Saturday, September 5, 2009

Quinn Signs Sterilization Bill

When K.E.J. was 8 years old, she suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident.

When she was 26, her guardian attempted to obtain a court order to have the young woman sterilized. K.E.J., as she is known in court documents to protect her privacy, had no idea.

Before Tuesday, when Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a measure that would require court orders approving the sterilization of people with disabilities, guardians could take steps to have their wards sterilized without the individual's consent.

Rep. Kathy Ryg (D-Vernon Hills), the original bill’s chief sponsor, says the law shows how society has evolved, citing the recent obituary of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, whose sister Rose was mentally disabled and had a lobotomy.

She says it also gives all parties protection under the law.

“I think it provides the due process that really protects all parties, most particularly the individual, but also the family, the guardian and the doctor,” Ryg says. “Once it was brought to people’s attention, it became clear there was a gap in the due process.”

“This is so important. All women need, deserve and should have all their options as to whether to become a parent or not to become a parent available to them,” says Shelley Davis, vice president of programs and advocacy for Chicago Foundation for Women.

In the case of K.E.J., her guardian’s request was denied twice. K.E.J., did not find out about her guardian's attempt to have her sterilized until she consulted with Equip for Equality on another matter. Court records were then uncovered.

Before Quinn signed the bill, Illinois was one of 16 states that did not require a court order to perform such a procedure. Other states in the Midwest that do not require a court order include Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska.

Leah Bartelt, staff counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, says the law adds another layer of oversight for guardians, who are already scrutinized by the courts.

“Bringing the court in to assess whether … the ward would be able to make the decision on their own is an important step,” she says.

Under the law, courts would assign an agent to meet with the ward to discuss the petition for sterilization. After consulting with the ward, reviewing his or her mental capacity and ensuring he or she understands the petition, the court will make a decision.

Full Article and Source:
Quinn Signs Sterilization Bill

Powell Loses Law License

The law license of Robert J. Powell, an attorney who has admitted to paying kickbacks to two Luzerne County judges, has been suspended by the state Supreme Court.

Powell, 49, has pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony and abetting a conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing in federal court. Prosecutors say he paid the two judges for their help in securing county contracts for a for-profit juvenile detention center he formerly owned.

The order suspending Powell’s law license, handed down Monday, came in reaction to a joint petition from Powell’s lawyers and the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court, which investigates allegations of wrongdoing and unethical behavior by lawyers.

The board’s chief counsel, Paul Killion, said that in most cases, the board will not seek action against an attorney charged with a crime until sentencing, but the board felt a temporary suspension was warranted in this case. Powell’s attorney agreed to the suspension, Killion said.

“This is a case in which we don’t want him practicing law while things are pending. They could be pending for some time,” Killion said.

Full Article and Source:
Powell Loses Law License

See also:
Plea Agreement Rejected

Couple Charged With Stealing Mother's Money, Neglecting Her

A West Valley City couple is accused of bilking their elderly mother out of more than $100,000 while failing to care for the woman, who developed bedsores and other ailments as a result of the alleged neglect.

Corin Lynn Barker and his wife, Nadine Barker, both 60, were charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with abusing Beatrice Barker, 90, who died in June.

Corin Barker was granted power of attorney for his aging parents in 2006 and gained control of their bank accounts, which included $40,000 in Social Security checks and other retirement savings, according to charging documents filed Tuesday.

When his father died in 2007, an insurance company paid his mother $62,241 in benefits, which went into a joint account, charges state.

West Valley City police began investigating Barker after receiving a complaint of neglect from staff at Pioneer Valley Hospital. Beatrice Barker was hospitalized in early June after losing weight and having renal failure and pneumonia, charges state.

The $102,914 of his parent's money that Corin Barker had control over dwindled to $1,829 the day of Beatrice Barker's death on June 14, charges state.

Corin Barker is charged with exploitation of a disabled or elderly adult, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Nadine Barker is charged with aggravated abuse of a disabled or elderly adult, also a second-degree felony.

The couple's daughter-in-law, Angie Barker, 35, is charged with second-degree felony aggravated abuse of a disabled or elderly adult.

Full Article and Source:
Couple Charged With Stealing Mother's Money, Neglecting Her

Dutch Court Puts 13-Year-Old Girl Under Guardianship to Delay Her Solo World Sailing Trip

UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS — A 13-year-old girl's plan to sail solo around the world was called "undeniably daring and risky" by Dutch judges Friday. They refused, however, to scrap the venture in a high-profile clash between child care authorities and liberal Dutch parenting.

The three judges at Utrecht District court ordered authorities to take temporary guardianship of Laura Dekker, delaying her plan to set sail next week on her 26-foot yacht Guppy in her bid to become the youngest person to sail solo around the globe.

Full Article and Source:
Dutch Court Puts 13-Year Old Girl Under Guardianship to Delay Her Solo World Sailing Trip

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Law Requires Some Guardians to be Certified

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that will require certification of some guardians of impaired adults.

House Bill 2539, which was first introduced in February and takes effect Jan. 1, mandates certification of the public guardians appointed by the governor to serve in individual counties.

The News-Democrat reported in May that little accountability in guardianship of adults unable to manage their affairs has caused problems.

Attorney John F. Pawloski, who claimed to be St. Clair County's public guardian and administrator, has refused to account for his use of wards' and deceased people's estate money, though he has agreed to repay more than $70,000 missing from some of the estates.

Pawloski has appealed a judge's demand he provide an accounting, and that appeal is pending in the 5th District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon. No one knows how he was named public guardian. The governor makes the appointment, and a former Gov. Rod Blagojevich spokesman said that office never did appoint Pawloski, but local clerks and judges thought he was the appointee.

Another guardian, Sharon Mehrtens, who runs a private business serving as guardian of those unable to manage their affairs and executor of deceased people's estates, hasn't accounted for her spending in several years in some cases but continues to collect professional fees from the wards and their estates.

Pawloski's lawyers have advised him not to speak with reporters. Mehrtens has said she is often late in her reports because she doesn't always know when they are due. Previous judges had her on three-year filing schedules.

House Bill 2539 requires certification of the public guardians appointed by the governor to serve in individual counties. It doesn't apply to professional guardians, such as Mehrtens, or the Office of the State Guardian, which represents wards who have less than $25,000 to their estates. That agency already requires certification of guardians, and Illinois law doesn't require professional guardians to be certified.

Some guardianship experts say that while the bill is a good step, it won't prevent fraud committed by guardians.

The bill was drafted by the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, a state division that pushes new legislation. Representatives of the Guardianship and Advocacy commission have said the agency won't consider any more legislative reform until the fall.

Full Article and Source:
New Law Requires Some Guardians to be Certified

See also:
Quinn Signs Bill Requiring Guardians to be Certified

For additional information on James Pawloski, see:
Will Justice Be Served?

Attorney Will Repay Estates

Who Watches Guardians?

Lawyer Appeals Judge's Demand

Ten Days to Produce Documents

John Pawloski Case

For additional information on Sharon Mehrtens, see:
Can't Win Independence

Guardian Holds Ward's Fate

California Bar May OK Victim Statements for Discipline Cases

For more than two years, the California State Bar has ticked off discipline-defense lawyers by endorsing tougher and more aggressive prosecutorial tactics.

Some attorneys thought that might change after former State Bar Chief Trial Counsel Scott Drexel was let go in June. But a lingering Drexel-era proposal that would let State Bar Court judges consider unsworn victim statements as evidence for increasing punishment has the discipline-defense bar up in arms again.

"It's just another example of the Bar's over-reaching because they can get away with it," Arthur Margolis, a partner with Margolis & Margolis in Los Angeles, said recently. "[State Bar officials] are leading the Board of Governors by the nose."

Bar prosecutors, however, say the proposal would simply provide for the type of victim impact statements allowed in criminal courts.

The proposal, recommended by a subcommittee of the State Bar Board's Committee on Regulation, Admissions and Discipline Oversight, would add a new State Bar rule allowing victims to submit a written statement explaining how their former attorneys' alleged misconduct hurt them. Statements would be submitted only after an attorney has been found culpable of pending charges and would be used by the State
Bar Court judge in determining the level of discipline to be imposed.

Full Article and Source:
Calif.Bar May OK Victim Statements for Discipline Cases

Elderly Couple Won't Lose House

A victory for a Richardson couple at war with the state over their mental condition and their money. Michael and Jean Kidd’s home was not sold on the courthouse steps and now the judge is clarifying his orders.

“I could have gotten out of bed and danced the jig,” Michael Kidd said after hearing about the status of his home.

Relief is all Michael and Jean Kidd are feeling right now. A trustee’s deed filed in mid August indicated their home would be sold on the courthouse steps. The foreclosure sale was called off, at least for now.

“Just knowing that the pressure if off for awhile, that is what made me the happiest,” Kidd said.

“I sure felt like we were deserted by the whole world for awhile. It makes me feel a whole lot better,” Jean said.The state placed the Kidds in the Countryside Nursing Home after deciding the couple, age 67 and 70, could not manage their affairs. Michael had fallen and broken his hip. The hospital called Adult Protective Services after Jean had been in the waiting room for several days. Jean suffers from memory loss. The state took over all of the Kidd’s money, appointed them a financial guardian and sent them off to Pilot Point.

Their Richardson house was left vacant. The Kidd’s have no idea how much money is left or how it is being spent.

“I need some explanations,” said Senator Jane Nelson of Flower Mound. “I want to know how that can happen,”

Senator Nelson says she is so outraged with the Kidd’s story she wrote the Commissioner of Health and Human Services a letter. Nelson asked the Department to re-evaluate the Kidd’s medical condition and whether they even need a guardian.

“I just can’t imagine how this can happen. It is so degrading,” said Nelson.

Full Article and Source:
Elderly Couple Won't Lose House

See also:
Elderly Couple Forced Into State Custody

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Editorial: Protective Services, Outdated

The case of Isabelle Jessich illustrates a system that lags the direction in which people -- and policy -- want to go.

According to the Star Tribune ("'I feel like I'm in jail,'"Aug. 23), Isabelle Jessich, nursing home resident and ward of the state, could not get permission to return to the community despite her strong preference and the opinions of her doctor and court-appointed guardian that she no longer needed to live in a nursing home. Once turned on, guardianship was almost impossible to turn off. Worse, the premises of the system were out of sync with the trends toward community-based long-term support services in the United States.

In its 1999 Olmstead decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that keeping individuals in institutions just to meet their health needs violates the Americans with Disability Act. In 2001, the presidential New Freedom Initiative reinforced the goal that persons of all ages, with all types of disabilities, have the fullest range of life choices possible. Since then, the federal government has awarded more than $300 million in grants to help states implement community care. Most states, Minnesota among them, have developed extensive community programs, including consumer-directed community supports (a fancy way of saying the care recipient controls the money).

So given this background, what are the implications of the Jessich story?

Full Article and Source:
Rosalie Kane: Protective Services, Outdated

See also:
"I Feel Like I'm in Jail"

Adult Guardianship Program Launched

Wabash Center today launched a new program to pair incapacitated adults in Tippecanoe County with volunteers who can serve as their court-appointed advocates.

Coordinator Richard Richardson said Tippecanoe Adult Guardianship Services will help adults who need temporary or long-term assistance with personal, financial or health needs that they cannot handle on their own. Already 30 adults are on a wait list for the program, he said.

"All you really have to do is go in any nursing home, anywhere in the country," Richardson said, "and anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the people incapacitated have no one to care for their needs. ... Nobody hears about them because they don't have a lobbying group, because they're hidden."

Full Article and Source:
Adult Guardianship Program Launched

Two Brokers Barred for Bilking Church Goers, Elderly, Mentally Impaired in Ponzi Schemes

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) said Monday it permanently barred two brokers from working in the securities industry in any capacity ever again after they allegedly ran multi-million-dollar Ponzi schemes that victimized mentally and physically impaired Americans, elderly citizens, church members and family friends.

FINRA said Oren Eugene Sullivan, Jr., of Rock Hill, SC, "misappropriated" $3.7 million over decades from more than 30 clients. The victims, the self-regulatory body said, included 15 widows, two Alzheimer's victims and an individual with developmental impairments. At least eight of the affected clients were more than 80 years old. Many purportedly considered Sullivan a close family friend.

FINRA also barred William Walter Spencer, Sr., of Franklin, TN. Spencer, Finra said, "borrowed" nearly $2 million from elderly members of his church and from customers of his employing broker-dealer, Wiley Bros. — Aintree Capital, LLC.
"The protection of seniors and other vulnerable investors from unscrupulous brokers remains one of FINRA's highest priorities, and we will continue to identify and expel those within our jurisdiction who take unfair advantage of their clients," said Susan L. Merrill, FINRA Executive Vice President and Chief of Enforcement. "The misconduct of these brokers was nothing short of egregious — and their financial exploitation of the elderly, the infirm and people who considered them trusted friends shocks the conscience."

Full Article and Source:
Two Brokers Barred for Bilking Church Goers, Elderly, Mentally Impaired in Ponzi Schemes

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Brainwashing of an Unsuspecting People: Continuing to Deny Death Panels

The headlines are amazing, as the denial continues on, suggesting that any claim of a death panel is a myth created by either lying right-wingers or lying special interest groups, who are uninformed or, for selfish reasons, trying to wrongly destroy the health care reform that some think will be a wondrous blessing to all. No, it simply couldn’t be that there is reason for concern.

No matter what they call themselves, or who they work for, there are in fact “death panels” in existence at this very moment and have been for quite some time now. How can anyone dare write, or believe, that “death panels” are merely a myth?

Andrea Clark was sentenced to die under Texas’ Futile Care Law, though she was aware and fighting for her life. She was, after all, deemed by the so-called ethics committee to be hopeless and therefore unworthy of continued effort. Never mind that she was fully aware — it was deemed time to put her down and out of her misery.

In Andrea’s case, her family obtained an attorney and was able to get a stay (delay), while they fought for her. During this period, Andrea did die, but she died because of natural causes and not because she was made to die. There is a very big difference between the two.

The family was not expecting the medical staff to create a miracle that was not within their power to create. All the family wanted was for Andrea to have the chance to survive, if it was possible. She had, after all, been a survivor all her life. Perhaps she would beat the odds again.

Andrea was aware! Andrea was fighting for her life! So what do you call it, when someone decides that in spite of the fact that you are aware and fighting for your life, your life support is going to be removed and you will die? Worse — that you are aware of the decision and that you are going to die because of that very decision and you didn’t even commit a crime beyond becoming ill or injured.

Then we have Gary Harvey from New York, whose wife is fighting both for his life and the right to take him home.
“This is a case where a 55 year old man had a heart attack, fell down the basement stairs, and ended up severely brain damaged. It is a case where still another so-called ethics committee felt it had some sort of god-like wisdom and right to determine life or death for a stranger. It is a case where a so-called ethics committee decided, behind closed doors, that it was perfectly okay to starve and dehydrate this man — Gary Harvey — to death by termination of his Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) feeding tube.”

Thankfully the request has been dismissed for now, but just what title should be given to those, who wished to starve and dehydrate Gary Harvey to death?

Full Article and Source:
The Brainwashing of an Unsuspecting People: Continuing to Deny Death Panels

See also:
Behind Closed Doors: The Gary Harvey Story

Follow Up: The Gary Harvey Story

New Coalition's Mission is Fighting Senior Abuse

When Family Services in the City of Poughkeepsie was forced to cut its elder abuse program nearly two years ago because of a lack of funding, a void was created in the options available to senior crime victims.

A group of local advocates hopes to fill that void with the creation of a coalition aimed at fighting elder abuse and centralizing the services available for victims. The Dutchess County Coalition for Elder Abuse's first meeting is scheduled for noon on Sept. 23 at the Family Partnership Center in the City of Poughkeepsie. The coalition is made up of people involved with law enforcement, crime victims' assistance and services for senior citizens.

Full Article and Source:
New Coalition's Mission is Fighting Senior Abuse

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Elderly Need Advocates

by Helen LaBounty
There is not a state in this great nation of ours that does not profess elder advocacy. Supposed protections are in place to prevent physical and financial abuses to the elderly. Yet, such abuse is on the rise despite media attention. The Nursing Home Reform Act was great legislation which is still on the books with little or no enforcement. The long-term care lobbies speak with greater dollar signs than the aged population.

Evidence of this is reflected by the administration of psychotropic medication in long-term care facilities. Most of us reach our “golden years” without needing such prescriptions. Yet, it is common for a resident with no previous psychotropic needs to become medicated in a facility. Records show “depression” or “belligerence” as the explanation. Often, the patient consent form is signed without explanation of the drug's effects. Family doesn't understand the loved one's subdued manner upon visits.

The elder is dealing with aging as well as their loved ones. Of course, the patient is belligerent. Imagine after years of success, accumulating assets, you are ordered into such a facility. Upon admission, the patient is asked to consider the weighty decision of a “do not resuscitate” form. The patient needs to consider “what is my life worth?” If incompetent, the guardian will make the decision. He or she quickly learns their burden to the facility in terms of allotted care time, bathing, feeding, etc.

Our aged mothers, fathers, veterans and other loved ones need a voice. Lobbyists for long-term care facilities, banks and attorneys speak loudly. Few families understand the need for interest in legislation to protect the elder. Realize that most legislators are attorneys and reflect that attitude. Guardianship is on the rise. Guardianship happens quickly in probate court where the ward loses most rights to the court appointed guardian in the guise of protection.

The court often makes the decision for them. And the ward pays from life-long accumulated assets. If the vulnerable ward or their family attempts to fight the guardianship, the ward's funds pay for the guardian's attorney. Read shocking tales of documented guardianship abuse at the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse Web site at

Full Article and Souce:
Elderly Need Advocates

See also:
Anna V. LaBounty

Journey For Justice

Push The Walker

House OK's Bills Targeting Elder Abuse, Financial Exploitation

Lansing -- Part of a package of bills to prevent financial exploitation of senior citizens passed in the state House Wednesday afternoon.

Called the Elder Abuse Protection Plan, the package is meant to address a surge in abuse complaints, which have increased 40 percent in Michigan since 1998, according to the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Under the bills, financially exploiting a vulnerable adult would be a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Children who abuse, neglect or exploit their aging parents would be disinherited. And third parties would be able to file criminal complaints to stop and prevent abuse cases in nursing homes and elsewhere.

The bills have to pass the state Senate and be signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to become law.

"Now, the victim has to voluntarily go in and file the complaint themselves," said state Rep. Andy Neumann, D-Alpena, chairman of the House Committee on Senior Health, Security and Retirement.

"(Under the bills) a friend, or somebody from the financial community, like a banker, could file a complaint and have it investigated," he said.

Based partly on the findings of Granholm's Elder Abuse Task Force, the package has been lauded by advocates worried about the rise in elder abuse. Michigan's Adult Protective Services received more than 16,300 reports of adult mistreatment in 2008.

Full Article and Source:
House OK's Bills Targeting Elder Abuse, Financial Exploitation

Monday, August 31, 2009

Family Sues Foster Home Over Woman's Death

Relatives of a 63-year-old Rochester woman who died three years ago have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a foster care facility for the elderly.

The lawsuit alleges that staff at the Rehoboth Disabled & Elderly Foster Care in Rochester failed to make sure Cletus Ilene Sedlacek was on 24-hour oxygen the morning of Aug. 7, 2006, as required.

She was found at 9:41 a.m. that day, lying face down in the yard. She died seven days later at Saint Marys Hospital.

Her daughter, Veronica Lynn Mahoney, who is trustee for the heirs, has filed the civil lawsuit against the facility and its owners, DeAnn and Armin Schrimpf of Oronoco and DeAnn Schrimpf's daughter, Amanda Beery.

Attorney claims

The multi-count complaint alleges negligence, wrongful death, negligent training and supervision of staff, medical malpractice and fraud.

Mark Solheim of St. Paul, attorney for the defendants, said Minnesota and federal law prohibits him from disclosing information related to Sedlacek's medical condition and her residency at the group home.

"But I can tell you the allegations that have been alleged against my clients will be vigorously defended. We do not believe my client deviated from the standard of care," he said. "We believe the plaintiffs claim damages that are grossly overstated."

Full Article and Source:
Family Sues Foster Home Over Woman's Death

Stealing From Mom and Dad in Oregon

Ask Clara Philpot how she's doing, and she'll answer with a beaming smile and a hearty "Fantastic." Ask the 87-year-old who is president or the name of the dog napping in her lap and she can't say.

Philpot, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2002, also can't explain how or why she borrowed almost $1 million to finance a luxury home in Sherwood and immediately deeded half to Gayla and Jeff Ross, a daughter and son-in-law who took care of her.

After looking at the evidence, however, a Clackamas County jury took less than two hours to find Gayla Ross guilty of aggravated theft and first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Ross now faces prison. She will be sentenced Sept. 8 along with her husband, Jeff Ross, a former Washington County sheriff's deputy who was convicted of first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Philpot's net worth now is zero -- she gets by on Social Security -- and she could soon be homeless. The debt on the Molalla house she and her husband bought 43 years ago, and once owned free and clear, now exceeds the property's value, and she hasn't made a mortgage payment for two years.

Three years ago, Clara Philpot appeared to have the resources to comfortably live out her days at her Molalla home, cared for by her children and other loved ones.

Then Gayla Ross took command.

"It took Gayla less two months to squander a lifetime of work," said Chris Farley, a court-appointed guardian who now manages the details of Philpot's foggy life.

Full Article and Source:
Stealing From Mom and Dad in Oregon

Audit Says Funding Misused

Money earmarked for legal services for children used to pay court master, Pa. draft report says.

The previous Luzerne County court administration used state funding that was earmarked for one purpose to funnel more pay to an employee, despite two warnings that the practice wasn’t allowed, according to a draft audit obtained by The Times Leader.

The funding was supposed to cover attorney representation for children facing removal from their homes due to abuse and neglect – officially called “guardian ad litem” services.

Instead, the administration used the state’s guardian funding to pay Orphan’s Court worker Michael Shucosky, also an attorney, more than $200,000 for additional work as a court master. A master presides over some court actions in place of a judge.

Full Article and Source:
Audit Says Funding Misused

See also:
Plea Agreement Rejected

Judges Plead Guilty

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dying Woman Recovers, Says Relatives "Robbed Me Blind"

Shortly after two women gained power of attorney from a dying 83-year-old relative, they took all of her possessions and sold her house of 56 years, police said.

The pair pocketed the $235,000 from the house sale and cleaned out the elderly woman's bank accounts and savings, sharing the money among themselves and family members, police and prosecutors say. They also arranged and pre-paid for her funeral.

However, Evelyn Roth made an amazing recovery and had no idea what her relatives were up to.

Now the two suspects, Roth's cousin Virginia Ann Kuehn, 66, and her niece Kathleen Sue Jingling, 53, face a 35-count felony indictment charging them with first-degree criminal mistreatment, aggravated theft and first-degree theft. They've pleaded not guilty.

Roth, a sprightly white-haired woman with a ready laugh and remarkable memory, showed up at Multnomah County Circuit Court for her relatives' arraignment this week. Portland Officer Deanna Wesson, who investigates elder abuse, wheeled Roth up to the judge so she could explain what happened.

"They robbed me blind," Roth said. "Everything was for money, just to get money, money, money. That's not the way it should be."

Roth said she pursued criminal charges because she's lost her savings and all her possessions to relatives who betrayed her trust. "I think they need to be taught a lesson. ... I feel like I helped raise Virginia. That's why it hurts so bad."

Full Article and Source:
Dying Woman Recovers, Says Relatives “Robbed Me Blind”

Father of Terri Schiavo Dead at 71

Robert Schindler Sr., whose years-long fight to keep his daughter Terri Schiavo alive made worldwide headlines, died today.

He was 71.

In a statement, Schindler's family said the Philadelphia native died of heart failure at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg.

"He'd been dealing with health problems since Terri's death," said Schindler's son, Bobby.

Terri Schiavo, then 26, suffered heart failure in 1990, causing the brain damage that left her in what doctors described as a persistent vegetative state.

Her husband, Michael, sought court permission to have her feeding tube removed. But the Schindlers fought to gain custody of their daughter.

In 2005, the fight reached the U.S. Congress and then-President George W. Bush, who signed a law aimed at keeping Schiavo alive.

Schiavo died March 31, 2005, two weeks after her feeding tube was removed. She was cremated and buried in Pennsylvania in accordance with her husband's wishes.

Her parents and their two surviving children founded the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation to support families facing similar fights regarding the rights of disabled people.

Funeral services will be held in Philadelphia, although details have not been announced.

Memorial donations may be made to the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, 5562 Central Ave., Suite 2, St. Petersburg FL 33707.

Full Article and Source:
Father of Terri Schiavo Dead at 71

See also:
Family’s Statement on Passing of Father of Terri Schiavo, Robert Schindler Sr.