Friday, March 11, 2005

Michael Schiavo rejects offer of $1 million

Earlier today, World Magazine reported that an American businessman named Robert Herring had offered Michael Schiavo $1 million if he would end his pursuit to starve his disabled wife to death. (Note the headline on the BBC link, erroneously calling this a "coma case." Sigh.)

The $1m offer expires on Monday, 14 March, four days before Mrs Schiavo's feeding-tube is due to be removed. Under the offer, Mr Schiavo would hand over his rights to decide his wife's future to her parents.

Mr Herring, who founded an electronics firm and later a satellite channel, said he was moved to act after following the legal battle and realising that time was running out for Mrs Schiavo.

As a supporter of stem cell research, he said he believed that there was hope of a medical cure.

He said he was a "neutral party", insisting he had no connections with the woman's parents, husband or any organisation involved in the case.

"I believe very strongly that there are medical advances happening around the globe that very shortly could have a positive impact on Terri's condition," he said.

"I have seen miraculous recoveries occur through the use of stem cells in patients suffering a variety of conditions.

"With a date of March 18th quickly approaching, and no other viable hope for Terri to be able to keep her feeding tube, I felt compelled to act."

In a follow-up posting, World Mag reports that Michael Schiavo has rejected the offer.

Terri's family members said the offer was "incredible," but were not surprised Schiavo didn't take it. "After he has denied Terri therapy for so many years and denied our family any opportunity to help her, we can only come to the conclusion that he is not comfortable with the prospects of her regaining her abilities to speak and communicate to us the reasons for her condition," they said in a statement.

I'm inclined to agree. Since the man has obviously moved on with his life, fathering two children by another woman, one wonders why he pursues Terri's death so doggedly.


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