TAMPA, Fla. – In a new book, the parents and siblings of Terri Schiavo say they were often bewildered by the epic legal battle waged over the severely brain-damaged woman.
The book, due out March 28, contains no bombshells but offers a glimpse of the private agony of the family members who were determined to stop their son-in-law, Michael Schiavo, from removing the feeding tube that kept Terri Schiavo alive for 15 years.
"I felt I was living in a parallel world, where a different language — legalese — spoke a set of incomprehensible rules," Mary Schindler says in "A Life That Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo — A Lesson for Us All."
"I felt no connection to this world yet knew that Terri's fate would be decided by those rules and not by anything that governed MY world, where humanity has less to do with the law than with the heart."
Terri Schiavo, 41, died March 31, 2005, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed under court order. Her parents' efforts to keep her alive ultimately drew in Congress, the Supreme Court, the Vatican and the White House.
There is vitriol throughout the book for Michael Schiavo, whom the Schindlers once embraced, and the family repeats unsubstantiated charges that he may have done something to cause Terri's collapse at age 26.
Michael Schiavo, who recently remarried and is releasing his own book on March 27, has repeatedly denied hurting his wife and said he had her feeding tube removed because she had told him she would not want to be kept alive by artificial means with no hope of recovery.
A spokeswoman for his publisher said Michael Schiavo plans no comment until his book, "Terri: The Truth," reaches stores.