Terri Schiavo - Developments Since Schiavo's Death

Developments Since Schiavo's Death

Since Terri Schiavo's death in March 2005, Michael Schiavo and her family have clashed a number of times. Each side has also worked to promote their own causes related to the case. In April 2005, the families disagreed over Schiavo's burial. The Schindlers had wanted her body to be buried in Florida, while Michael Schiavo said at the time that he would cremate her body and then have her ashes buried in her home state of Pennsylvania. In June 2005, however, Schiavo's ashes were buried in Florida instead. The words "I kept my promise" were included on the marker, referring to his promise to follow what he said was her wish not to be kept alive artificially. The statement angered the Schindlers.

In December 2005, Michael Schiavo created a political action committee, TerriPAC. It was formed to raise money to support right-to-die candidates and oppose candidates who had voted for government involvement in the Schiavo case. In 2007, TerriPAC paid a $1350 fine to Federal Election Commission for failing to file complete and timely records. Schiavo shut down the PAC later that year.

The Schindlers continued operation of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, with a new goal of helping individuals in situations similar to Terri's. In April 2010, Michael Schiavo charged that the Schindlers were improperly using Terri's name, as he held the rights to it, and that the family was using the foundation in order to make money. A Florida television station looked at the foundation's tax records and found that for 2008, it paid 64% of the $91,568 it raised in salaries to Terri's father, Robert Schindler, Sr., her sister, Suzanne Vitadamo, and her brother, Robert Schindler, Jr. Their attorney said the foundation does its work effectively and that the high percentage for salaries was due to the small amount of money the foundation raises. He also said that the Schindlers had the right to use Terri's name as she is a public figure. The foundation had been fined $1000 shortly before Schiavo's death for failing to file timely paperwork. In September 2010, the Schindlers renamed the organization the "Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network."

In 2006, both Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers released books telling their sides of the story. Schiavo's was called Terri: The Truth, while the Schindlers' was titled A Life that Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo - A Lesson for Us All.

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