ST. PETERSBURG, FL, March 23, 2010 (—On March 21, 2010, Fox aired a prime time episode of The Family Guy, which featured a satire about Terri Schiavo, the disabled Florida woman who was starved to death by court order in 2005 after a lengthy court battle.

The sketch was titled “Terri Schiavo: The Musical.”

In the sketch, Schiavo was mocked and portrayed as being on a number of mechanical life support systems. She is also referred to as a vegetable. The sketch ends with characters calling for pulling the plug.

But, as the Schindler-Shivo Foundation has pointed out, not only is it demeaning to label Schiavo a “vegetable,” but she was not even on life support at the time of her death – instead, she simply received her food and water through a tube, since she could not eat normally.

Schiavo died after a court ordered that her feeding tube be removed, in accord with the wishes of her husband, who was living with another woman by the time she died, but against the desires of her family.

Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler stated, in response to the Family Guy episode: “My family was astonished at the cruelty and bigotry towards our beloved sister, and all disabled people that we witnessed in this show. My first thought was how this attempt at satire must have been enormously difficult and painful for my mother.

“After further thought, I realized that using my deceased sister as fodder for satire also validates what our family has been saying for many years. There is growing, deep-rooted prejudice against people with brain injuries and other cognitive disabilities. This sort of bare-faced bigotry is dehumanizing to those with disabilities and cruel to those who work tirelessly to ensure that people with disabilities are provided the proper care, protection and respect. People are not vegetables.”

“The depiction of Terri in The Family Guy episode on March 21 is not only inaccurate,” stated Schindler, “it seems to take the position that certain people are simply not worthy of receiving medical care because they are viewed as burdens on the health care system.”

Schindler said he also believes it is not a coincidence that the episode aired 10 days prior to the five year anniversary of Terri’s death (3/31/05), and just weeks before the foundation’s first ever Terri’s Life and Hope Concert featuring Randy Travis and Collin Raye, slated for April 11th in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Foundation is calling on all disability rights organizations and pro-life organizations to join them in admonishing the producers and writers of The Family Guy. It will also begin pursuing the sponsors and advertisers of The Family Guy, urging them to stop advertising with the program.

The Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation was established by the surviving family members of Terri Schiavo to protect the rights of people with disabilities.