Protester outside Pinellas Park, Fla., hospice Sunday where Terri Schiavo has been without food and water since March 18. (Photo: David Nee)
Michael Schiavo has agreed to an autopsy of his brain-injured wife upon her death to put to rest rumors about her physical condition, according to the estranged husband’s attorney, George Felos.
Felos said this afternoon Michael Schiavo believes the autopsy by the Pinellas County chief medical examiner “will show the public the full and massive extent of damage to her brain through her cardiac arrest in 1990.”
Dampening the drama of Michael Schiavo’s apparent change of heart on the issue, however, is the fact that Florida law actually requires an autopsy or other cause-of-death diagnostics to be performed on any deceased person for whom cremation has been requested. That requirement does not pertain to anyone who dies in a hospice.
Michael Schiavo contends his wife suffered a heart attack triggered by a chemical imbalance brought on by an eating disorder, but the Schindlers suspect oxygen was cut off to the brain because he tried to strangle her.
Critics also point to a bone scan that appears to show fractures occurring some time after she entered a hospital in 1990.
A reporter asked Felos if there would be a “full body scan for her supposed broken bones.”
Felos replied, laughing: “You’re watching too much CSI. I don’t know what procedures they use for their autopsies.”
Although all legal options appear to have been exhausted, Terri Schiavo’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, say they have not given up hope 11 days after the feeding tube of their brain-injured daughter was removed by court order.
“We’re kicking and scratching. As long as Terri is fighting, we’re fighting with her,” Robert Schindler said this evening to a spokesman who spoke a few moments later with WorldNetDaily.
Schindler acknowledged his daughter is “failing,” but said she has shown extraordinary determination and “she is still cognizant, she is still aware.”
“She has been through hell this week,” he emphasized.
Terri Schiavo’s sister, Suzanne Vitadamo, said, “The look on her face is ‘please help me.'”
Family spokesman Gary McCullough told WorldNetDaily the Schindlers still believe there is time for Gov. Jeb Bush or President Bush to use their executive powers and intervene to save her.
But Gov. Bush said today that although his “heart is broken” about the situation, he must respect federal and state court rulings against re-inserting the feeding tube.
Hymn singing at vigil outside Pinellas Park, Fla., hospice. (Photo: David Nee)
Activist Randall Terry told WND at about 8 p.m. there were still about 200 protesters and supporters of Terri Schiavo outside the Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park.
Describing the mood, he said, “There is no despair; no one is talking about defeat. Everyone is still pursuing every avenue to save her.”
“We are not giving up, because Terri is not giving up,” he added.
The pro-life leader said the demonstrators don’t believe all legal options are closed.
“We believe Congress should support its subpeona, and if need be send in federal marshals to enforce it,” he said, referring to a last-minute effort before the feeding tube was removed March 18.
Asked if it was realistic to expect action at this late date, Terry said, “You never know what argument is going to arise to cause something to happen. You never know who is going to have an epiphany.”
For background on the 15-year saga, read “The whole Terri Schiavo story.”
Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily has been reporting on the Terri Schiavo story since 2002 – far longer than most other national news organization – and exposing the many troubling, scandalous, and possibly criminal, aspects of the case that to this day rarely surface in news reports. Read WorldNetDaily’s unparalleled, in-depth coverage of the life-and-death fight over Terri Schiavo, including over 150 original stories and columns.
Court documents and other information are posted on the Schindler family website.
Links to all “Terri briefs” regarding the governor’s defense of Terri’s Law are on the Florida Supreme Court website, public information.