Terri Schiavo Possibly Abused
Florida Agency Wants 60 Days to Investigate

Lifenews | February 24, 2005
By Steven Ertelt

A Florida agency wants 60 days to conduct an investigation into new allegations that Terri Schiavo was abused or mistreated.

The Florida Department of Children & Families does not name a person responsible for the abuses, though Terri's estranged husband Michael has been accused of abusing her before her collapse 15 years ago.

The agency filed an 11 page document with Circuit Court Judge George Greer detailing why it wants to intervene in the case and shared the confidential document with attorneys for both Michael and Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

Judge Greer is expected to rule tomorrow on whether to extend the stay preventing Michael from starving Terri to death while Terri's parents pursue appeals in legal motions intended to stop the starvation.

Greer could also rule tomorrow on the agency's request for a two month delay.

Matt Davis, an attorney with the Gibbs law firm, handling legal matters for the Schindlers, told the Associated Press that the document brings up many of the concerns previously brought forward by the Schindlers.

"We are confident when someone from the outside does see how Terri has been treated, they will see she has been mistreated all these years," Davis said.

Davis indicates the DCF document does not name anyone responsible for the abuse and does not say the allegations are substantiated -- only that the agency needs time to investigate the matter thoroughly.

Michael has denied abusing Terri, even though a bone scan conducted in September 1991 shows evidence of trauma and possible physical abuse.

George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael's lead attorney, says the investigation is another attempt by Florida Governor Jeb Bush to get involved in the case when Florida courts have told him he can't.

The Schindlers have been unable to get officials to investigate the abuse contention seriously before.

In 2003, Pinellas State Attorney Bernie McCabe looked into the matter but said the statute of limitations had run out on investigating the bone scan and that it was too old to be used.

"They have no doubt that once a legitimate review is done, the things they have been saying all along will be found to be true," Davis said.

In a statement on their web site, the Schindlers say they welcome the involvement of the DCF "in their investigation into serious and detailed allegations of abuse and to ensure that appropriate care and treatment of Terri and patients like her is being delivered."

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