Felos Criticizes Schindler Family Spokesman for 'Ideological Agenda'

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

(1st Add: Includes additional comments from George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney.)

(CNSNews.com) - The attorney for Michael Schiavo Thursday criticized Schindler family spokesperson Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, for issuing "venom" and making "extremely harsh statements" about Michael Schiavo, which Felos said "was highly inappropriate under the circumstances."

Contrast that, Felos said, with Rev. Jesse Jackson, whom Felos praised for offering words of healing. "Although we didn't agree with" his "point of view about removal of artificial life support, it was evident and clear from his statements and his conversations with me that he came in good faith in a spirit of healing to try to bring...this family together."

Felos said "instead of words of reconciliation, instead of words of healing, instead of words of compassion or understanding, which you might expect from a spiritual person," Pavone had a "platform for ideological agenda," which Felos and Michael Schiavo found "counterproductive and disquieting."

Felos said the past 14 days Michael Schiavo had lived at the hospice facility in a room down the hall from his wife and, except for limited media appearances, has been continuously at her side since the feeding tube was removed about two weeks ago.

Michael's "overriding concern" was to carry out Terri Schiavo's wishes for "a peaceful death with dignity," Felos said. "And I emphasize it because this death was not for the siblings and not for the spouse and not for the parents, this was for Terri. She has a right to die peaceably in a loving setting and with dignity."

According to Felos, before Terri's body was removed from the facility, 30 to 40 hospice workers surrounded her body while it was on the medical examiner's gurney.

"It was a very emotional scene," he said. "You have to remember that many of these hospice workers have cared for Terri for over a five-year period. I can't describe in words their dedication. There were nurses and workers who refused to go home because at the end of their shift, Terri hadn't passed away yet and wanted to be with her when she died."

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