Divorce being sought for brain-damaged woman

Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 28, 2005 at 9:27 p.m.
TAMPA - Terri Schiavo's parents asked a judge Monday to allow the severely brain-damaged woman to divorce her husband, accusing him of adultery and not acting in his wife's best interests.
It was one of a flurry of 11 motions filed by Bob and Mary Schindler, who have less than three weeks to find a way to keep their daughter alive.
Michael Schiavo says his wife, who has spent 15 years in what doctors call a vegetative state, once told him she would never want to be kept alive artificially. Her parents have fought his efforts but Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer ruled that Schiavo can have her feeding tube removed on March 18.
The Schindlers' attorney, David Gibbs, said Greer indicated he will not hear the divorce request and five other motions filed Monday, but that means the matters are now on their way to being appealed.
Appearing at a rally in Jacksonville, the Schindlers called on Gov. Jeb Bush to look into the circumstances that led to their daughter's 1990 collapse and asked Attorney General Charlie Crist to investigate whether Terri Schiavo's civil rights have been violated.
"We have filed divorce proceedings because of (Michael Schiavo's) total disregard for Terri as his wife," Bob Schindler said. "He is married to Terri, but he is living with another woman and he has two children by her. It has become quite obvious that his priorities are not in Terri's best interest."
"Remaining married to him is an embarrassment," Gibbs said.
Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, called the new motions little more than an attempt to clog the case with further delays. Felos has said even if Michael Schiavo were to divorce his wife, any new guardian would be obligated to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube because the court has ruled it is her wish not to be kept alive artificially.
"I think everyone knows the parents are going to try anything, including throwing in the kitchen sink, to frustrate the court's final judgment and Terri's wishes," Felos said.
Other motions by the Schindlers ask that some news reporters be allowed to see Terri Schiavo's interactions with her parents, since they contend she responds to them; that they be allowed to take pictures!with her before she dies and that those photographs not become Michael Schiavo's property, as a current court order now requires; that she be allowed to die at home; and that they be allowed to bury her rather than the cremation her husband has planned.

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