Schindler Family Releases Statement

The family of Terri Schindler Schiavo has released a statement in response to the medical examiner's report:
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., and SEMINOLE, Fl., June 16 /Christian Wire Service/ -- On June 15, 2005, the Pinellas County IME has released his report regarding Terri. We would like to thank the IME for his time and effort in making this report. We are not challenging the findings in his report, but we would like to make a few comments publicly. We do not intend to take questions afterwards.

First, the IME's report confirms Terri's physical condition and disability. We all knew Terri was seriously brain-injured before the IME report. This is nothing new. The IME's report also confirms that TERRI WAS NOT TERMINAL. THAT TERRI HAD NO LIVING WILL, THAT TERRI HAD A STRONG HEART, and THAT TERRI WAS BRUTALLY DEHYDRATED TO DEATH.

Second, our family would encourage the media to remember that this case was allegedly about "Terri's choice." There is absolutely no evidence that Terri wanted to die of dehydration, or that she believed that that the level of one's disability gives anyone the moral and legal right to end another's life.

Third, the IME said clearly that dehydration, not her brain injury, was the cause of her death. Terri was dehydrated to death before our eyes The moral shame of what happened is not erased because of Terri's level of disability. No one would say that "blind people" or "brain-injured" people should be put to death. That would be an irresponsible and heartless position to take. Tragically, that is what happened to Terri. As a society, it seems that we have lost our compassion for the disabled.

We asked our attorney, Mr. Gibbs, to meet with the IME prior to the press conference, to attend the IME's press conference, and to speak to the media for our family afterward. In our opinion, some of the significant items from the IME's report are as follows:

-- Terri had a strong heart according to the IME. In addition to her strong heart, Terri also demonstrated a very strong will to live.

-- Terri was not terminal. The IME said with proper care Terri would have lived at least another 10 years even in her disabled condition. Terri's case was NOT an end-of-life case. Terri's case was about ending a disabled person's life.

-- Terri was brain-injured. This does NOT mean that she was brain-dead. Many seem to not understand this absolutely critical distinction.

-- The IME essentially ruled out bulimia and heart attack as causes for Terri's condition. In one sense the IME's report created as many questions as it may have answered. The major question for our family that now remains is what happened? A troubling 70-minute gap appears in the timeline on the day Terri collapsed in 1990: ...

Read the whole thing at the link.