by Mary Ann Kreitzer
Terri Schiavo, the brain damaged Florida woman in a fight for her life, faces a new crisis. As tens of thousands of Americans rallied on the ellipse January 24 to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision allowing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision refusing to hear Florida's defense of "Terri's law." The Florida legislature passed the law in 2003 to force Terri's husband/guardian, Michael Schiavo, to reinsert Terri's feeding tube preventing her gruesome death by dehydration and starvation. Florida's Supreme Court struck down the law in 2004.  The U.S. Supreme Court's action Monday clears the way for Michael to legally kill his wife. Was the timing of the decision on the day of the March for Life an ironic coincidence or a deliberate slap in the face to millions of pro-life Americans? 
The details of Terri's case are well documented.  She collapsed in 1990 under suspicious circumstances, and was admitted to the emergency room with symptoms consistent with strangulation. Oxygen deprivation caused severe brain-damage.  A successful malpractice suit secured almost a million dollars earmarked for Terri's therapy and rehabilitation.  Three months later, Michael Schiavo denied all treatment for Terri and began legal maneuvers to bring about her death.  He melted down her engagement and wedding rings to make a ring for himself, began shacking up with another woman with whom he subsequently had two children, hired an attorney with ties to the euthanasia movement, orchestrated a media blitz misrepresenting Terri's condition as "comatose," and waged a vicious public relations campaign portraying Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, as greedy opportunists. 
In reality Terri is conscious and aware of her surroundings.  She is not hooked up to any machines or on any life support.  Like tens of thousands of other disabled Americans she requires a simple feeding tube for nourishment.  Terri cannot speak, but responds to visitors, especially her parents and siblings. Many doctors have testified she could improve with therapy. Michael has consistently denied any physical assistance to Terri even to the point of instructing nursing staff not to put rolled up washcloths in her hands to prevent them turning in on themselves.  Several nurses and aides have submitted signed depositions testifying to Michael's malice.   
One of the most shocking aspects of Terri's case involves a bone scan done a year after her collapse showing numerous fractures and injuries in various stages of healing.  Her parents were denied the evidence at the time.  When they finally saw the report in 2002 they requested police to conduct a criminal investigation. They were refused. So not only is Terri in the guardianship of a man who is currently trying to kill her, but it's likely she was a battered wife whose injuries may have been due to physical abuse.   
Michael successfully secured the support of Judge George Greer who has consistently ruled against Terri's parents denying Terri's civil rights and ignoring Florida state laws protecting the disabled.  Greer has shrugged off serious conflicts of interest on Michael's part including inheriting Terri's remaining money and the fact he has been in an adulterous union since 1992. Michael has ignored court orders to submit a guardianship plan required under Florida law or to appear for depositions.  These abuses have all been swept under the rug by Judge Greer. His bias is less baffling when viewed in the light of judicial activism around the country that consistently violates the rule of law and the civil rights of the weak and helpless.  In the famous movie on the Nazi Holocaust, Judgment at Nuremburg there is a poignant scene when the judge, convicted for war crimes, says to the prosecuting attorney, "You must believe, I never thought it would come to this."  The attorney replies, "It came to this the first time you sentenced to death a man you knew to be innocent."  If Terri dies, no one is safe from our runaway judiciary. 
Just as Roe v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton were based on lies that led to the legal murder of millions of children, Terri's case, shrouded in lies, threatens to be the vehicle for advancing the euthanasia murder of the elderly, sick, and disabled.  The hour is late.  If we don't stop the euthanasia juggernaut it will ultimately consume millions of helpless individuals at the end of life's journey just as its gruesome twin, abortion, has killed so many million's at life's beginning.
The Catholic Media Coalition calls on all Catholics to storm heaven on Terri's behalf .  We entreat our bishops and clergy to ask their local diocesan and parish congregations to pray for Terri's deliverance and for the conversion of Michael Schiavo, his attorney, euthanasia advocate George Felos, and Judge George Greer.  We beg all people of good will to join in this mission of mercy.  (Contact information for the U.S. bishops is available at Also contact Governor Jeb Bush and ask for a criminal investigation of Terri's apparent abuse and for a grand jury investigation of Judge George Greer. Governor Bush can be reached at (850) 488-4441 or by e-mail at
Many ethicists and pro-life leaders have defended Terri's right to life.  Some of these statements are available at our website. Euthanasia
Also see "The Perfect Murder," an extensive report by The Empire Journal on Terri's case and the abuses of Judge George Greer at

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