves as a legal, medical and information clearinghouse for patients and their families.

"When families face the tragedy of traumatic brain injury, like Terri had, we are there to help them protect the life of their loved one," Bobby Schindler previously told Lifenews.com.

"Every day calls come into Terri’s Foundation from desperate families frantically trying to save the lives of their disabled love ones. And every day we immediately connect the concerned family members with needed legal assistance and medical support," Schindler adds.

Working in conjunction with the Schindler family, pro-life advocates have also started Terri’s Day, which is celebrated on March 31, the anniversary of Terri’s death.

The foundation and Priests for Life established the day, also known as the "International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters," last year.

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

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