Bobby Schindler's Columns

Can President-Elect Trump Save Our Nation’s Healthcare?


(The Daily Caller) – Donald Trump will soon be President Trump. In light of this, it’s worth examining the potential impact of one of his most frequent promises: the replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I suspect average Americans were encouraged by Trump’s promise, and might expect that whatever replaces the ACA, will be more life-affirming in terms of providing better care for vulnerable patients having trouble receiving wanted treatment.

However, I’m pessimistic that any new healthcare law will substantially improve care for our nation’s most medically vulnerable. On the contrary, I expect the trend of offering approved suicide, as if it were medicine, to gain steam across the country. CONTINUE


Patients Deemed “Futile” by Doctors Face Encouraged or Imposed Death


(Published / June 13, 2016) – Recently, a New York Times article titled, First Rise in U.S. Death Rate in Years Surprises Experts, reported that the 2015 death rate in the United States rose for the first time in a decade.

Although the research did not attribute the rise to any one reason, in particular, it did state that the rising death rate could signal a decline in the health of the nation. We know that many Americans don’t necessarily lead healthy lifestyles, but there is deeper reason to be concerned.

In my many years advocating through the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, I’ve come face-to-face with the reality that our medical system often prioritizes their profit over their patients.

While it’s true that hospitals, the chief organs of our medical system, are necessary institutions and save untold lives, they are also the number one cause of unintentional deaths in adults—resulting in something close to 800,000 deaths annually. This means hospitals are the leading cause of death for American adults. Not heart disease. Not cancer. CONTINUE


Apparently, Not All Black Lives Matter

(Published / Oct. 26, 2015) - Since my family established the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network in response to my sister Terri’s March 2005 death, we have been involved in several high profile cases. Each one of these situations was tragic for its own reasons, even gaining international publicity – the case in Canada regarding Baby Joseph, Eluana Englaro in Italy, and in the United States, Jahi McMath to name a few.

We’ve also been involved in hundreds of similar cases that did not receive the same kind of attention, but similarly, families were in desperate need to get help for their loved ones.

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The Death Penalty is “Cruel and Unusual Punishment,” But You Can Starve Patients to Death

(Published / Feb. 3, 2015) - Recently, the United States Supreme Court announced it would review the procedure for lethal injection used for death row inmates across the nation and whether or not that procedure is unconstitutional. According to the report, “cruel and unusual’ punishment concerns have been raised after a few executions didn’t go as planned, violating the rights of the person being executed.

It’s too bad my sister Terri Schiavo wasn’t on death row. She would have been treated with more compassion and the laws would have offered her better protection.

This is because every day in the US (and worldwide), it is perfectly legal to deliberately starve and dehydrate to death our medically weakest American citizens. Sadly, this daily cruelty goes on with hardly a notice. CONTINUE


What Terri Still Can Teach Us

(Published National Review Online / March 31, 2016) — Terri Schiavo. Her name — my sister’s name — is seared into the national memory as a face of the right-to-life movement, but it’s now been more than a decade since her death. Many are now too young to remember her witness, or they have forgotten.

At the age of 26, Terri experienced a still-unexplained collapse while at home alone with Michael Schiavo, who subsequently became her guardian. After a short period of time, Michael lost interest in caring for his brain-injured but otherwise young and healthy wife. Terri was cognitively disabled, but she was not dying, and she did not suffer from any life-threatening disease. She was neither on machines nor “brain dead.” To the contrary, she was alert and interacted with friends and family — before Michael placed her in a nursing home and eventually petitioned the courts for permission to starve and dehydrate her to death.

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This Patient Wants to Live, His Hospital Wants to Take Him Off Life Support Without His Consent

(Published / Dec. 12, 2015) Imagine lying in a hospital bed and being asked: “Do you want to live?” Now imagine this: your answer doesn’t matter.

Chris Dunn doesn’t have to imagine this, because he’s living it from a bed at Houston Methodist Hospital. Chris, a 46 year old former EMT, has been in the Houston hospital for more than eight weeks because he collapsed, likely due to a mass on his pancreas. While Chris breathes with assistance from a ventilator, he is conscious and alert.

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Jeb Bush Was Right to Try to Save Terri Schiavo

The usual media suspects are excoriating Jeb Bush—again—for trying to help save my sister Terri Schiavo’s life. An article last month in the Tampa Bay Times, “The Audacity of Jeb Bush,” later quoted in a New Yorker article titled “The Punisher,” accused the former Florida governor of going “all in on Schiavo” and running roughshod over Florida state law.

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Schiavo’s Brother: Why Won’t Ben Carson Condemn How My Sister Was Brutally Killed?

Speaking to reporters at a Florida Republican Party conference recently, Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and candidate for the Republican nomination for President responded to a reporter’s question on whether he believed my sister Terri Schiavo deserved Congress’s intervention to stop her court-ordered 13-day death by starvation and dehydration. Dr. Carson’s response? “I think it was much ado about nothing.”

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I Will Never Forget the Look of Horror on My Sister Terri Schiavo’s Face the Day She Died

On March 18, 2005, my sister, Terri Schiavo, began her thirteen day agonizing death after the feeding tube – supplying her food and water – was removed. Terri was cognitively disabled and had difficulty swallowing and therefore needed a feeding tube. Terri was not on any “life support”, nor was she sick or dying. Nonetheless, she received her death sentence ordered by Circuit Court Judge, George W. Greer of Pinellas County Florida.

Greer’s order to remove Terri’s feeding tube was in response to her estranged husband and guardian, Michael Schiavo, requesting permission from the court to kill his disabled wife. This was after Schiavo began cohabitating with his fiancée and stood to inherit Terri’s medical trust fund, which at the time was close to $800,000.

However, more disturbing was that the judge ruled to kill Terri, despite her mother and father pleading with Schiavo, and the court, to allow them to take her home. In fact, a guardian ad litem urged Judge Greer to refuse the dehydration request. Instead, this legally-required protector of Terri was dismissed from the original case by Greer and no replacement was ever appointed.

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Bobby Schindler, President of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, travels the country to give witness to the importance of upholding human dignity through service to the medically vulnerable.

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