Powered by TypePad

« Under A Swift Sunrise | Main | Reopening The Stem Cell Debate »

March 26, 2005



Well, I'm seeing my brother and his wife and son and my mother tomorrow.

I'm going to hug and kiss them so much they'll have to turn the garden hose on me to put me down.


Les Nessman

I've heard that 8 years after Terri suffered this tragedy, her parents were o.k. with Michael dating other women and even encouraged him to do so. He even brought the girl to meet the Schiavo's.

Anyone know if this is true?


Les - Yes, it is true

TM - This is a Michael basher? Obviously Michael would disagree with most of the Schindler's assertions. But I don't think he would find fault with this article. It is factually accurate and does a pretty decent job of balancing the claims on both sides.


My jaw dropped in the first few paragraphs from the front page:

T. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 25 - It is almost beyond belief, given the sea of distance between them now, that Terri Schiavo's husband and parents once shared a home, a life, a goal.

But for years - when Ms. Schiavo walked and talked among them and after her catastrophic collapse - the headstrong young man and his traditionalist in-laws were, by all accounts, friendly.

As the brain-damaged Ms. Schiavo lay dying in a hospice and her husband and parents continued to the end their battle over her fate, the rancor built and a transfixed nation wondered how a 12-year-old fight - even one that everyone agrees began over money - ever became so bad, culminating in daily court fights and decisions.

The hurled accusations persist: adulterer, opportunists, murderer, liars. Everyone on the street has taken sides, guessing at the motivations of Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers but never knowing for sure.

It is easy for most people to assume that blinding love for their daughter drives the parents, who have begged Mr. Schiavo to give them his wife and walk away. But his motives are harder to fathom. Is it stubbornness that drives him, or fervor to commit fully to the other woman in his life, a girlfriend of eight years with whom he has two children? Does he want Ms. Schiavo to die because she is a burden, or because, as he says time and again, he promised her not to keep her alive by artificial means?

The parents get a pass (parental love), where he is (maybe) stubborn, in love with someone new, burdened, or just true to his promise.

Yeah, I bet he loved it.

And remember, until last Tuesday, this was not newsworthy at all.

Anyway, I can take comfort in the near-certainty that if I had deemed this sotry to be fair and balanced, folks would be screaming about, for example, the non-mention of the trust fund.


This is the risk of handling a life-and-death matter via a lower standard of evidence.

This case required only "clear and convincing" evidence and no jury. The main evidence to which I refer is the evidence of Terri's supposed wishes and the interpretation of her remarks to apply to the situation.


I don't see much of a michael basher. there's also bnashing of the parents.

Is this bashing?

Together, the Schindlers and Mr. Schiavo learned that Ms. Schiavo's heart had stopped and that she had suffered drastic brain damage before the paramedics arrived. Doctors say a potassium deficiency, possibly caused by an eating disorder, led to her collapse.

The parents and son-in-law promised to see Ms. Schiavo, just 26, recover. The Schiavos and Schindlers moved in, sharing a house in St. Petersburg Beach as they devoted themselves to Ms. Schiavo's care. In June 1990, Mr. Schiavo was appointed his wife's guardian, and months later, he took her to California for an experimental, ultimately unsuccessful, treatment to stimulate her brain.

Ms. Schiavo was later placed in a nursing home in Largo, Fla., where Mr. Schiavo was strict with and sometimes hostile toward the staff, court transcripts show.

"His demanding concern for her well-being and meticulous care by the nursing home earned him the characterization by the administrator as 'a nursing home administrator's nightmare,' " wrote Jay Wolfson, a court-appointed independent guardian for Ms. Schiavo who had no say in her case but researched it in 2003.

Mr. Schiavo even went to nursing school with the goal, his brothers say, of better caring for his wife.

And who does this bash?

A month later, on St. Valentine's Day, both sides say, a fight over the award signaled the beginning of their estrangement. The way Mr. Schiavo has described it, he was visiting his wife when the Schindlers walked in and Mr. Schindler asked how much money he would receive from Mr. Schiavo's part of the malpractice settlement.

Clearly both sides have thier views.

One thing I don't understand is why the parents say they oppose cremation as Catholics.


"The Christians never burned their dead, but followed from earliest days the practice of the Semitic race and the personal example of their Divine Founder. It is recorded that in times of persecution many risked their lives to recover the bodies of martyrs for the holy rites of Christian burial."

Catholic Encyclopedia



Here is a pro-tubist who thinks the Times is trying to be even-handed.




I ask again, why do they say that as a Catholic she should not be cremated?



From that same article you quote:

, it must be remembered that there is nothing directly opposed to any dogma of the Church in the practice of cremation,

It can't be much clearer. There is nothing in Catholic teachings that says no to cremation. So why do the parents claim that?

Les Nessman

This particular article may not be the most blatant example of 'Michael bashing', but I am very uneasy in general with the amount and intensity of the rumors concerning him getting major air time from all media outlets. If even some of the innuendo is true, then I won't have much compassion for him. I would like to see more solid proof instead of just allegations, is all.

Joe Mealyus

Maybe, just telling readers of "a girlfriend of eight years with whom he has two children," together with the details of the disagreements with the Schindlers, constitutes bashing.

Patrick R. Sullivan

GT, cremation was officially a mortal sin for Catholics until 1962. The Church still frowns on the practice (they link it to 'pagan ritual', and I think they require it be done only after a full liturgical funeral. Michael, seems ready to incinerate it immediately--which is very suspicious if true.


GT: It =used=to=be= against Catholic practice to have cremation for a couple reasons. The theological reason had to do with it being a gnostic practice that denied a =bodily= resurrection (people think it's some kind of "spiritual" everlasting life, whereas the Catholic Church teaches that one will be =physically= resurrected).

However, as people have noticed that the first Christians have long since returned to dust, and that all things are possible with God, cremation no longer has the implication that one disbelieves the resurrection of the body. So the Church does not go against cremation now, but still requires a reverent disposal of the ashes in a colombarium (whatever it's called). No shooting them into space or using them in compost.

The practical objection to cremation is that it can hide foul play. Say, the next-of-kin denies an autopsy, immediately has the body cremated, and then the suspicion of wrong doing by said next-of-kin comes to light... law enforcement cannot investigate. As the Church is interested in justice (as well as mercy), using cremation to thwart justice is an obvious no-no.



Yes it "used" to be. Not anymore. Not for 40 years. The parents made this up.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Yes it "used" to be. Not anymore. Not for 40 years. The parents made this up.'

Have a clue, GT. The parents are old enough to remember the ban on cremation as mortal sin. Plenty of Catholics are traditionalists and follow the old teachings. And, the Church still frowns on the practice, even if it has officially lifted the ban.

Perhaps your time might be more constructively used contemplating why you continually jump to the conclusion that YOUR judgment ought to rule other people.

Especially when you don't have any first hand knowledge, and they do.


They can follow whatever they want. Doesn't change the fact that what they claim (that Terri should not be cremated because she is a Catholic) is false and made up.

Kind of like your arguments.

Greg D

How do you "know" that the trust fund is depleted? $750,000, even merely invested in T-Bills, should last a hell of a long time, esp when it's not being spent on any special care.


How do we know?

Because the special Guardian appointed to report to Gov Jeb Bush said so in his memo.

Greg D

Where is this memo?

And has an accounting been done of how the funds were spent?

The comments to this entry are closed.