Was there a change of heart?
Did Terri Schiavo's husband change his mind? According to the testimony that follows, he assured a judge and jury that Terri would be given proper therapy and care. However, after receiving the proceeds of the 1992 Medical Malpractice Trial, not a single day of therapy has been given to Terri.
Radio personality, Glenn Beck, also had a change of heart about Terri. Hear why.
Visit Mr. Beck's web site.

Getting it wrong

Terri is not in a coma, nor a persistent vegetative state. She is a responsive and aware woman suffering from cognitive disability.

Actual Testimony

The following are excerpts from court documents. They have been taken from both trial testimony and deposition.

1992 Malpractice Trial
Opening Statement

1992 Malpractice Trial
Testimony of Michael Schiavo

1993 Guardianship Hearing
Deposition of Michael Schiavo - Withholding treatment

1993 Guardianship Hearing
Deposition of Michael Schiavo - Withholding Medical information


November 1992
Opening Statements, Medical Malpractice Trial

    You'll find from the evidence past medical bills and lost earnings are in the neighborhood of $500,000, and to care for her in the future and compensate her for lost earnings, obviously, she cannot work. And if she lives a normal life expectancy, fifty-one years, and the cost of that, depending on whether or not in an institution or Mike takes her home is between 12 and 16 million dollars. They say, well, she doesn't have a normal life expectancy. You'll hear if she receives proper treatment, there's no reason why she shouldn't. And she is not just a head on a pillow. She can't respond much but she can respond, and she does respond a little bit, not much. But enough to give him hope.


November 1992
Testimony of Michael Schiavo, Medical Malpractice Trial

Q.    Why did you want to learn to be a nurse?
MS.    Because I enjoy it and I want to learn more how to take care of Terri.

Q.    You're a young man. Your life is ahead of you. When you look up the road, what do you see for yourself?
MS.    I see myself hopefully finishing school and taking care of my wife.

Q.    Where do you want to take care of your wife?
MS.    I want to bring her home.

Q.    If you had the resources available to you, if you had the equipment and the people, would you do that?
MS.    Yes, I would, in a heartbeat.

Q.    How do you feel about being married to Terri now.
MS.    I feel wonderful. She's my life and I wouldn't trade her for the world. I believe in my marriage vows.

Q.    You believe in your wedding vows, what do you mean by that?
MS.    I believe in the vows I took with my wife, through sickness, in health, for richer or poor. I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'm going to do that.


( Note: In January of 1993, a jury awarded Michael $600,000 for loss of consortium, and $1.7 million went into a medical trust for all of Terri's future rehabilitative care, which was based on the testimony of Michael stating that he wanted to care for Terri for the rest of his life. If Terri should die, Michael would inherit the balance of the trust fund. Not only did Mr. Schiavo not provide Terri with rehabilitation, he has denied his wife any and all therapy, against Doctors' recommendations, since the 1993 malpractice award.)


November 1993
Michael Schiavo Deposition, Guardianship Hearing

Q.    What was her bladder condition?
MS.    She had a UTI.

Q.    What is that?
MS.    Urinary tract infection.

Q.    What did the doctor tell you treatment for that would be?
MS.    Antibiotic usually.

Q.    And did he tell you what would occur if you failed to treat that infection? What did he tell you?
MS.    That sometimes urinary tract infection will turn to sepsis.

Q.    And sepsis is what?
MS.    An infection throughout the body.

Q.    And what would the result of untreated sepsis be to the patient?
MS.    The patient would pass on.

Q.    So when you made the decision not to treat Terri's bladder infection you, in effect, were making a decision to allow her to pass on?
MS.    I was making a decision on what Terri would want.

Q.    Had the bladder condition been treated?
MS.    Yes.

Q.    And was...what was the reason that the bladder condition was treated?
MS.    Sable Palms Nursing Home said they could not do that by some Florida law which wasn't stated.

Q.    But you didn't change your opinion or your decision to not treat the bladder condition?
MS.    We did change it.

Q.    Correct?
MS.    Repeat the question.

Q.    You did not change your decision not to treat the bladder condition, correct?
MS.    I had to change my decision.

Q.    Sable Palms changed it for you?
Attorney Nillson Objection

Q.    Okay. Is there any reason that you would not make the same decision that you previously made if the problem came up again?
MS.    Repeat your question. You're losing me here.

Q.    Let me be more specific. If your wife developed another condition that could result in her death, is there any reason that you would not take the position that you're not going to treat that condition and you're going to instruct the doctor not to treat that condition?
MS.    I wouldn't instruct anybody, no.

Q.    You instructed the doctor not to treat the condition, correct?
Attorney Nillson Objection

Q.    You did instruct the doctor not to treat her bladder condition, correct?
MS.    Uh-huh. Yes.

Q.    If a similar...would you do the same?
MS.    I'm thinking.

Q.    Take your time.
MS.    I probably wouldn't instruct the doctor to do it.

Q.    So you've changed your opinion?
MS.    Sort of, yeah.

Q.    Why have you changed your opinion?
MS.    Because evidently there is a law out there that says I can't do it.

Q.    Is that the only reason?
MS.    Basically, maybe.

Q.    What you're telling me is, is that there is nothing in your belief or feelings that have changed. The only thing that has changed is the fact that you perceive the law prevents you to do what you intended to do?
MS.    Correct.

Q.    What did you do with your wife's jewelry?
MS.    My wife's jewelry?

Q.    Yeah.
MS.    Um, I think I took her engagement ring and her...what do they call it...diamond wedding band and made a ring for myself.

Q.    What did you do with her cats?
MS.    Her cats were put to sleep n the advice of my mother-in-law.
(Note: The veterinarian who performed the euthanasia of Terri's pets came forward to say there was never any suggestion from Terri's mother that this be done and only Mr. Schiavo's insistence.)


November 1993
Michael Schiavo Deposition, Guardianship Hearing

Q.    And prior to that time, they (Terri's parents) had access to the medical records and they could talk to the physicians and the nursing home people about their daughter, correct?
MS.    Correct.

Q.    Okay. And after that period of time that changed, didn't it?
Attorney Nillson Objection

Q.    Alright. After the altercation on February 14, 1993, the Schindlers were not allowed any information concerning their daughter's immediate condition, is that correct?
MS.    The order was given not to give out any information to anybody but myself or the doctor.

Q.    Okay. And what was...why was that order given?
MS.    Because I figured that the nursing home was having problems, first off, with the certified nurses aids giving wrong information out over the phone, information to the family. And second of all, since my in-laws showed no care about showing up or calling me when Terri was in the hospital, I figured they didn't care.

Q.    Explain that. The Schindlers showed no care about what?
MS.    Terri being in the hospital in March.

Q.    Are you saying that you didn't think they cared about their daughter at all?
MS.    They never showed up.

Q.    So the reason that they were not at the hospital because they were not at the hospital in March, you decided that they should not ever have any access to her medical records or medical treatment again?
MS.    I agree.

Q.    When you made the decision that you were not going to treat Terri's infection and you were going to, in effect, allow her to die, did you think that you had any obligations to tell her parents?
MS.    To answer that question, I probably would have let them know sooner or later.

Q.    You never did let them know, though, did you?
MS.    No.

Q.    When you say you would probably have let them know sooner or later, were you contemplating a certain time frame when you would let them know?
MS.    I don't know what my thoughts were right then.

(Note: A former girlfriend of Michael Schiavo's contacted the media with her worries about his behavior. You can listen here (Real Media format).


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