Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Michael Schiavo has threatened to sue Terri Schiavo’s family because they named their non profit after her—the “Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation.”  (MS claims he owns the name. ) And, true to form, an ever compliant media fronted his cause with an unfair attack on the family.  From the story:

Schiavo’s widower, Michael Schiavo, says the family should be ashamed of what they are doing. He adds if Terri ever knew this was happening she’d be horrified. Michael Schiavo is talking about the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation. While Terri Schiavo’s brother Bobby says the organization is set up to help families in similar situations, Michael Schiavo says he doesn’t believe it. Instead Schiavo says they are using their deceased sister’s name to make money.

What Michael Schiavo “believes” is irrelevant and beside the point.  Had the reporters wanted to find out the kind of help the foundation offers others, producers could have called me or a myriad of others active in this field, who are quite aware of the selfless giving and effort each surviving member of Terri’s family offers to others.  Indeed, I have personal knowledge of case after case in which the Schindlers worked selflessly—and without financial compensation of any kind—to assist family members save their cognitively disabled loved ones from suffering the same dehydration fate as Terri.  The Lauren Richardson food and fluids dispute and the Andrea Clarke futile care case are just two that come to mind.

And as for profiteering—Bobby Schindler’s salary is $37,500 annually, and all speaking fees he receives go to the foundation.  His sister Suzanne, makes less and is 14 months in arrears in receiving her compensation.  It is also worth noting, that after receiving complaints, the IRS investigated the foundation and gave it a clean bill of health in 2008.

The hatred of this family is pathological and obsessive.

On a personal note: I know Bobby Schindler very well and consider him one of the most decent human beings I have ever met.  His sister Suzanne is a peach, and mother Mary doesn’t have a vindictive or nasty bone in her body.  Father Bob gave everything he had to save his daughter’s life, and seeing her die slowly by intentional dehydration when the family was prepared to love and care for her the rest of her life, destroyed his health and eventually took his life.  I stand wholeheartedly and unreservedly with the Schindler family and against the continual calumny mounted against them.

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles