Was Terri Schiavo Abused?

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 15, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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MICHELLE MALKIN, GUEST HOST: Welcome back to "Hannity & Colmes." I'm Michelle Malkin, sitting in tonight for Sean Hannity.

A judge in Florida has released records of abuse reports relating to Terri Schiavo (search), the brain-damaged woman who died after a fierce court battle between her husband and her parents. FOX News has obtained the records. What do they reveal?

Joining us is FOX News legal analyst Peter Johnson who has reviewed the documents for us.

OK, Peter, who is going to be happier about these documents, the Schindler family or the Schiavo family?

PETER JOHNSON, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, I don't think anyone will be happy about these documents, but they're interesting. They reveal about 89 complaints between 2001 and 2004. And those are complaints made to the Florida State Department of Children and Families (search ).

And they were complaints about the care of Terri Schiavo, everything from bedsores, to ulcers, to lack of dental care, to lack of gynecological care, to lack of medication, to lack of basic medical treatment, to allegations that the Schindler family was profiting off videotapes that they were selling with regard to Terri Schiavo.

MALKIN: And we don't know where these complaints came from, is that right?

JOHNSON: No. The names have been redacted. And that's good, under the law, because if people are whistleblowers, certainly we don't want to reveal their names under any state of facts at all, because it will deter them in the future from making complaints.

So going back to your original question — who is going to be happier? Mr. Schiavo might be happy because none of these 89 complaints were found to be valid, although there is a disturbing complaint buried within here that Terri Schiavo was the victim of unauthorized injections. And that was, in fact, investigated by the Clearwater Police Department, and she was taken to a local hospital emergency room.

MALKIN: When did that happen?

JOHNSON: That happened, I think, in 2003, I believe. I don't know if it happened, but there was an allegation as to that fact.

MALKIN: Injections of what?

JOHNSON: Well, it's unclear.

MALKIN: You don't know.

JOHNSON: There were marks that were found on her left arm. And a nurse found a top of a syringe of a needle that was not of the type used in that hospital. And the Clearwater police were called in to investigate.

They were not able to determine that, in fact, she was injected. Now, we know that there were allegations, absolutely unproven, during the heat of the battle of this terrible, tragic situation, that perhaps she had been injected at some point with insulin, but that was never proven to be true.

MALKIN: Right, now, here is the problem. People who have been following a lot of the controversy over this agency, the DCF, the Department of Children and Families in Florida, have brought up a lot of cases of incompetence on the part of that agency to investigate claims, to keep track of children, to make sure that elderly are not being abused.

So when it's pointed out by Mr. Schiavo's defenders, anyway, that, well, none of these 89 complaints were ever validated, don't you have to keep that in context of the bureaucracy?

JOHNSON: My assessment, and I have reviewed these documents tonight, my assessment of these documents is that they're sketchy at the very best. We don't have the work notes. We don't have the transcripts or the reports of actual interviews.

We have reports of allegations without the names of the people who made the allegations, and we have conclusions. But we don't have the meat in between.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Peter, there were 89 complaints between 2000 and 2004, all of them unfounded, it says.


COLMES: That's a pretty stark statement, isn't it?

JOHNSON: Well, I think there was a due diligence — there was a good faith effort by the state of Florida to investigate these complaints. As to how well they were investigated, we'll probably never know.

Some of the complaints — a lot of the complaints go to conduct that, of course, they would never be able to determine, as to why Terri Schiavo was in the condition that she was in, in the hospital.

COLMES: But they're saying the complaints were unfounded. But I want to know, the media coordinator for the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation says — and this is the side, I guess, favoring the Schindlers versus Michael Schiavo (search) — saying these complaints are old and of little value. Is that a fair assessment of this or are they just looking to get Michael Schiavo?

JOHNSON: I think what you probably see — and we don't know who made these complaints — but reading between the lines based upon the statements that were made and some of the statements that showed up in interviews and affidavits during the whole process, you can kind of figure out who was making these complaints.

And it seems that both sides were making out complaints. I mean, it's an awful complaint to say that the Schindler family has somehow tried to capitalize on the misfortune of their daughter. And that complaint was made. Now, was that made by Michael Schiavo, or his lawyer, or someone associated? We don't know. Were those complaints about Michael Schiavo made by the Schindler family or their lawyer? We don't know. But it does shed some light at this point.

We still don't know, based upon the autopsy report, which has not been released, the critical question as to how Terri Schiavo got into the condition.

COLMES: Are we going to find that out?

JOHNSON: My suspicion is that we probably will not, unless there's some evidence of a fracture of the throat, determining that there was possible asphyxiation, as some have alleged. There's been no proof as to that, but an autopsy could, in fact, show that and a lot of people are kind of waiting with baited breath to see what it shows.

MALKIN: Yes. And we will be hearing a lot more about it. Thank you, Peter.

JOHNSON: Nice to see you.

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