TAMPA, Fla. – The medical examiner's office plans to release its autopsy report Wednesday on Terri Schiavo (search) — findings her family hopes will shed light on the cause of the collapse that left her severely brain-damaged 15 years ago.
Schiavo, 41, died March 31, nearly two weeks after the feeding tube that had kept her alive was removed under a court order obtained by her husband, Michael Schiavo.
Her death ended a bitter legal battle between Michael Schiavo (search), who said his wife did not want to be kept alive artificially, and her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who disputed doctors' finding that she was in a vegetative state and insisted she could improve with therapy.
Terri Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler (search), said Tuesday his family is eager to see if the report indicates what went wrong when her heart stopped beating for several minutes in 1990.
Testimony in a 1992 civil trial indicated that her heart stopped probably because of a severe chemical imbalance brought on by an eating disorder. The Schindlers, though, do not believe she had an eating disorder and have accused Michael Schiavo of abusing his wife, a charge he vehemently denies.