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KEY EVENTS IN THE CASE OF THERESA MARIE SCHIAVO
See very extensive Timeline from December 3, 1963
"Theresa (Terri) Marie Schindler is born in Pennsylvania"
on to March 31, 2005
"Ms. Schiavo dies at 9:05 a.m. Her body is transported to the Pinellas
Country Coroners? Office for an autopsy."
to the end June 20, 2005
"Despite earlier statements that he intended to bury Ms. Schiavo's
remains in Pennsylvania, Michael Schiavo buries them in Clearwater,
Continue down the page for more events from June 20, 2005 to August 16, 2005
And lastly - Family Plans To Write Book About Schiavo's Life, Death
Terri Schiavo book September 29, 2005
Photo of gravemarker:
A brief summary along with much more information can be found at
Wikipedia - Terry Shiavo
"Theresa Marie "Terri" Schiavo (December 3, 1963 Pennsylvania, United
States ? March 31, 2005 Pinellas Park, Pinellas County, Florida,
United States) was a woman from St. Petersburg, Florida whose unusual
medical and family circumstances and attendant legal battles fueled
intense media attention and led to several high-profile court
decisions and involvement by prominent politicians and interest
Terri Schiavo before her 1990 collapse.Schiavo experienced cardiac
arrest and collapsed in her home in early 1990, incurring massive
brain damage; she remained in a coma for ten weeks. Within three
years, she was diagnosed to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS)
with little chance of recovery.
Beginning in 1998, Schiavo?s husband and guardian Michael Schiavo
petitioned the courts to remove the gastric feeding tube keeping
Schiavo alive; Schiavo's parents Robert and Mary Schindler fought a
series of legal battles opposing Michael. The courts consistently
found that Schiavo was PVS and had made credible statements that she
would not want to be kept alive on a machine. By March 2005, the legal
history around the Schiavo case included fourteen appeals and
innumerable motions, petitions, and hearings in the Florida courts;
five suits in Federal District Court; Florida legislation (Terri?s
Law) struck down by the Florida Supreme Court; a subpoena by a
congressional committee in an attempt to qualify Schiavo for "witness
protection"; federal legislation (Palm Sunday Compromise); and four
denials from the United States Supreme Court, among others.
Despite these interventions, the courts continued to find that Schiavo
was in a PVS with no hope for recovery, and would want to cease life
support. Her feeding tube was removed a third and final time on March
18, 2005. She died at the hospice on March 31, 2005, at the age of
University of Miami Ethics Programs
"Theresa Marie Schiavo has been in a persistent vegetative state since
1990. A dispute between her husband and her parents has produced what
is arguably the most important end-of-life case since those of Karen
Quinlan in the 1970's and Nancy Cruzan in the 1980's."
Abstract Appeal -- by Matt Conigliaro
"On February 25, 1990, . . . Theresa, age 27, suffered a cardiac
arrest as a result of a potassium imbalance. Michael called 911, and
Theresa was rushed to the hospital. She never regained consciousness."
"What's happened to Terri since her collapse?
The Second District's first opinion in this case explained:
Since 1990, Theresa has lived in nursing homes with constant care. She
is fed and hydrated by tubes. The staff changes her diapers regularly.
She has had numerous health problems, but none have been life
Over the span of this last decade, Theresa's brain has deteriorated
because of the lack of oxygen it suffered at the time of the heart
attack. By mid 1996, the CAT scans of her brain showed a severely
abnormal structure. At this point, much of her cerebral cortex is
simply gone and has been replaced by cerebral spinal fluid. Medicine
cannot cure this condition. Unless an act of God, a true miracle, were
to recreate her brain, Theresa will always remain in an unconscious,
reflexive state, totally dependent upon others to feed her and care
for her most private needs.
In a later opinion in the same case, the Second District further explained:
Although the physicians are not in complete agreement concerning the
extent of Mrs. Schiavo's brain damage, they all agree that the brain
scans show extensive permanent damage to her brain. The only debate
between the doctors is whether she has a small amount of isolated
living tissue in her cerebral cortex or whether she has no living
tissue in her cerebral cortex.
Did she have a living will?
No. If she had, this case would probably never have generated much
controversy. The one sure lesson to be taken from all of this is that
each of us should have a living will. Florida law permits living wills
and defines how and when they may be effective."
"Did the trial judge reach the right decision?
The "right" decision would be whatever decision Terri would make. I
did not attend the trial, and I have not even reviewed the trial
record. I do not pretend to know what the "right" decision would be.
Why has this case become such a controversy?
This case has become such a controversy because of Terri's parents'
insistence that their daughter would not wish to die under these
circumstances and their claim that Terri is conscious and responsive
The case has also become controversial because, for years, Terri's
parents have publicly questioned Michael's motives for wanting to
discontinue Terri's life support. Specifically, they have charged that
Michael remains Terri's husband and is working to end her life so he
can inherit whatever money remains from a $1 million 1993 medical
malpractice settlement Michael recovered on behalf of himself and
Terri. Presumably, if Michael divorced Terri, then he would not have
access to Terri's portion of the money, and upon her death her parents
would inherit it. News reports also indicate that Michael is engaged
to another woman."
"In October, 2002, as a result of Terri's parents' claims that
treatment options offered promise to restore some of Terri's cognitive
functioning, the Second District ordered the trial court to hold a
trial on that issue. The trial court did so, and in the course of that
trial the parties litigated whether Terri is in a persistent
terry shiavo summary of events
terry shiavo timeline
Theresa Marie Schiavo