Michael Schiavo has publicly stated that his goal in withholding treatment from his wife and removing her feeding tube (leading to death-by-starvation) is in accord with her wishes. He has testified that he loves his wife and is doing what she wanted. However, both legal records and Michaelís actions seem to tell a different story.
Michael was interviewed by Larry King on October 27, 2003. A caller asked him why not give up guardianship?
CALLER: Yes. My question is, why not divorce your wife, or turn her care over to her parents, or a third party allowing yourself to get on with your life?Yet, in a September 27, 1999 Deposition, Michael Schiavo said his reason for keeping guardianship of Terri was essentially to get back at her parents.
KING: That's what we asked a few times. You're saying it's purely based on that promise?
SCHIAVO: Purely based on her wishes.
Q. Have you considered turning the guardianship over to Mr. and Mrs. Schindler?After his attorney "talked" with him, Michael added, "Yeah. Another reason would be that her parents wouldn't carry out her wishes."
SCHIAVO: No, I have not.
Q. And why?
SCHIAVO: I think that's pretty self explanatory.
Q. I'd like to hear your answer.
SCHIAVO: Basically I don't want to do it.
Q. And why don't you want to do it?
SCHIAVO: Because they put me through pretty much h*** the last few years.
Q. And can you describe what you mean by h***?
SCHIAVO: The litigations they put me through.
Q. Any other specifics besides the litigation?
SCHIAVO: Just their attitude towards me because of the litigations. There is no other reason. I'm Terri's husband and I will remain guardian.
Others (namely her parents and brother) have contradicted Michaelís assertion that his wife would want her feeding tube removed. In addition, Cindy Shook, who had an affair with Michael shortly after Terri's "incident", gave a startling deposition. Regarding what Terri would have wanted she claims Michael said,
"How the h*** should I know we never spoke about this, my God I was only 25 years old. How the h*** should I know? We were young. We never spoke of this."While there is some room for various interpretation regarding testimony taken during litigations, actions speak louder than words.
In a 1992 malpractice lawsuit, Michael claimed a noble love for his wife:
Q. How do you feel about being married to Terri now?Yet, the very next year he gave this testimony during a Nov. 19, 1993 deposition:
SCHIAVO: I feel wonderful. She's my life and I wouldn't trade her for the world. I believe in my - I believe in my wedding vows.
Q. What do you mean? You want to take a minute?
Q. If the court would let us take a minute.
Q. You okay?
SCHIAVO: Yeah, Iím sorry.
Q. Have - you said you believe in your wedding vows. What do you mean by that?
SCHIAVO: I believe in the vows that I took with my wife. Through sickness, in health, for richer or poorer. 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.
Q. Are you presently Ė youíre married to Terri Schiavo, correct?So much for nobility and spending the rest of his life with his wife. In fact, within months of the malpracitce lawsuit he had already decided to end Terriís life by "letting nature take its course." Medical records indicate that after receiving the proceeds of the 1992 Medical Malpractice Trial totaling close to one million dollars not a single day of proper rehabilitation or therapy has been given to Terri.
SCHIAVO: Yes I am.
Q. Are you presently involved in a romantic relationship with anyone?
SCHIAVO: Yes I am.
Q. Are you involved in an intimate relationship with this person.
SCHIAVO: Yes I am.
Q. Is this the first relationship that youíve been involved in since your wife has been in a coma?
And in the spring of 1993, just a few months after this Medical Malpractice was awarded to Terri, Michael Schiavo, Terriís legal guardian, instructed caregivers not to treat Terri who had acquired a common but life threatening infection. This happened again in 1995. Note: Michael is the inheritor of this Medical Trust.
Does Michael know what his wife would have wanted? Does he really care? Is he a suitable guardian for a person in Terri Schiavo's condition? Has he acted according to Terri's best interest? Has he shown a track record of faithfulness that can be trusted?