Michael Schiavo, husband of the late Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman taken off life support in 2005, has attacked Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for an ad released by a pro-Bush super PAC highlighting Bush’s role in his former wife’s case.
The ad, released by Right to Rise PAC, plays the statement “He’s a man of deep faith who fought time and again for the right to life” while an image of Terri Schiavo flashes on the screen.
“It is simply disgusting that Jeb Bush and his super PAC would exploit my wife’s tragedy for his crude political gain,” Michael Schiavo declared. Calling Bush’s “intervention in our family’s private trauma” “disgraceful,” he went on to accuse the ex-governor of “us[ing] the machinery of government to keep a person alive through extraordinary artificial means — contrary to the orders of the court that were based on the court’s determination, made over six years of litigation, that doing so would be against her wishes.”
However, several of Terri’s blood relatives dispute Michael’s version of events. Her brother, Bobby Schindler, has praised Bush for trying to save his sister’s life, arguing that he simply attempted to review the facts of the case regarding Terri’s condition and her actual wishes before being killed, “very much as he had been asked to do, and did, in capital-punishment cases.” Terri’s mother, Mary Schindler, also credits Bush for doing “as much as he could have at the time.”
During the original controversy, Terri’s defenders also questioned the veracity of her husband Michael Schiavo’s claims that she would have wanted to be removed from life support, noting that he planned to remarry and stood to inherit an $800,000 trust fund.