Annotated and compilations by Cheryl Eckstein, Compassionate Healthcare Network (CHN)- for Langley Pro-Life Society

"Michael and Jody, You have your own children, please please give my child back to me"  Mary Schindler 03/29/05

In 1983, Daniel Callahan, former director of the Hastings Center opined "...a denial of nutrition, may, in the long run, become the only effective way to make certain that a large number of biologically tenacious patients actually die."  For years Michael Schiavo fought to have his wife's feeding tube removed.  On March 31, 2005 Terri Schiavo died from dehydration and starvation.  Before she was murdered, Michael wanted to assure everyone  that by removing "medical treatment"  (food and water)  from his wife Terri her dying would be painless.   "Terri has no cortex left. She doesn't feel pain. She doesn't feel hunger. So what's going to happen is slowly -- her potassium and her electrolytes will slowly diminish and she will drift off to a nice little sleep and eventually pass on to be with God. " [Transcript: Michael Schiavo on 'Nightline'  March 15, 2005]

Theresa Marie Schindler was forced to die. Before her feeding tube was removed, she was not sick.  She was not dying.  She was not on life supports. She was not even on any special kinds of medication! Her daily intake of nutrition was provided by a tube rather than a spoon, fork and cup. But she could swallow and did enjoy Jello and ice chips.  Given her condition, Terri was as vibrant as she could be. She loved her parents - her siblings and her closes new and oldest friends.  But Terri would often frustrate some visitors who just wanted to poke around her.  But Terri would not give in to their false concerns.  As if she could smell an intruder, Terri just shut down.  That is not to say she only responded to family - that would be highly inaccurate.  Yet that is exactly what Michael and his lawyer George Felos - plus some media want you to believe-  that Terri showed no improvement and that she always and only responded to family.  Judge Greer never once visited Terri -  How did so few get away with murder?  How did one life become so well known?  Because - every single person who heard of Terri  Schiavo knew she was being slowly and cruelly murdered.  The sick part of this, is that the ones who held the so-called authority to save her would not budge - they could not find it their hearts to show mercy ... instead they gave her thumbs down.

Terri was, like all human beings, created in the image of God. And all humans need food, water and oxygen to live.  Yet somehow, one Judge had the power to refuse Terri the essentials of life.  Judge Greer believed Michael and entered hearsay as evidence- completely dismissing all other witnesses and various kinds of sworn documents as evidence to prove otherwise.  How is that possible?  The following information will leave you forever asking that same question.

WHO WAS TERRI MARIE SCHINDLER SCHIAVO  ~ Theresa Marie Schindler was born on Dec. 3, 1963, the first child of Bob and Mary Schindler. Before Terri's name became a household name, Terri was like the neighbor next door - a young woman who loved animals especially cats, and had a soft spot for injured animals - she was a typical American girl.  Five months after she met Michael Schiavo, he asked her to marry him. The night before the wedding, Terri's father with tears streaming down his face, sat on her bedroom floor and watched her sleep. The next day she married Michael -  Nov. 10, 1984. She hoped to have children of her own one day. 

In a recent interview Diane Meyer a close childhood friend of Terri's says she clearly remembered Terri's reaction to a joke that referred to Karen Ann Quinlan, a woman whose life support was cut off by her parents.  - "What is the state vegetable of New Jersey?"  Diane said, "She said the joke wasn't funny and did not approve of what was going on in the Quinlan case," Meyer added "I remember one of the things she said is, 'How did they know she would want this?'" Terri's mother Mary also recalled Terri's comments about the Quinlan case - Mary remembered Terri remarking, "If they take her off she might die. Just leave her alone and she will die whenever.'"  Terri was always a happy girl who loved her family, especially her grandmother.  Her brother Bobby Schindler once describe Terri's compassion for the ill, "Imagine someone who would drive thirty minutes out of her way up to five times a week to visit a sick grandmother."  Only a short time before that fateful morning in 1992, Terri told her brother Bobby  and a close friend she wanted out of her marriage and was going to divorce Michael. 

WHAT HAPPENED~ FEBRUARY 25, 1990? The most reliable medical source of what happened to Terri comes from a report from Nobel prize nominee and neurologist Dr. William Hammesfahr. The complete report is much too large for this paper, for full report go to  Here is part of  Dr. William Hammesfahr's report:

Ms Schiavo was in her usual state of good health until 2/25/90, when her husband reported that he was awakened from sleep approximately 6am by her falling. He reports that she was unresponsive. Paramedics were called, and aggressive resuscitation was performed with 7 defibrillations en route.  In the Emergency Room, a possible diagnosis of heart attack was ...dismissed after blood chemistries and serial EKG's did not show evidence of a heart attack.. Similarly, a pulmonary or lung cause of the disorder was ruled out ... after normal blood gases and Chest X-Rays were obtained. The possibility of toxic shock syndrome was also entertained. The diagnosis of the cause of her condition was unknown. Her admission laboratory studies showed low potassium level, markedly elevated glucose level, and a normal toxic screen without evidence of diet pills or amphetamines. ... "The neck exam was abnormal. ...These findings of cervical spasm and limitation of range of motion are consistent with a neck injury." (Note: suggesting strangulation -note and emphasis added by Ed. C.E..)

In a sworn testimony, Michael admitted that though he knew CPR he did not administer it -he found Terri lying face down and made no attempt to move her head to allow Terri to breathe easier. He makes phone calls to other persons before dialing 911. 

Dr. Hammesfahr examined Terri another time and noted the improvements:

The patient is not in coma. She is alert and responsive to her environment. She responds to specific people best. She tries to please others by doing activities for which she gets verbal praise. She responds negatively to poor tone of voice. She responds to music. She differentiates sounds from voices. She differentiates specific people's voices from others. She differentiates music from stray sound. She attempts to verbalize. She has voluntary control over multiple extremities She can swallow. She is partially blind She is probably aphasic and has a degree of receptive aphasia. She can feel pain." - Turns head from noxious stimuli.  In the spring of 2000, three physicians, including Dr. Jay Carpenter, who is a former Chief of Medicine at Morton Plant Hospital, filed affidavits after observing Ms. Schiavo. All three physicians stated that it is visually apparent that Ms Schiavo is able to swallow and, in fact, does swallow her own saliva. 

FACT Terri was not in a "terminal" condition - The fact she had brain damage (cognitive impairment) did not mean it would progressively lead to death.  It is widely disputed by medical experts which included neurologists that she was in a Persistent  vegetative state (PVS) - most agree she was in a minimally conscious state (MCS) Terri breathed on her own.  Terri could swallow her own saliva.Terri deserved the full range of treatment that is given other patients who are not "terminal."

WHO IS MICHAEL SCHIAVO?  He is Terri's husband which he vowed to remain "in sickness and in health."  While Terri is alive, Michael announces he has a finance` named Jodi who bore him two children. The obitituary of Michael Schiavo's father published by Philadelphia Inquire includes this: "Michael R. and his fiancee Jodi of FL" April 18, 2002.  Cheryl Ford, RN spokesperson for the Schindlers said  "...when Michael openly admitted ... that he was engaged to another woman, attention and focus should have moved to having him immediately removed as Guardian and a divorce should have been filed in a court other than Greer's."

In Michael Schiavo's court appearance - he made absolutely no mention of Terri not wanting to live as he would repeatedly say  "like this" with tubes.  FACT: November of 1992 "Terri was awarded 1.4 million in a malpractice settlement so to be able to receive all the therapy and medical attention she would need. Michael Schiavo, as Guardian, maintained total control over her settlement. A few months after Michael received the money, he began denying Terri rehabilitative care and posted a Do Not Resuscitate Order on Terri's chart.'" Cheryl Ford RN

February 1993, Michael Schiavo denied rehabilitation treatment for Terri. Makes no mention of "Terri not wanting to be kept alive on artificial life support." Feb. 14. 1993 -  Bob and Mary Schindler, have a falling out with Michael over the malpractice suit money and Terri's care. 1995, Michael Schiavo has lived with a girlfriend, Jodi Centonze, with whom he has two children for several years now - yet Michael remains legally married to Terri, as well as her legal guardian.  Still no mention of "Terri not wanting to be kept alive on artificial life support."

In 1997, Michael petitioned the court to have Terri's feeding tube removed, claiming that when Terri was in her early twenties, she stated that she would not want to be kept alive on artificial life support.  Michael Schiavo told the court he and Terri had talked about life support when her grandmother was in a nursing home, unconscious for weeks and on a ventilator. He testified that Terri had said, "If I ever have to be a burden to anybody, I don't want to live like that." Mary and Robert Schindler's lawyer David Gibbs mentioned this very interesting bit of information to Larry King during an interview regarding Terri telling Michael "I  would not want to be kept artificially alive."

And Larry, interesting, when she made that comment, if it was made, but he says it was made, that was against Florida law at that time. You could not withhold basic food and water in 1990 when that comment was allegedly made. So what he's asking everyone to believe is that she made a comment "I would want to be killed" even in violation of Florida law. And I really think a 25- year-old isn't thinking about being starved to death and making a casual comment. [David Gibbs]

Such critical evidence was again disallowed by Judge Greer - in fact it was not even considered by the legally blind judge.

FACT VS TERRI SCHIAVO  - DOCTORS:  [Due to space, the following  10  paragraphs have been edited and condensed - For complete content in its entirety, see Facts Versus Michael Schiavo By Cheryl Ford, RN from which this is taken from:  "During the months from May of 1990 to January 1991" the following independent doctors made notes to confirm Terri was improving: Drs Newhart, Baras,  Thacker, and Alcazaran.  Their remarks include:  "The brain cells that control body function were not as seriously affected as initially diagnosed " - "Started to show some vocalization where she will say "no" and occasionally has some voluntary movement on command of eyes and mouth as reported by husband and mother." - "Moaning type vocalizations initially; no sign of excess secretions requiring frequent suctioning; intermittently swallows, probably swallows her saliva without any trouble." - "...some improvement in range of motion."- "Turns head from noxious stimuli."-"Noted increased alertness, turns head toward voice, turns head from tactile stimulation. Sucking, and rooting response to olfactory stimulation. Spontaneously vocalized. Good cough. Some visual tracking."

FACT - Physical Therapy Notes: From January 1991 to January 1992  - Alert throughout treatment session, responds to pain, moaning, turns head from noxious stimuli."  and "Patient has made significant gains since admission in all areas of range of motion." and "Patient appeared to focus on several pictures of family for 10 seconds, appeared to slightly track to left each session, but inconsistent Quick startle response to all auditory stimuli, occasionally moves head from tactile stimuli." Psychology notes by Patti Shook: "Terri's eye opening responses were her strongest. Terri's tactile responses were her best, with other four modalities only 1 to 2 points behind. This level of functioning is appropriate for a sensory stimulation program."  Then Speech Language notes: "Occasionally responds to request to verbalize, swallow and move arms." "Therapeutic notes Laura Mizell -  Patient has displayed an increase in eye opening since last 30 day summary,  Patient responses to auditory stimulation are at the point that they are almost auditorily defensive.  During recent outings, rugby games kept eyes closed to and from game ... beach visit she was more aroused. March to mid summer

Michael Schiavo said : "Any doctor that gave me a glimmer of hope that some new treatment or therapy would work was given free reign with Terri. I would do anything to make her well."  "I took Terri to California. I stayed with her while doctors performed an experimental procedure to implant electrodes in her brain to stimulate its function. I spent months working with her - hopeful of a cure. Months later, the doctors told me the electrodes were not working."

FACT- 3/26/1991-Nurses Notes- Terri's side rail on her bed found down after Michael left. When told about it, he replied that "that was their job."  "She underwent surgery, performed by Dr. Yoshio Hosobuchi of the University of California at San Francisco in December, to implant a stimulator in her brain. The brain stimulator implant was a success, said her husband "Mrs. Schiavo is slowly emerging from the coma at the Mediplex Medical Center, a neurological care center in Bradenton, he said. She will undergo at least a year of speech, occupational and physical therapy. St. Petersburg Times 2/17/91

FACT - 1993 Carolyn Johnson Affidavit: "No therapy per husbands orders. Dr's orders over ridden. Patient kept in isolation, no stimulation."

FACT- April 1995 - July 1996 Carla Sauer RN Affidavit:

"Michael orders no rehab. No range of motion, no nothing."  "Patient alert and oriented, spoke regularly "MOMMA, "MOMMY' "HELP ME." Carla says:

Every time I made a positive entry about any responsiveness of Terri's, someone would remove it after my shift ended. Michael always demanded to see her chart as soon as he arrived, and would take it in her room with him. I documented Terri's rehab potential well, writing whole pages about Terri's responsiveness, but they would always be deleted by the next time I saw her chart. The reason I wrote so much was that everybody else seemed to be afraid to make positive entries for fear of their jobs, but I felt very strongly that a nurses job was to accurately record everything we see and hear that bears on a patients condition and their family. I upheld the Nurses Practice Act, and if it cost me my job, I was willing to accept that. Throughout my time at Palm Gardens, Michael Schiavo was focused on Terri's death. Michael would say "When is she going to die?" "Has she died yet?" and "When is that bitch gonna die?" These statements were common knowledge at Palm Gardens, as he would make them casually in passing, without regard even for who he was talking to, as long as it was a staff member.  Other statements which I recall him making include "Can't anything be done to accelerate her death - won't she ever die?" When she wouldn't die, Michael would be furious.” “When Michael visited Terri, he always came alone and always had the door closed and locked while he was with Terri. He would typically be there about twenty minutes or so. When he left Terri would be trembling, crying hysterically, and would be very pale and have cold sweats. It looked to me like Terri was having a hypoglycemic reaction, so I'd check her blood sugar. The glucometer reading would be so low it was below the range where it would register an actual number reading. I would put dextrose in Terri's mouth to counteract it. This happened about five times on my shift, as I recall. Normally Terri's blood sugar levels were very stable due to the uniformity of her diet through tube feeding. It is medically possible that Michael injected Terri with Regular insulin, which is very fast acting, but I don't have any way of knowing for sure.”   When Ms. Iyer reported her suspicions to the police and the police asked questions, she was terminated. 

Regarding any money that Michael Schiavo hoped to get, Ms. Iyer had this statement: Any time Terri would be sick, like with a UTI [urinary tract infection] or fluid buildup in her lungs, colds, or pneumonia, Michael would be visibly excited, thrilled even, hoping that she would die. He would say something like, "Hallelujah! You've made my day!" He would call me, as I was the nurse supervisor on the floor, and ask for every little detail about her temperature, blood pressure, etc., and would call back frequently asking if she was dead yet. He would blurt out "I'm going to be rich!" and would talk about all the things he would buy when Terri died, which included a new car, a new boat, and going to Europe, among other things.

FACT Heidi Law, CNA Affidavit -Mar.97-Summer97: "I know that Terri did not receive routine physical therapy or any kind of therapy. I was personally aware of orders for rehabilitation that were not being carried out. Even though they were ordered, Michael would stop them." "Patient did not like the taste of the teeth cleaning swabs or mouthwash. Like(s) smell and feel of her lotion ... to have her hair combed.  Did not like being tucked in.  She would suck on ice chips and swallow ice water, orange juice or apple juice in her washcloth to give her something nice to taste, which made her happy.  On three or four occasions, I personally fed Terri ...Jello which she was able to swallow and enjoyed immensely."

Dr William P. Cheshire -Lecturer, and associate prof. of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Jacksonville stated  Terri " is likely in a ''minimally conscious state.'' Minimally conscious patients have awareness.  In his affidavit, he argued Schiavo smiles in response to the voices of her parents ... sound of piano ... laughs when someone says something funny.

October 2003, Terri suffered for 7 days while being starved to death before the Governor of Florida was able to issue an executive order on  10/22/03 introducing Terri's Bill....An order was then sent by the Governor ... to immediately reinsert Terri's feeding tube. Terri's feeding tube was reinserted..."

WHY WOULDN'T MICHAEL SCHIAVO RELINQUISH HIS GUARDIANSHIP  A $750K medical fund that Terri acquired via a medical malpractice lawsuit is payable to her inheritor when she dies.  Terri never signed a will.  The inheritor is her husband.

TERRI'S LAST DAYS March 26.2005 Bobby Schindler stood in front of the cameras, visibly shaken said,  "It 's sick it's heinous I assure you she is not dying painlessly."   Bobby stressed  "that's the most absurd thing that Terri is looking peaceful, dying peacefully ... bring in the cameras to prove how Terri really looks."  Among a few other reasons, I believe Michael Schiavo wanted Terri cremated so no one could see her how emaciated she became.

WHO WERE SOME OF HER SUPPORTERS - Terri's support was universal - Her supporters came from all walks of life.  Nearly every disability group opposed Michael Schiavo's order - The Vatican made statements on behalf of her life.  She had the support of nurses, doctors, lawyers, religious leaders, lay, teachers, students, police and every anti-euthanasia and pro-life organization and even those in the media.  The support for her family is on going.  A month later and the media is still reporting on Terri Schindler- Schiavo.  Law makers are proposing bills to ensure that no other person in Terri's condition will ever have their feeding tube removed to make them die a slow and tortuous cruel death.

WHAT ELSE WAS TERRI WAS DENIED:  Michael Schiavo repeatedly denied  Terri  her own legal counsel, therapy, and the right to present herself to the court in person.  After 2002  The family was not permitted to photograph or video her.   Terri was denied being cared for by those who loved her most, her parents and siblings.  Who can forget Terri's mother tearfully begging  "Michael and Jodi, you have your own children -- please, please give my child back to me."   Michael Schiavo has also prevented Terri from undergoing a barium swallow test, a procedure necessary to ascertain the consistency of foods able to be taken by mouth. He denied her proper dental care.  He refused to allow her certain music.  He would not allow her to go outdoors to be in the sun. He kept police in her room - strangers - for fear someone might give her some comfort care as she lay dying.

WHERE TERRI LIVED & DIED  The past 5 years Terri lived in a Hospice.  A Hospice is meant for short term care only - where those who are seriously ill go to live their final days - usually 6 months or less. 

WHAT KIND OF FACILITY TERRI NEEDED In 1990 it was recommended by several physicians that she be discharged to an intensive rehabilitation center to be given needed physical therapy, communication or speech therapy,  routine medical screening evaluations and treatment such as dental care, mammography, gynecological exams and pap smears. Instead, Terri was transported to a nursing home where all therapy or rehabilitation efforts were denied. There she was confined to a bed.  According to several doctors, if rehabilitation treatment would have been allowed it would have significantly improved her chances of recovery.   

WHAT CAUSED TERRI'S DEATH?  Moral corruption. Callousness and unyielding merciless barbarianism.  But the autopsy will show - Terri died due to dehydration and starvation - the fact is, considering the lack of therapy she ought to have received, she was very healthy before her feeding tube was removed and according to a number of physicians who examined her, she could well have lived another 50 years.

AUTOPSY  "One source says Terri  was found to have a fractured cervical spine and fractured femur and other traumatic injuries.  " If Terri had died that night in 1990, odds are, Michael Schiavo would have been arrested on the suspicion of murder, based on the physical injuries found on his wife, Terri Schiavo. When someone dies under suspicious conditions, an autopsy must be done. It's the law. Even Michael could not have stopped it."


With cameras clicking, attorney George Felos announced Monday that  Michael Schiavo had asked for an autopsy on his wife. "He believes it's important to have the public know the full and massive extent of the damage to Mrs. Schiavo's brain," Felos said.  But by then, Jon Thogmartin, medical examiner for Pinellas and Pasco counties, already had decided to conduct the autopsy.  And the decision had nothing to do with Michael Schiavo's wishes, said Bill Pellan, director of investigations for the medical examiner.  "We have determined to be involved because of the statutes and because the people of the state of Florida say we are involved," Pellan said. "Not because Michael Schiavo wants us involved." Autopsies can detect whether an adult's bones had broken and healed, even many years ago, said Dr. Michael Baden, chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police. ...Florida statute 406.11 requires medical examiners to determine the cause of death of someone who dies in any "unusual circumstance." It also requires the medical examiner to get involved when someone's body is cremated, which is what Michael Schiavo plans to do with his wife's remains.  A few days ago, Pellan said Felos asked the medical examiner's office about procedures for requesting an autopsy. Then Monday, as required by law, Pellan notified Schiavo that the office would do an autopsy. "There was not a call from Mr. Felos," Pellan said. Felos could not be reached Tuesday on the autopsy matter."

I WOULDN'T WANT TO LIVE LIKE THAT No one chooses illness over health.  The media took unfair advantage of Terri's condition asking If you were in Terri's condition would you want to live like that or would you rather have the tubes removed? 

POLLS: Released April 06, 2005   80%: Non-Terminal Patients Should Not be Denied Food, Water; Three-to-One: Feeding Tube Should Stay in Place When Wishes Unknown; Americans Divided on Intervention by Elected Officials, Christian Defense Coalition / Zogby Poll of Likely Voters Reveals

A poll completed after the controversial death of Terri Schiavo finds that eight-in-ten (80%) likely voters say that a disabled person who is not terminally ill or in a coma, and not being kept alive by life support should not, in the absence of a written directive to the contrary, be denied food and water.  By a three-to-one (44% to 14%) margin, likely voters say that, when there is conflicting evidence on the wishes of a patient, elected officials should order that a feeding tube remain in place.  The survey, conducted by Zogby International on behalf of the Christian Defense Coalition, was conducted March 30 to April 2, 2005 and has a margin of error of +/-3.2 percentage points.   The same poll also finds a majority (56%) agree that Schiavo’s husband Michael should have turned guardianship for the severely-disabled woman over to her parents based on his decision to have a long-term serious relationship with another woman.  By a two-to-one (44% to 24%) margin, with one-in-three (32%) undecided, the survey finds that an incapacitated person should be presumed to want to live in the absence of written instructions such as a “living will.”

'An evil, evil man'

By1993, Schiavo was fighting with his in-laws, Bob and Mary Schindler, over his wife’s care and guardianship. In a deposition... Schiavo was forced to admit that he had already been involved in lengthy relationships with two women since his wife’s collapse. One of those women, a nursing assistant at the home where Terri was being cared for, told the Schindlers’ attorneys that Schiavo would “whine all the time” about how Terri’s illness had ruined his life, and that he couldn’t wait to collect the malpractice settlement. She described Schiavo as obsessive and claimed he stalked her for more than a year after their breakup. Trudy Capone, who worked as a nurse at a home where Terri was treated in the early 1990s, says Michael Schiavo is “an evil, evil, evil man” who repeatedly told her that he and his wife had never discussed what to do if she was incapacitated. She says he was always asking, “What should I do?” “This man is a liar,” Capone says.  

 As a footnote to this, much more can be found about Schiavo's love affairs after Terri became brain damaged. Go to

Among the neglect and abuse complaints of the Schindlers is that Michael Schiavo:

Note:  Many of the sources for this paper are from    The Compassionate Healthcare Network (CHN) wishes to acknowledge the ongoing work and dedication that Cheryl Ford, RN continues to do for Mary and Robert Schindler and their children.  Please visit the official websites of Terri's, which are approved by the Schindler family for their on-going work.   Cheryl Ford's ethical work is of highest integrity - Visit:  and

Cheryl Eckstein is the founder and CEO of The Compassionate Healthcare Network (CHN)  visit  or e-mail


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