Schindlers To Appear On Larry King Thurs, More Terri Info

Schindlers To Appear On Larry King Thurs, More Terri Info
Sat Nov 1 16:46:36 2003

Prayer vigil resumes for Terri
Schindlers scheduled for rebuttal on 'Larry King Live'

Posted: October 31, 2003
3:13 p.m. Eastern

By Diana Lynne

The family of Terri Schiavo calls the intervention by the Florida Legislature and Gov. Jeb Bush to save her from death by starvation and dehydration an answer to prayers, so they're asking for more.

"It's a miracle. How it happened. It was the first time in history the Florida Legislature passed something in one day ... an absolute miracle," Terri's father, Robert Schindler, said in a taped interview aired today on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club."

Robert Schindler at press conference Oct. 14 (photo: Gary McCullough, Christian Communication Network)

As Terri recovers from the six days over which her feeding tube was removed, her family urges the public to continue praying for her and for them to prevail in their court motions to get a new guardian appointed and to enter the appeal right-to-die attorney, George Felos, has filed on behalf of Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, arguing the legislative intervention, called "Terri's Law," is unconstitutional.

"Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have in the battle for Terri's life. Please continue to pray, and if you are able, visit the site of the vigil once again," said a vigil organizer in a press release. "This prayer has given this fight for Terri's life the momentum it gravely needed."

Beginning tonight, supporters will resume the vigil held outside the hospice where Terri was transferred in 2000 and light candles at dusk Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings every week.

The hospice is located at 6774 102nd Avenue North in Pinellas Park, Fla.

"Larry King Live" rebuttal

In new developments, the Schindlers are scheduled to appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" next Thursday, according to their attorney. They have been told they will be given the full hour-long program to rebut claims and comments made by Michael Schiavo and Felos during their hour-long appearance on the program Monday.

CNN has not responded to an e-mail seeking confirmation of their scheduled appearance.

In the meantime, the couple took the opportunity of the CBN segment this morning to refute some of Michael Schiavo's allegations, chief among them his charge that the family is only after $1.2 million awarded Michael Schiavo in 1992 in medical-malpractice suits – the bulk of which went into a fund for Terri's rehabilitation – which he says has been whittled down to approximately $50,000. Felos and Schiavo say the money was used to cover Terri's medical expenses. WorldNetDaily has reported Felos was paid $358,000 in legal fees from Terri's fund. Schiavo's other attorney received some $80,000 from the fund.

Michael Schiavo on CNN's "Larry King Live." (Photo: St. Petersburg Times)

"Her father and mother came into the room and they closed the door," Schiavo said on the CNN program, "[Robert Schindler] pointed at Terri in the wheelchair and says, 'How much am I going to get from her money?' ... From there, it blew up. He wanted to go out in the hall and have a fist fight. It was crazy."

The Schindlers agree with Schiavo that the tug of war over Terri is all about money.

"Yeah, it's all about money. But not for us. For Terri," Robert Schindler said, and then offered a different version of that Feb. 14, 1993 argument that created the rift between the Schindlers and the Schiavos.

"I had asked him a couple of times about the money and that it should be going towards Terri and he said, 'Well, I'm the husband,'" Schindler said. "Well, I finally confronted him and it erupted into a pretty violent argument and he said, 'I am the husband, I'll make all the decisions. You have nothing to say.' And I said, 'You made a commitment. What about your integrity?' And he took a book, I think it was, and threw it against the wall and started coming after me like he was going to almost attack me. And my wife, God bless her, she defended me."

Developing his contention the Schindlers were only after the malpractice awards, Michael Schiavo said they had offered him $700,000 a couple of years ago to walk away from the battle over Terri. He suggested the money would come from "right-wing, right-to-life activists."

The Schindlers confirmed the offer and explained their strategy.

"We wanted to kind of smoke him out, to see where he was coming from," said Robert Schindler. "The idea was, let's see if he accepts it. It'll expose that he's in this for the money. We expected him not to accept it because it would have made everything he was doing look like a farce."

In an interview with WorldNetDaily, Terri's brother, Bobby Schindler denied the money would have come from pro-life organizations.

"To tell you the truth, we didn't have the money back then," he said. "We just made the offer expecting him not to take it."

As to Schiavo and Felos' insistence that Terri remains in a vegetative state and wishes to be allowed to "die with dignity," the Schindlers said that fact that Terri survived six days without her feeding tube and has survived numerous infections, pneumonia and a collapsed lung in the past decade that she has been in nursing homes and hospice is evidence of her will to live.

And they say there's no way Terri's apparent responses to her mother are random reflexes deemed consistent with a persistent vegetative state by physicians solicited by Felos.

Terri responding to her mother in video clip available at 

"There's hope," said Mary Schindler. "After 10 years of having no therapy she responds to me. ... If I say, 'It's mommy,' she just either starts to cry or laugh ... she's telling me that she knows I'm her mother. So I know that she's there."

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Questions raised about Terri's collapse

Celebrated forensic pathologist says
1990 injuries should be investigated

Posted: October 26, 2003
5:45 p.m. Eastern

By Sarah Foster

A world-renowned forensic pathologist with over 40 years experience as a medical examiner is challenging the official version of early events in the Terri-Schindler Schiavo case, providing the parents of the brain-disabled woman with powerful ammunition in their battle to save their daughter's life from her court-ordered starvation death.

Interviewed on the Fox News Channel, Dr. Michael Baden, co-director of the Investigative Unit of New York State Police in Albany and former chief medical examiner for New York City, ruled out potassium imbalance and a heart attack as factors in Terri's mysterious collapse 13 years ago – which left her severely incapacitated and unable to speak – and pointed to head trauma and bone injuries as a more likely cause.

Baden explained to host Greta van Susteren it was unlikely for a woman of Terri's age at the time to have a potassium imbalance, unless she had certain types of diseases, which she didn't have.

"Too little potassium can cause the heart to stop beating properly and lead to lack of blood flow to the brain and death of brain cells by lack of oxygen, but that's very unusual, Greta, extremely unusual," he said.

That Terri's heart was healthy would rule out the likelihood of cardiac arrest, he said.

"The reason she's in the state she's in is because there was a period of time, maybe five minutes or eight minutes, when not enough oxygen was going to her brain," said Baden. "That can happen because the heart stops for 5 or 8 minutes, but she had a healthy heart, from what we can see."

Baden said he studied a bone scan made in March 1991 at a rehabilitation facility that describes her as having a head injury: "That's why she's there, that's why she's getting a bone scan."

"A head injury can cause, can lead to the vegetative state that Ms. Schiavo is in now," he continued, adding the scan showed evidence of other injuries, bone fractures.

Something totally different

Van Susteren asked if he were suggesting a potassium imbalance caused a fall that led to a head injury, or perhaps some "pre-existing head injury [led] to her passing out."

"Something totally different," he answered. Because cardiac arrests triggered by low potassium are so rare, "the other issue is: Could it have been due to some other cause, which is raised by the family. [That] has to be looked at."

Baden said the injuries were caused by some kind of trauma. "The trauma can be from an auto accident, the trauma can be from some kind of beating that she obtained from somebody somewhere. It's something that should have been investigated in 1991 when those findings were fresh," and added, "Maybe they were. Maybe they were investigated by the police at that time."

As far as Terri's family knows, they were not.

In fact, her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, knew nothing of the existence of the bone scan until their attorney Patricia Anderson was collecting evidence for a hearing scheduled for October 2002. Prior to that time, Terri's medical records had been kept sealed under court order at the request of her husband, Michael Schiavo, who had launched his crusade to remove his wife's feeding tube.

As WorldNetDaily reported last November, when the scan was discovered through sifting Terri's early medical records, Anderson checked with several physicians as to its significance and filed an emergency motion to have Schiavo removed as guardian. Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, denounced the motion as "garbage" and characterized it as being "rife with unattributed hearsay, rank innuendo and libel."

Nonetheless, the scan and other documentation are so compelling it was decided to make the possibility of foul play a large part of the petition on the website, that people from around the world signed and e-mailed to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, urging him to launch a full-scale investigation.

"The suspicions that Dr. Baden raised on Fox News are suspicions that the family members have had since learning of Terri's bone scan last November," said Pamela Hennessey, spokesperson for the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation. "And we've been making it known for many months on the website."

"We felt the evidence was so strong that we included the information in the petition to the governor which over 165,000 people have signed," she said. "I'm happy to see someone like Dr. Baden is taking a hard look at this, and I hope his coming forward encourages the governor to look into this. I believe the governor should go full force in ordering an investigation into Terri's collapse and into allegations of abuse over the past 13 years."

The Fox News interview with Michael Baden and information on Terri's fight for life are posted on the family's website, 

Media 'getting it wrong'
on Terri Schiavo story
Press erroneously report she's 'comatose,' doctors also dispute vegetative-state ruling

Posted: October 25, 2003
6:36 p.m. Eastern

By Diana Lynne

Network news outlets across the board and national newspapers – from the New York Times and the Washington Post to the Miami Herald and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution – are misreporting the medical facts of the Terri Schindler-Schiavo story, say her family, doctors and the pro-family organization Focus on the Family.

"The media's killing us, and they're killing her, frankly," said Terri's father, Robert Schindler, at a press conference yesterday. The family and about a dozen people, including doctors and Terri's caregivers, spent an hour trying to school reporters on the facts of the case.

Public opinion outside the courtroom matters in high-profile legal battles, as the 165,000 e-mails sent this week to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's office and the scores sent to state legislators exemplified. The community spoke and lawmakers heard them and responded with emergency legislation empowering Bush to defy Terri's judge-ordered starvation by ordering the reinsertion of the 39-year-old brain-disabled woman's feeding tube.

For the Schindlers, the first task at hand in setting the public record straight regards the erroneous use of the word "comatose" by newspapers and media outlets across the country in their coverage of the emotionally charged legal battle.

The Webster's New World College Dictionary defines comatose as someone who is in a deep or prolonged state of unconsciousness. It is undisputed that Terri does not meet this definition. Even her husband, Michael Schiavo, who sought the court order to end her life does not call her "comatose."

Yet, in a search of today's coverage of the case using the Lexis-Nexis media search engine, WorldNetDaily found that national network news outlets across the board – ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and NPR – refer to Terri as being "in a coma" or "comatose." Prominent newspapers making the same error include the New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Baltimore Sun, Cincinnati Enquirer, Salt Lake City's Deseret News, South Dakota's Aberdeen American and even one local paper, the Bradenton Herald.

At the press conference, Terri's family and several doctors also stressed it is debatable whether she is in a persistent vegetative state, or PVS, despite court rulings labeling her as such.

Terri responding to her mother in video clip available at 

"You have to get it through your heads. This girl is not PVS," Robert Schindler pleaded with reporters.

Dr. William Hammesfahr, a Clearwater, Fla., neurologist, told reporters Terri's eyes fixate on her family and she tries to follow simple commands, such as when doctors ask her to pull against their arm.

WorldNetDaily has reported Terri sustained brain damage when she mysteriously collapsed in 1990 at the age of 26 and oxygen was cut to her brain for several minutes. Terri breathes and maintains a heart beat and blood pressure on her own. She can see and move her limbs. But she needs a feeding tube to sustain her life.

Six years after being awarded $1.2 million in medical malpractice suits on the basis that he intended to seek long-term medical care and therapy for his wife, Michael Schiavo hired right-to-die attorney George Felos and launched a court battle to terminate his wife's life. Terri has no written directive on the matter. Michael Schiavo says he's fulfilling his wife's wishes.

At a press conference Thursday Felos insisted his client was acting out of love and respect for his wife's desire to "die with dignity."

"Who in God's name would subject themselves to what he has gone through for any other reason?" he said. "He always deeply loved her."

After hearing testimony from Michael Schiavo, his brother and sister-in-law that Terri had casually told them she would not want to be kept alive by artificial means, circuit court Judge George Greer ruled in 2000 and again in subsequent trials to remove the feeding tube.

Felos and Schiavo maintain Terri is PVS, which in Florida is defined by statute as a "permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is the absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind [and] an inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment."

Last year, Greer reaffirmed his ruling in favor of Felos and Schiavo on the basis of testimony from two physicians solicited by them and a third appointed by him. The PVS diagnosis is required by law for the removal of the feeding tube.

The Schindlers, who have been fighting with their son-in-law for 10 years argue Terri is alert, responsive and vocalizes, and given appropriate therapy can improve. WorldNetDaily has reported their opinion is buttr

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