The other side of the Schiavo story |

The other side of the Schiavo story

Judy CornealPunta Gorda, Fla./Breckenridge

I read with interest Rich Mayfield’s column Sept. 4 about Terri Schiavo’s case being heard by the Florida Supreme Court. As a Florida resident, I have been following this case for several years. Sept. 5, C-SPAN TV covered the court’s questioning of lawyers for Gov. Jeb Bush and Michael Schiavo. Mayfield and Schiavo would have you believe that this husband/guardian is fighting for his wife’s privacy and right to die.What hasn’t been told is that “this loving husband” has, at least, two children by his live-in mistress. He has denied her parents and siblings access to her. Her parents have been fighting, for years, to be allowed to take over the expenses of her care, but Schiavo has not allowed it. They have seen Terri respond to them and her siblings, yet Mayfield writes that she has been “completely unresponsive” for 14 years. Try telling that to the family.Family and friends have claimed that once fun-loving Terri would never have wanted to be deprived of nourishment until she died. Her husband claims that she voiced otherwise and ordered all tubes for food and water be removed.Mayfield calls that allowing Terri to “peacefully pass on.” As Mayfield “curses” my governor for what he is doing to Terri Schiavo, I remind him that this is what her loving and devoted family wants so that she may receive the therapy which has been denied her by Michael Schiavo, all these years. As far as Mayfield’s comment about Terri’s life being condemned to slowly waste away – that is exactly what happened under her husband’s “guardianship.” Now, after the Florida legislators acted, Michael stated on C-SPAN that she was in excellent shape.If everyone would sign a living will, so that family members would have these final instructions in writing, these battles could be eliminated.I would suggest that Mayfield propose that course of action, instead of “cursing” Gov. Bush.

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