Police Cite "No Reason For Concern" Over Terri Schiavo's Puncture
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 30, 2004
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA--Terri Schiavo was rushed to a hospital emergency room Monday night, after nursing home workers reported finding what appeared to be marks made by a small hypodermic needle on her arms.
Terri was returned to the nursing home a few hours later, after toxicology and blood tests found no unauthorized drugs or other substances in her system.
"There is no reason for concern," Clearwater Police spokesman Wayne Shelor said. "Neither my detective who stopped by the scene at the hospital, nor the medical experts found anything that gave them any pause."
Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, said the five small puncture wounds -- four on one arm, and one on the other -- indicated that Terri had been a victim of battery.
"It appears that someone was either trying to inject Terri Schiavo with something or withdraw fluids from her," Felos said. "Even if there was nothing injected in her body, there is certainly evidence of an unpermitted physical contact, a battery on her."
Nursing personnel said they noticed the marks immediately after Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, visited her for 45 minutes.
Mr. Schindler told a local television station that nothing was wrong when he left Terri. He denied inserting a needle into her arms.
George Tragos, an attorney representing the Schindlers, said it was "absurd" to suggest that Terri's parents were responsible for the marks.
"It's just another mean-spirited attack designed to get some judicial advantage," Tragos told the Associated Press.
Mr. Schiavo has ordered that Terri have no visitors until authorities have completed their investigation.
The Schindlers and Michael Schiavo have been waging a legal war over Terri's life for the past six years. While her parents believe she responds to her environment and is alert, her husband believes she has been in a "persistent vegetative state", that she cannot interact with her surroundings, cannot feel pain, and will not recover from her 1990 brain injury. He petitioned the court in 1998 to have her feeding tube removed, claiming that she told him before her injury that she would not have wanted to live "by artificial means".
The courts ordered her feeding tube removed so she would die of starvation and dehydration on October 16, 2003. Governor Jeb Bush, responding to tens of thousands of messages from disability rights advocates and right-to-life supporters, championed "Terri's Law" through the Legislature, giving him permission to have the feeding tube reinserted six days later.
Mr. Schiavo immediately sued the governor, claiming that the law violated Terri's privacy, along with the Florida Constitution. That case is still pending.
On Monday afternoon, Pinellas County Circuit Judge George W. Greer denied the Schindlers' motion seeking to have Mr. Schiavo defend their claims that he is violating a 1996 court order which required him to share medical information about Terri. Schiavo argued that he has shared sufficient information with them through attorneys, which he claimed is the accepted protocol.
"Terri Schiavo's Right To Live" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation