Attorney For Terri Schiavo Family Explains Causes of Tragic Result of Schiavo Case

Robert Destro Warns Many Similar But Unpublicized Cases are "Happening Every Day"
Thu Aug 18, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST

August 18, 2005 ( –“The degree of disconnect between the description of the Terri Schiavo case in the media, and the reality of the case is pretty profound,” laments Robert Destro, the lawyer who performed vital pro bono legal work for the family of Terri Schiavo in their final bid to save Terri’s life from the hands of her husband and the courts.

In an interview with Anita Crane of the American Life League Destro reveals many of the disturbing legal anomalies, often stepping into the realm of the patently illegal, that sadly distinguished the Schiavo case.Â

In particular Destro remains deeply critical of the actions of Judge Greer, whose failure to act and whose often illegal handling of the case resulted in Terri’s eventual murder by starvation and dehydration. “You can’t really make up facts of this case—I felt like I was caught in Wonderland or Neverland. Terri never got a fair hearing,” attests Destro. “Florida law expressly requires probate judges to see the incompetent patients whose cases are pending before them, but Greer never went to see Terri.”

Destro’s efforts to represent Terri and her family were frustrated by the courts at every turn of the road. Laws created to protect Terri were struck down as unconstitutional, appeals to higher courts intended to rectify blatant and gross legal malpractices in the lower courts were refused.

But Destro’s criticisms aren’t only reserved for the anti-life forces that expended immense amounts of time, effort and money in ensuring that Terri served as the poster-child for their pro-euthanasia agenda. The experienced and able lawyer believes that in many ways pro-life forces failed to act to the fullest of their abilities to protect Terri, especially their unwillingness or inability to work with perceived political enemies who offered support.

“My experience in civil rights,” says Destro, “teaches me that it makes no difference that some civil rights advocates are pro-choice. If our goal is to protect and preserve the rights of vulnerable persons, we must put those vulnerable persons first and try as best we can to understand the needs and wants of those whom we are trying to protect. [But sometimes] we fail in our duty to the extent that we are unwilling or unable, for whatever reason, to work with our political opponents on behalf of those whose lives society does not value. Terri Schiavo was one of those persons. There are many, many more like her.”

Destro warns pro-life advocates not to underestimate the extent of the cultural force that they are facing. “The visibility of Terri’s case is the exception, not the rule.”ÂÂEuthanasia is already happening every day, he said. “We need to understand that families like the Schindlers exist all over this country and the system isn’t designed to help them to care for their loved ones at home.”

Read Anita Crane’s full-length report, outlining the many abuses of the Schiavo case as explained by the Schinler’s lawyer, Robert Destro:

Inside the Terri Schiavo case: And why it matters now


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