Terri Schiavo has died, says family

Pinellas Park (AsiaNews/CWNews) - The disabled Florida woman at the center of a controversy over the right to life has died, according to spokesmen for both her parents and her husband.

Terri Schiavo died Thursday morning around 10 am after her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, had pleaded with husband Michael Schiavo to allow them to be at their daughter's bedside in her final moments. Her death came after the US Supreme Court on Wednesday evening once again refused to hear any pleas from her parents regarding the reinsertion of her feeding tube.

Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers had waged a protracted legal battle over the past decade over Michael's attempts to have his wife killed by removing the tube that provided her with food and water. After numerous court cases and appeals, two removals of the tube followed by last-minute reinsertions, a Florida state law, and a federal law the final removal took place on March 18.

After two weeks without the tube, Terri had deteriorated and was near death early Thursday morning when her brother, Bobby Schindler, was allowed in to see her. "It's not a pretty sight, I can tell you that," he said at the time. Father Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life, accompanied him and said later that Terri's face was shrunken and her eyes were moving about chaotically. According to many commentators, Terri Schiavo's  death is a murder. Her life has been "violently wrenched from her body in an act of medical terrorism."

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