A religious zealot offered $250,000 to anyone who would kill me. My two babies were threatened with death. I was condemned by the president, the majority leaders of the House and Senate, the governor of Florida, the pope, and the right-wing media, all because I was doing what Territhe woman I lovedwanted.
I didnt respond to their attacks.
I didnt confront their lies.
You may know the headlines about what came to be known as The Schiavo Case, but that doesnt mean you know what really happened. And you certainly dont know why. Frankly, thats because my efforts while Terri was alive were concentrated on giving her the best care possible, and waging the legal battle to ensure that the promise Id made to herthat she wouldnt be kept alive artificiallywould be kept. I didnt have time for public relations. I didnt have time to expose the hidden agendas of all sorts of people, most of whom wouldnt have known who Terri was if they passed her on the street. Thats why I wrote this book, and why its called Terri: The Truth.
When Terri collapsed in February, 1990, I was certain that she would recover. My love for her kept that hope alive in me for years. But there came a time when I had to face the medical facts. Now, I can finally tell you what caused me to conclude that it was time to let her go. And I can also answer the questions that seem to trouble many people: why didnt I just divorce Terri and allow her parents to take over as her legal guardians? And how could I be in a relationship with another woman, and have two children with her, while Terri was still alive?
I loved Terri from the time I met her in a college class in 1983, and Ive never stopped loving her. Throughout the fifteen years since she collapsed, I devoted my life to her care. The peoplefrom ordinary citizens to the highest elected politicianswho said otherwise, who called me a murderer, were either completely misinformed, or had ulterior motives.
I have no argument with those who may honestly disagree with me and the choices I have made. But honest disagreement over principle is not what has characterized this story, in my opinion.
Ive now had almost a year to reflect on The Schiavo Case, on what it means to me, and what I believe it means to America. As public and contentious as it was, at its heart is an agonizing decision that many Americans may have to face someday. It is my hope that this story may help guide their decisions should that time come.