Michael Schiavo has authority to make all decisions for Terri Schindler Schiavo because he is her court-appointed guardian, not because he is her husband.
Michael not only seeks to remove Terri’s feeding tube. He also continues to deny consent for Terri to take food by mouth, or even to have a swallowing test.
Dr. Ronald Cranford, who testified on behalf of Michael in the case to remove Terri’s food and fluids, said that patients like Terri can take food by mouth.
Cranford has said that he would consider spoon-feeding to be “medical treatment.”
Cranford has said that spoon-feeding is denied because it “would be totally inconsistent” with what was wanted (e.g. the patient’s death).
For more than three years, Michael has refused to allow Terri to be taken outdoors to feel fresh air, sunshine or a cool breeze.
Michael continues to suppress media access to videotapes that clearly show Terri responding to others.
In 1992, Michael filed and won a malpractice case in which a significant award was made for Terri’s rehabilitation and therapy. The award was based, in part, on expert testimony that she would live a normal life span.
During the time he was seeking the malpractice award, Michael never indicated that Terri would want to die if she were severely disabled.
Michael has refused to permit any of the money from the malpractice award to be used for Terri’s rehabilitation or therapy. Instead, most of the money was used for lawyers Michael hired to help end Terri’s life.
Not long after Terri’s injury, Michael melted down her wedding and engagement rings to make a ring for himself.
Michael has moved on with his life. He is in a long term intimate relationship with another woman with whom he has two children.
Terri’s family — her parents, her brother and her sister – has begged Michael to let them care for Terri. He has refused.
Terri’s family — her parents, her brother and her sister – has begged Michael to let Terri have a swallowing test. He has refused.
Terri’s family — her parents, her brother and her sister – has begged Michael to give Terri the opportunity to take food by mouth. He has refused.