As her life ebbs,
so goes the money
The wrenching struggle over Terri Schiavo's life and death has always been entwined with a money battle.
But now that the struggle may finally be reaching a climax, the money is long gone.
The million-dollar malpractice settlement that Terri and husband Michael Schiavo received in 1992 was spent first on various therapies and then on the seven-year legal fight over whether to end her life.
The money - $300,000 for Michael and $700,000 for Terri - reportedly caused an early break between Michael Schiavo and his in-laws when he refused to share it.
Now Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, accuse Schiavo of spending the money earmarked to keep their daughter alive on trying to kill her so he can inherit whatever is left.
Lawyers say less than $50,000 remains. The money is in a trust fund controlled by a judge.
The Woodside Hospice picks up the $80,000-a-year tab for Terri Schiavo's care, and her medicines are paid for by Medicaid.
Michael Schiavo's attorney since 1998, George Felos, has been paid a total of nearly $400,000, but he and other lawyers have been working for free for the past two years, according to court records.
The Schindlers are being represented for free by lawyer David Gibbs of the fundamentalist Christian Law Association.
Their legal and PR fight is financed through the Life Legal Defense Foundation by the anti-abortion Alliance Defense Fund.
The Schindlers have also been soliciting funds since 2002, collecting about $40,000 last year. They were fined $1,000 by the state of Florida last month for failing to register as a charity.
Helen Kennedy writing for the New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_repo ... 0826c.html