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Archive for Sunday, April 3, 2005

Terri Schiavo’s body cremated, memorial planned

April 3, 2005

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— Terri Schiavo's body was cremated Saturday as disagreements continued between her husband and her parents, who were unable to have their own independent expert observe her autopsy.

The cremation was carried out according to a court order issued Tuesday establishing that Michael Schiavo had the right to make such decisions, said his lawyer, George Felos. He said plans for burying her ashes in Pennsylvania had not yet been completed.

Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, had wanted to bury their daughter in Pinellas County, so they could visit her grave.

Terri Schiavo, 41, died Thursday after the removal of the feeding tube that had kept her alive since 1990, when she suffered brain damage that court-appointed doctors determined had placed her in a persistent vegetative state. Her parents had fought in court to keep her alive.

Michael Schiavo has not spoken publicly since his wife's death, but Felos said Saturday: "He's holding up. It's very difficult for him."

Michael Schiavo is required to tell his wife's parents of any memorial services he plans for Terri Schiavo and where her ashes are interred.

The Schindlers plan to have their own memorial service Tuesday at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Gulfport.

The Schindlers had sought to have independent medical experts observe their daughter's autopsy at the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's office, but the agency refused their request, family attorneys said Saturday.

The autopsy was completed Friday, the day after Terri Schiavo died, and results are not expected for several weeks.

Representatives of the medical examiner's office did not return a call seeking comment Saturday. The examiner's office has said it would conduct routine examinations and look for any evidence of what might have caused her 1990 collapse.

The Schindlers have accused Michael Schiavo of abusing his wife, a charge he vehemently denies.

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