Fla. Agency Probing Alleged Schiavo Abuse

An attorney for the parents of Terri Schiavo (search) say Florida's social services agency is seeking a 60-day delay in the removal of the woman's feeding tube while it investigates new allegations of her abuse and neglect.

Matt Davis, with the law firm representing Bob and Mary Schindler, said Thursday the 11-page confidential document was shared with attorneys in the life-or-death legal battle between the Schindlers and their daughter's husband, Michael Schiavo (search). A spokesman for the Department of Children & Families declined to comment.

Circuit Court Judge George Greer (search) already is expected to rule Friday on whether to grant a longer stay in connection with other filings in the case involving the severely brain-damaged woman.

Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago Friday, when a chemical imbalance caused her heart to stop beating and cut off oxygen to her brain. She is now 41.

Michael Schiavo is currently blocked from ordering the removal of his wife's feeding tube until 5 p.m. Friday. He and the Schindlers have been at odds over the right-to-die (search) case for more than seven years.

Davis said the document appears to echo complaints made publicly by the Schindlers that their daughter has not had adequate therapy and medical care and has been deprived of other rights by her husband.

He said the document does not name a perpetrator, but the Schindlers have repeatedly accused their son-in-law of mistreating their incapacitated daughter.

"We are confident when someone from the outside does see how Terri has been treated, they will see she has been mistreated all these years," Davis said.

Davis said DCF does not say in its filing it has substantiated the allegations, only that it needs time to properly investigate the claims.

Previous allegations of abuse have never proved founded.

George Felos, the attorney for Michael Schiavo, did not return telephone calls for comment.

Michael Schiavo has denied mistreating his wife, and Felos has said the agency is being used for political motives by those who want to thwart the effort to carry out her wishes.