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Terri Schiavo's Right To
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- Feb 25: Terri Schiavo has a heart attack, temporarily cutting off
oxygen to her brain. Cause is believed to be a potassium imbalance, likely
brought about by poor diet.
- May: Terri is discharged from Humana Hospital in St Petersburg,
- Jan: Terri is moved to Bradenton Mediplex Rehabilitation Center.
- Apr: Terri's condition is assessed as improving. Her husband is
advised to move her to Gainesville Rehabilitation Center to receive advanced
therapy so Terri can continue her recovery.
- July: Michael Schiavo has Terri moved to Sable Palms Nursing Home.
- Aug: Terri is awarded $250,000 in malpractice settlement.
- Nov: In a medical malpractice suit, Michael asks a jury to grant $20
million to pay for Terri's future medical and neurological requirements, based
on her life expectancy, which he and his attorneys estimate at 51 years. His
attorney tells the court: "She can't respond much but she can respond, and she
does respond a little bit, not much. But enough to give him hope."
- Jan: A Pinellas jury awards about $1.4 to Terri and $600,000 to
Michael in malpractice suit filed because her gynecologist failed to ask about
her medical history while treating her.
- Feb: Michael refuses recommended rehabilitation treatment.
- Feb 14: Michael, and Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler,
have a falling out over her rehabilitation. Michael orders nursing home
personnel to keep all information about Terri's condition away from her
- Apr: The value of the trust fund for all of Terri's future care and
rehabilitation stands at $776,254. State law guarantees that Michael would be
granted any of what remains if Terri dies.
- Aug: Michael instructs medical professionals to not treat Terri for a
potentially life-threatening urinary tract infection, and invokes a "do not
- Sept: The Schindlers petition the court to remove Michael as Terri's
- Nov: Michael testifies that he knew withholding treatment of
infection would likely result in Terri's death, but reversed his order when
staff at Sable Palms Nursing Home told him refusing such treatment violated
Florida law. Michael says he would withhold treatment in the future if he
didn't believe it was illegal.
- Feb: The Schindlers' guardianship challenge is dismissed.
- Apr: Michael has Terri moved to Palm Gardens Nursing Home.
- Sept: Michael orders Palm Gardens not to treat Terri for another
potentially fatal infection.
- June: Terri's parents obtain court order for access to their
daughter's medical records.
- May: Judge Shames approves Michael's action to remove the feeding
tube that provides Terri's nutrition and hydration.
- Summer: Michael hires attorney George Felos to represent him in his
efforts to have Terri's feeding tube removed. Felos has history of supporting
"right to die" causes.
- July: Michael announces engagement to Jodi Centonze.
- Aug: George Felos notifies Terri's parents of action to remove her
- Apr: The value of Terri's fund stands at $713,825.
- May: Michael files a petition to remove his wife's feeding
- June: Court appoints guardian ad litem to investigate Terri's
- Dec: guardian ad litem recommends the court not approve Michael's
- Feb: Felos files bias charges against guardian ad litem.
- June: Court dismisses guardian ad litem.
- Jan 24: Trial begins in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court over the
removal of Terri's feeding tube.
- Feb 11: Judge George Greer rules that the feeding tube can be
removed. Terri's parents appeal.
- Feb: Three doctors file affidavits stating Terri can swallow and is
not in a persistent vegitative state. Judge Greer denies petition to allow
Terri swallowing tests.
- Apr: Michael has Terri moved to Hospice Facility. Judge Greer denies
her parents' motion to have her returned to Palm Garden Nursing Home, and
imposes a restricted visitor list.
- July: Terri's parents file appeal with Appellate Court to overturn
- Jan 24: The 2nd District Court of Appeal upholds Greer's decision to
to have feeding tube removed.
- March 29: Greer rules that Michael can remove the feeding tube at 1
p.m. Apr 20.
- Apr 18: The Florida Supreme Court declines to intervene.
- Apr 20: A federal judge grants the Schindlers until Apr 23 to
exhaust their appeals.
- Apr 23: The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to intervene.
- Apr 24: Terri's feeding tube is removed.
- Apr 26: Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Frank Quesada orders doctors to
reinsert Terri's feeding tube so her parents can pursue a lawsuit against
Michael. The suit accuses him of committing perjury and cites a former
girlfriend who claims he told her he lied when he testified that Terri did not
want to be kept on life support.
- Apr 30: Michael's lawyers file an emergency motion with the appeals
court, asking the court to again order Terri's feeding tube to be removed.
- May 2: The 2nd District Court of Appeal defers a ruling, allowing
Terri's feeding to continue.
- May 8: Michael's former girlfriend refuses to testify against him,
claims she is afraid of him.
- June 25: The 2nd District Court of Appeal hears arguments in
Michael's request to have feeding tube removed.
- July 11: The appeals court rules that Terri's feeding tube cannot be
removed until after July 23.
- July 18: Terri's parents ask Greer to let their doctors evaluate her
before deciding whether her feeding tube should be withdrawn.
- Aug 7: Greer orders the feeding tube to be removed Aug. 28.
- Aug 8: Terri's parents again ask Greer to allow doctors to evaluate
- Aug 10: Greer denies the Schindlers' request for evaluation and
their request to have Michael removed as guardian.
- Sept. 26: In arguments before the 2nd District Court of Appeal, the
Schindlers' attorneys cite testimony from seven doctors who say Mrs. Schiavo's
idle cells might "wake up" with the right treatment. Michael calls the claims
- Oct 3: The appeals court delays the removal of the feeding tube
- Oct 17: The appeals court rules that five doctors can examine Terri
to determine whether she can recover: two from each side and one picked by the
- Dec 19: Attorneys meet with a mediator in an attempt to agree upon
the tests to be performed.
- Feb 13: Attempts at mediation fail. Michael again seeks to have his
wife's feeding tube removed.
- Mar 14: The Florida Supreme Court denies Michaels appeal.
- July 10: Court hearing again to allowing certain medical tests that
were requested to evaluate Terris true medical and neurological
- July 22: Judge Greer approves three of the neurological tests her
parents requested and rejects a dozen others.
- Oct 2: Michael files petition to prohibit the media from seeing
Terris recent neurological examination videotapes or airing the videos to
the public after they have been presented to the court as evidence. He also
petitions the court to authorize Terris cremation.
- Oct 12, 2002: A week-long hearing begins. Three of the five doctors
testify that Terri cannot recover. Two picked by the Schindlers say she
- Nov. 12, 2002: The Schindlers' attorney says medical records suggest
that Terri's vegetative state may have been caused by a beating and seeks time
to get more evidence.
- Nov 15: Greer conducts a hearing in response to a motion Terri's
parents filed requesting time to investigate recent evidence suggesting her
heart failure may have been caused by physical abuse. The petition also charges
Michael with violating a dozen or more Florida laws while serving as
- Nov 22: Greer rules that no current medicine can rehabilitate Terri
and orders the feeding tube removed on Jan 3, 2003.
- Dec 13: Greer delays the feeding tube removal to give the Schindlers
one last chance to appeal.
- Dec 18: Michael files a motion with the 2nd District Appellate Court
to overturn Greers Dec 13th "stay" order.
- Dec 23: The 2nd Appellate Court denies Michaels motion to
overturn Greers order
- June 6: The 2nd District Court of Appeal rejects the new appeals and
orders Greer to set a date for the removal of the feeding tube.
- Aug: Terri hospitalized. Michael refuses to give parents information
about medical condition. Also refuses to allow Terri's priest to visit and
perform last rights.
- Sept: Emergency hearing to allow Shindlers to visit and to obtain
current medical information. Request is granted.
- Sept 17: Greer orders the removal of Terri's feeding tube at 2 p.m.
on Oct 15.
- Oct 15: Terri's feeding tube is removed. Disability rights advocates
and "right-to-life" supporters hold candle-light vigils and start sending tens
of thousands of emails, letters and phone calls to Florida lawmakers and
Governor Jeb Bush.
- Oct 20: Gov. Bush introduces "Terri's Law", allowing him to have
Terri's feeding tube reinserted and a temporary guardian appointed. Florida
Legislature meets in special session to review the proposed law.
- Oct 22: "Terri's Law" is approved and signed into law. Gov. Bush
issues executive order to have her feeding tube reinserted.
- Oct. 28: President George W. Bush says he agrees with the decision by
his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, to order an end to Terri Schiavo's
- Oct. 29: Attorneys for Michael Schiavo and the American Civil
Liberties Union ask Pinellas County Circuit Court to declare "Terri's Law"
- Oct 31: Pinellas County Chief Judge David Demers appoints Dr. Jay
Wolfson as temporary guardian
- Nov 4: Pinellas County Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird denies
Schindlers' request to join case with Governor Bush
- Nov 5: Gov. Bush asks court to throw out challenge to "Terri's Law".
Judge Greer allows parents to sue for guardianship change
- Nov 7: Judge Baird rejects governor's request to dismiss Michael's
constitutional challenge to "Terri's Law"
- Dec 2: Wolfson recommends swallowing tests for Terri
Jan 9: Pinellas County Chief Judge David Demers refuses to reinstate
independent guardian for Terri
*Adapted from St. Petersburg
Schindler-Schiavo Foundation, APFN.org
and other sources.
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