As most Americans know, on March 31, 2005, my daughter, Terri Schindler Schiavo died of starvation and thirst after having her feeding tube removed by court order. The sad chain of events that concluded with Terri’s death ignited a media firestorm nationally and internationally. What few saw or heard was the callous inaction of aspiring governor Charlie Crist.
Florida Atty. Gen. Charlie Crist let my daughter die. He had it within his authority to save her life, but he turned a blind eye to her suffering. Even worse, he worked to ensure her death.
Terri lived in a neurologically compromised state for reasons that are still unknown, and my family wanted nothing more than permission to care for Terri for the span of her natural life. We were denied.
My daughter tenaciously fought for her life for more than 13 days after being deprived of the most basic, natural and constant need that we all share—the need for nourishment—food and water. Terri was not on a respirator, nor terminally ill. She was not dying, nor succumbing to a dreadful disease. She was disabled. She was dependent on others, but still very much a life, a woman, and a person.
Over the course of several years, our family, our lawyers, and our friends pleaded for help from local, county, and state police and regulatory agencies with constitutional and statutory authority to investigate the many sworn statements of extreme abuse and neglect suffered by our daughter.
Hoping to save my daughter’s life, our family sought the help of Attorney General Charlie Crist. Not only did Charlie Crist refuse our family lawful access to the assets of his office, but he violated his oath of office by actively cooperated with those in positions of political and judicial authority whom denied us legal access to the police and regulatory systems meant to protect the weak. Multiple sworn agents from responsible police and regulatory agencies who found probable cause to investigate allegations of abuse in Terri’s judicial and physical care, were ordered to shut down those probes. This heavy-handedness made us powerless.
Information of direct interest to Attorney General Charlie Crist’s office was directly delivered to his personal hands, and he refused to properly execute the duties of his office. And it was with deliberate decision that he failed to attend a scheduled Tallahassee meeting with our family. On another occasion, we approached each other by chance. Upon recognizing me, Charlie Crist abruptly stopped and walked away.
That callous action encapsulates Charlie Crist. He walked away from a man whose daughter’s fate he controlled. At that moment, he turned his back on Terri. And he turned his back on the most fundamental duties of his office.
It is quite clear that Charlie Crist, to this day, has demonstrated no public affection for the cause of life, or Christianity, or any set of core values. He has been posturing to become governor for decades. With each voting audience he has crafted a message based on the expediency of the moment.
To add insult to injury, at a recent banquet, our alleged pro-life candidate for the Governor of Florida said the following about Judge George Greer and other judges involved in the death of my daughter, "You are heroes to all of us, and your defense of the judiciary and what is right is beyond admirable."
Through his actions, Charlie Crist has demonstrated that he has no regard for our most vulnerable citizens, the high duties of public office, or life itself. Charlie Crist’s celebration of the merciless judges who condemned Terri to death speaks to his true character.