Agency: No evidence Schiavo was abused
Report clears both sides of accusations of exploitationThe Associated Press
Updated: 11:56 p.m. ET April 15, 2005TAMPA, Fla. - The Department of Children and Families said it found no evidence that Terri Schiavo had been abused or exploited by either side of her family after the legal battle surrounding her right-to-die case intensified, according to documents released under a court order Friday.
The agency investigated 89 complaints logged on its hotline dating back to 2001, when Schiavoâ€™s feeding tube was removed for the first time. The calls alleged that the brain-damaged woman was being mistreated by both her husband and her parents for financial gain.
One complaint alleged her parents were selling videos of her through a Web site, while another caller complained that her husband wasnâ€™t spending money intended for her rehabilitation.
However, investigators said they found no evidence that either her husband or parents were exploiting her, and often noted in their records that they found Schiavo well cared for on their visits to her Pinellas Park hospice.
The agency was ordered on Thursday to release the records by Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer.
Schiavo, 41, died last month after her feeding tube was removed for the third time, ending a gut-wrenching court battle between her husband, Michael Schiavo, and parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, over whether she would have wanted to live in a vegetative state.
The repeated allegations of abuse were based partly on bone scans showing Terri Schiavo suffered fractures and statements she made to family and friends that she was unhappy in her marriage.
Schiavoâ€™s husband has denied harming his wife. His lawyer said the fractures resulted from osteoporosis caused by the womanâ€™s years of immobility and complications of her medication.
Attorneys for Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday. The Schindlers attended a memorial service for their daughter Friday evening in Southampton, Pa.