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Woman's parents, husband agree to keep her in hospice


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 11, 2000

CLEARWATER -- Terri Schiavo's family members have tentatively agreed to allow the brain-damaged woman to stay in a facility that caters to patients who are expected to die within months.

But Mrs. Schiavo's husband, Michael, promised to notify his in-laws if he decided not to treat her -- giving Bob and Mary Schindler an opportunity to fight him in court.

Michael Schiavo moved his wife from a Largo nursing home to a facility run by Hospice of the Florida Suncoast in April.

But the Schindlers protested, saying a hospice does not focus on long-term care and could refuse to treat certain illnesses, such as infections. They asked a judge to move Mrs. Schiavo back to the nursing home.

A court hearing Wednesday was canceled, and the two sides told the judge they tentatively had reached an agreement, said George Felos, Schiavo's attorney. The Schindlers' attorney Joe Magri refused to comment.

Mrs. Schiavo collapsed at her St. Petersburg home Feb. 25, 1990. Her heart stopped beating, and she was deprived of oxygen for five minutes. She has been in a vegetative state since.

The Schindlers and Schiavo have been feuding since 1993 and have not spoken since. Schiavo wants to remove his wife's feeding tube, but the Schindlers want her kept alive in the hopes that she will improve.

Each side has accused the other of trying to control Mrs. Schiavo's fate to get $700,000 she received in 1993 from a malpractice suit.

The Schindlers are appealing a judge's decision allowing the removal of the feeding tube to the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland.

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