A recent attack news program by a television station in Florida has created a controversy over the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation. They have accused the Schindler family of lining their pockets with foundation money.
Wesley Smith reported the complaint in his article that was published in the National Review online. Schiavo was reported as saying to the attack news program:
Schiavo’s widower, Michael Schiavo, says the family should be ashamed of what they are doing. He adds if Terri ever knew this was happening she’d be horrified. Michael Schiavo is talking about the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation. While Terri Schiavo’s brother Bobby says the organization is set up to help families in similar situations, Michael Schiavo says he doesn’t believe it. Instead Schiavo says they are using their deceased sister’s name to make money.Smith destroyed the accusations in his article when he stated:
"And as for profiteering–Bobby Schindler’s salary is $37,500 annually, and all speaking fees he receives go to the foundation. His sister Suzanne, makes less and is 14 months in arrears in receiving her compensation. It is also worth noting, that after receiving complaints, the IRS investigated the foundation and gave it a clean bill of health in 2008."
An article written by Pamela Hennessy that was published in the North County Gazette reveals even more about the false accusations in the attack news program. She stated:
the Foundation provided the reporter with their latest 990 income and expense filing, a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (giving the Foundation notice of compliance and approval for the continuance of their tax-exempt 501(c)3 status) and a letter from their attorney, asking that the report be tabled in light of the Schindlers’ good standing with the authorities.Mark Mostert, from the Institute for the Study of Disability and Bioethics stated:
Care to guess which one of those documents were posted to WTSP’s website? Yes. Just the letter from the attorney. Deeson kept the other, rather pertinent, information from viewers.
All innuendo and spin. Why would we expect anything else? Even all these years after her death, Bobby, Suzanne, and Mary spend countless hours trying to correct misleading reporting about the circumstances of Terri’s death. This is just one more media attack in a long string of animus posing as “news” and comes just a few weeks after Fox’s The Family Guy made horrible fun of Terri and her disabled condition.Concerning the attack by Michael Schiavo, the man who used the money that was awarded by the courts to care for Terri for the rest of her natural life, that the Schindlers are not even fulfilling the goals of the Foundation. Smith correctly stated:
Had the reporters wanted to find out the kind of help the foundation offers others, producers could have called me or a myriad of others active in this field, who are quite aware of the selfless giving and effort each surviving member of Terri’s family offers to others. Indeed, I have personal knowledge of case after case in which the Schindlers worked selflessly–and without financial compensation of any kind–to assist family members save their cognitively disabled loved ones from suffering the same dehydration fate as Terri. The Lauren Richardson food and fluids dispute and the Andrea Clarke futile care case are just two that come to mind.The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition arranged to have Randy Richardson, the father of Lauren Richardson, speak at the Second-International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide that we had co-hosted near Washington DC. Like Wesley, I can attest to the fact that the Schindler family has been incredibly successful in helping families prevent a similar fate to their loved ones, as had happened to Terri.
The Schindler family have been operating the Foundation on a tight budget. The reports prove that the charitable money they received in 2008 was less than $100,000 and yet they have done an incredible service with that budget.
The real question is: What did Michael Schiavo do with the money that was awarded for the care of Terri for the rest of her life?
Article by Wesley Smith in the National Review online:
Article by Pamela Hennessy in the North County Gazette:
My blog article about dehydration deaths:
The original article attacking the Schindler family: