Ongoing feud is disrespectful to Schiavo’s memory

One year ago, the Terri Schiavo debate was in full swing and rife with controversy. This time last year, there were protests outside of the hospice where she laid in a vegetative state for years. Religious groups begged for the preservation of her life while activists supported the right of her husband, Michael Schiavo, to remove her feeding tube. Her parents held out for recovery while her husband held out for the chance to have a new life. When her feeding tube was removed, the state of Florida and the governor intervened.

After much deliberation, her feeding tube was once again removed. Thirteen days later, Terri Schiavo passed away. But the issue did not die with her. Mr. Schiavo released a book Monday titled Terri: The Truth. Schiavo’s parents followed suit releasing A Life That Matters.

Both books have conflicting reports as to what happened to Schiavo and the relationship that deteriorated after her collapse. The only conclusion the two parties can come to is agree to disagree. The real issue, however, has yet to be tapped. This is a life that is being fought over, just as it was for the years that Schiavo was kept alive on a feeding tube.

Those on both sides are letting their egos and pride stand in the way of the memory of the woman whose collapse and coma provoked a great controversy.

Mr. Schiavo claimed for years that he wanted the ordeal to end and wanted to start a new life. Why, then, would he publish a book? The same can be said for Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. Mr. Schiavo claims in his book that after he was awarded $1 million in a malpractice lawsuit, Mr. Schindler demanded money. The Schindlers claim they wanted money to further Schiavo’s rehabilitation.

No one – except the parties involved – will ever know exactly how the conversation took place, but one thing is certain: If both sides were battling about money, it is doubtful they will have anything to worry about. The book sales alone will be enough for both sides to profit from the tragedy. Anyone who purchases either of these books will not only further the disrespect done to the life of Terri Schiavo, but will also throw kindling into an unneeded fire of pride.