.- Nearly five years after the death of his sister Terri Schiavo, Bobby Schindler has said that the general press is still “telling lies” about her.
Schindler explained his perspective and said that news accounts “refer to Terri as being brain dead.”
“I see that all the time,” he continued, “ and it simply is not true. They say that she was on artificial life support, without explaining to people what artificial life support means. There's this perception out there that Terri was on a machine – that people like Terri need machines to keep them alive.”
“It's still being reported by the mainstream media,” Schindler told CNSNews.com on Thursday. “There's things that are being said that were simply not true.”
Terri Schiavo died in March of 2005 when a Florida judge ordered the removal of her feeding tube, a move that was requested by her then husband, Michael Schiavo who had custody of her. The case made headlines and was the subject of a public feud on right to life issues. Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler had fought for two years to try and prevent their daughter's death.
Bobby Schindler claimed that the autopsy report following his sister's death showed that she was in good physical shape when her feeding tube was removed, and that the pathologist indicated that Terri could have “quite easily lived a normal life span.”
“Terri died because we took away her food and water,” Schindler stated, “just like we would all die if our food and water was taken away.”
“It took almost two weeks.”
According to Schindler, the media continues to report that Terri was brain-dead, that she was on artificial life support, and that she was unresponsive and blind.
“These are simply not factually correct,” Schindler stated to CNSNews.com. “It's patently false. If Terri were alive today she could be here to 'March for Life' with us. All she needed was a wheelchair, and we could have taken her anywhere. But there's the perception out there that these people basically need to be bed-ridden, and that they are unable to be taken anywhere. It's just not true.”
“If you go on YouTube, or go on MySpace, and put my sister’s name in there and see all the horribly offensive things that come up, and how she’s made fun of,” he continued, “it frightens me, because of what exists in our culture today and how we view people like my sister and people with cognitive disabilities.”
“I think we’re being taught to look at these people as burdens, as inconveniences, instead of what I believe they are – as gifts. They allow us to show our compassion, our love. I believe that they are blessings.”