FACTS VERSUS MICHAEL SCHIAVO
- Michael Schiavo, Terri's estranged spouse and guardian repeatedly has
motioned to the court to pull Terri's feeding tube stating Terri is in
a persistent vegetative state and would not want to live.
Terri's family, the Schindlers', have argued Terri is not in a
persistent vegetative state and based upon her Catholic faith and love
for life, they
have stated that Terri does indeed wish to live!
On two occasions, Schiavo, has been successful in having Terri's
feeding tube removed.
In 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 October 22, 2003, introducing Terri's Bill. An order was
then sent by the Governor for all health care personnel and medical
facilities caring for Terri, to immediately reinsert Terri's feeding
tube. Terri's feeding tube was reinserted after 7 days of no food and
October 2003, Michael Schiavo announced his plans to sue Governor Bush
and then challenged Terri's Law as unconstitutional.
Michael Schiavo, for the last nine years has been residing with his
concubine. He has maintained a common household with her and together
they have produced two children.
In 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
In an effort to present the entries and facts made by various health
care providers, versus the statements that were made by Michael
Schiavo in an article written by Tampa Bay Online on October 20, 2003,
facts have been compiled from affidavits and Terri's medical records
as they were stated by Terri's health care providers.
Statement By Michael Schiavo
Published: Oct 20, 2003
Statement By Michael Schiavo - from Tampa Bay Online
Michael Schiavo: Last Wednesday, my wife's feeding tube was removed.
For over 6 years, I have struggled with the Schindlers in court. On
Wednesday, I joined them in grief. I understand what the Schindlers
are going through at this time. I feel the same loss. For years after
this happened to Terri, I tried desperately to find a cure for her. I
went from one doctor to another.
Almost all of them told me there was no possibility she would recover.
FACT - 05/20/1990 ---DR. NEWHART-- The brain cells that control body
function were not as seriously affected as initially diagnosed
Consequently, it is anticipated that Terri should regain full use of
FACT - 06/27/1990 ---- DR. BARAS-- had been seen by me at College
Harbor and started to make improvement. 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
FACT - 06-28-1990 --- DR. THACKER Moaning type vocalizations
initially; no sign of excess secretions requiring frequent suctioning;
intermittently swallows, probably swallows her saliva without any trouble.
FACT -- 07-10-1990 ---- DR. BARAS --Purposeful movement in right upper
extremity as seen by P.T. O.T. and me Flexing right elbow not as a
reflex, but voluntarily.
FACT-- 08/25/1990 DISCHARGE SUMMARY FROM BAYFRONT MEDICAL. Patient
did show some improvement in range of motion.
FACT -- 01/01/1991 PHYSICAL THERAPY EVAL---Turns head from noxious
FACT -- 01/29/1991---- DR. ALCAZARAN --Meadowbrook California. 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- - 02-1/1991 ---Physical Therapy Notes -- Alert throughout
treatment session, responds to pain, moaning, turns head from noxious
FACT-- 02/15/1991 --- PSYCHOLOGY NOTES WRITTEN 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
FACT-- 02/1/1992--THERAPEUTIC NOTES BY SHERRI LAGE --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
FACT -- 02/20/1991-- PHYSICAL THERAPY NOTES -- Patient has made
significant gains since admission in all areas of range of motion.
FACT -- 03/19/1991--- SPEECH LANGUAGE NOTES -- Occasionally responds
to request to verbalize, swallow and move arms.
FACT -- 06/17/1991 --- TREATMENT PLAN REVIEW -- Vocalizing when prone
in PT., occasionally will say "stop" to nurse doing procedures.
Michael Schiavo : 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.
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.
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". "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 b***h(redacted) going to die?"
FACT --MARCH 1997-SUMMER 1997 -- HEIDI LAW, CNA AFFIDAVIT
" 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."
Michael Schiavo: 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: Written in St. Petersburg Times Archives
Copyright Times Publishing Co. Feb 17, 1991
"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, Mike. "
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.
Michael Schiavo: I took Terri to Mediplex, in Bradenton, Florida,
which is a residential rehabilitation facility that specializes in
brain injuries. She spent months there in intensive physical, speech,
and occupational therapy and testing. Finally, the doctors and
therapist told me and the Schindlers they could do nothing more for
her. I hired a private duty aide 8 hours a day to take Terri on
outings to parks and museums trying to stimulate her - looking for any
sign of life, any flicker of hope. There was none - ever.
FACT 03/15/1991 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.
FACT 03/11/1991 Summary of all departments--- 2 point increases in
vocalization and eye opening, motor responses. Tactile increased 3
points. Overall her general responsiveness score increased slightly
from 19 to 23.
Michael Schiavo: Over the years, I had three swallowing tests
performed on Terri in the hope that some of the therapies would allow
her to be weaned off the feeding tube. The test all showed no change,
and I was advised she could not swallow food. Even now, the nursing
home staff says that sometimes Terri gags and chokes on the moisture
from the swabs they use to moisten her lips.
FACT--March to mid summer 1997 -- Heidi Law Affidavit --
"Patient did not like the taste of the teeth cleaning swabs or
mouthwash. Did like the smell and feel of her lotion. Liked 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 small amounts of
Jello which she was able to swallow and enjoyed immensely."
Michael Schiavo: "The reports you heard from nursing home aides that
Terri was responsive years ago are not true. I would give anything if
March 1997- Heidi Law CNA Affidavit---"Terri had very definite likes
and dislikes, Olga (another CNA) and I used to call her "Fancy Pants"
because she was so particular about certain things." "Terri reacted
very well to seeing a picture of her mother which was in her room.
Many times when I came on duty it would be lying face down where she
could not see it." "I witnessed a priest visiting Terri a couple of
times. Terri would become quiet when he prayed with her. She couldn't
bow her head because of her stiff neck, but she would still try.
During the prayer, she would keep her eyes closed, opening them
April 1995-July 1996 --Carla Sauer Iyer RN Affidavit --- "When I came
into her room and said "Hi Terri," she would always recognize my voice
and her name, and would turn her head all the way toward me, saying
"Haaaiiii" sort of, as she did. When I told her humorous stories about
my life or something I read in the paper, Terri would chuckle,
sometimes more a giggle or laugh."
May 2001 - Trudy Capone LPN Affidavit -- When asked if she ever
observed any eye movement on Terri's behalf that would indicate Terri
was following people who visited with her eyes and if she seems to
really know what was going on?
Capone responded..."Absolutely! Yes, yes..why do you think Michael
would instruct us to give her medication when she was on her period?"
EXCERPTS THAT WERE TAKEN FROM MICHAEL SCHIAVO'S JOURNAL
4/16/1991 -- BECAME EVERY EXCITED, CRIED, FACIAL EXPRESSION, TEARS,
4/17/1991 -- SITTING IN A CHAIR, HOLDING LEGS TOGETHER, HOLDING HER
OWN HEAD UP, RESPONSE TO EVERY NOISE SHE HEARS, TASTED EXTRACTS,
SWALLOWED. MIXED UP DAYS AND NIGHTS
4/25/1991 MS TALKING TO HER, SHE THEN LIFTED HEAD OFF AND AWAY FROM
CHAIR. I ASKED HER IS SHE WANTED TO GET UP. SHE NODDED. I ASKED HER A
MINUTE LATER, SHE DID THE SAME MOTION.
4/26/1991 JOHN (NURSE) SAYS EVERY TIME HE IS HERE TERRI SQUEEZES HIS
HAND WHEN ASKED.
5/1/1991 - LAST FEW DAYS TERRI HAS BECOME A LITTLE MORE ALERT. SHE
WILL MOVE HER HEAD FROM SIDE TO SIDE. WHEN OUT IN WHEELCHAIR, SHE
WILL HOLD HER OWN HEAD UP FOR THE PERIOD SHE IS OUT. STILL MIXES UP
DAYS AND NIGHTS.
5/2/1991- ASLEEP, SEEMS TO DO A LOT OF DREAMING, HEAD WILL MOVE BACK
AND FORTH, TOES, LEGS, ARMS, FINGER, ECT WILL DO ALOT OF MOVING.
TERRI DOES REAL WELL WITH HER EARLY MORNING STROLL.
SHE WILL HOLD HER OWN HEAD UP (UNLESS SHE FALLS ASLEEP) SHE WILL WATCH
ALL THE NURSES DO THEIR THING.
Aug - Terri awarded $250,000 in out of court settlement.
Nov - Terri awarded $1.4 million in malpractice trial.
Nov - Michael Schiavo awarded $300,000 in malpractice trial.
Feb - Michael Schiavo denies Terri recommended rehabilitation treatment.
On August 31, 2004, a hearing will be before the Supreme Court in
Tallahassee to determine whether Terri's Law is unconstitutional. If
the law is declared unconstitutional, there will be no laws in place
to prevent Michael Schiavo from having the freedom to pull Terri's
feeding tube once again.
Please write to your President, Senators and Local Press.
Save a life! Please help us to SAVE Terri! Thank you.
~ ~ ~
Below is the above article in its entirety:
Statement By Michael Schiavo
Published: Oct 20, 2003
Last Wednesday, my wife's feeding tube was removed. For over 6 years,
I have struggled with the Schindlers in court. On Wednesday, I joined
them in grief. I understand what the Schindlers are going through at
this time. I feel the same loss.
For years after this happened to Terri, I tried desperately to find a
cure for her. I went from one doctor to another. Almost all of them
told me there was no possibility she would recover. 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
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.
I took Terri to Mediplex, in Bradenton, Florida, which is a
residential rehabilitation facility that specializes in brain
injuries. She spent months there in intensive physical, speech, and
occupational therapy and testing.
Finally, the doctors and therapist told me and the Schindlers they
could do nothing more for her. I hired a private duty aide 8 hours a
day to take Terri on outings to parks and museums trying to stimulate
her - looking for any sign of life, any flicker of hope. There was
none - ever.
Over the years, I had three swallowing tests performed on Terri in the
hope that some of the therapies would allow her to be weaned off the
feeding tube. The test all showed no change, and I was advised she
could not swallow food. Even now, the nursing home staff says that
sometimes Terri gags and chokes on the moisture from the swabs they
use to moisten her lips.
The reports you heard from nursing home aides that Terri was
responsive years ago are not true. I would give anything if they were.
Those aides cared for Terri during the time that I was desperately
seeking a cure for her. I was so frustrated that I could not help
Terri. I am sure that I was sometimes unkind to the aides - even
shouted at them. This was not because I wanted Terri dead, but because
I desperately wanted her alive. I blamed myself because I could not
bring her back.
It seemed to me, during that time, that the aides never did enough for
Terri. Some days they did not put her makeup on. I would storm into
the nursing home insisting that they do so. I knew Terri always wanted
to look her best. Sometimes, the aides did not get her dressed and
sitting up until late in the morning. They did not always get her hair
combed. They sometimes failed to give her vitamins and medications on
time. At each of those failures, I became enraged and lashed out. I
felt so helpless. Each small infraction reminded me how powerless I
was to really help Terri. I admit that I yelled at the aides and I am
now deeply sorry for that behavior. Much like the Schindlers now, I
stubbornly resisted and suggestion that Terri was in a persistent
vegetative state and would never get better.
I never wanted Terri to die. I still don't. After more than seven
years of desperately searching for a cure for Terri, the death of my
own mother helped me realize that I was fooling myself. More
important, I was hiding behind my hope, and selfishly ignoring Terri's
wishes. I wanted my wife to be with me so much that I denied her true
Terri told me on several occasions before this happened that she would
not want to live in her current condition. If we had been older, I am
sure she would have signed a living will making it clear that she did
not to be kept alive on tubes and machines. She never had the chance.
That left me to carry out her wishes. It has been hard. In fact, it is
the hardest thing I have ever done. In the end, I did what I believe
Terri would have wanted me to do.
Some people do not agree with the decisions the court made to remove
Terri's feeding tube. I struggle to accept it myself. But I know in my
heart that it is right, and it is what Terri wants. There is no longer
any realistic hope of Terri's recovery. Perhaps there never was, but I
had to try - just as the Schindlers have tried. The reality is that
Terri left us 13 years ago, and none of us can bring her back.
Terri's parents and family may visit with her as much as they choose
in the days to come. I, and my friends and relatives, will be there as
well to spend time with Terri, as we all grieve. Please pray for us all.