Schiavo Debate Continues One Year Later

Although Terri Schiavo was laid to rest a year ago Friday after the longest right-to-die battle in American history, the war between her family, the Schindlers, and her husband of 21 years, Michael Schiavo, rages on.

Schiavo fought the Schindlers in court for eight years over Terri's removal from life support, arguing she would not have wanted to be kept alive in a permanent vegetative state. The Schindlers disagreed that she was in a permanent vegetative state and that she would want to die. The feud that came to involve 40 court petitions and appeals, a governor, a president, and Congress continues in two new books.

Schiavo's book, "Terri: The Truth," is being released today, one day before Bob and Mary Schindler's "A Life That Matters" hits stores.

In his book, Schiavo admits he's settling some scores. He unloaded his feelings Sunday on NBC's "Dateline" in his first interview since his wife died. Among his accusations is that Terri's family, including her father, demanded the money from a malpractice award.

"First, he asked when the money was coming down, and then he asked me, 'How much money am I going to get?''' Schiavo told "Dateline."

"I said. … 'I'm giving it all to Terri.' Then with some anger in his voice, he pointed at Terri and said, 'Well, how much is she going to give me?' She's not going to give you anything. That money is entrusted with a guardian."

On "Good Morning America," the Schindlers admitted there was a disagreement over money. They said it was because they wanted the money from the malpractice suit to go to Terri's rehabilitation and Schiavo spent it on legal fees.

"The money Michael promised for Terri's therapy and rehabilitation. … Instead it went to Michael's attorney to have Terri killed," said Bobby Schindler, Terri's brother.

Bitterness between the Schindlers and Schiavo affected Terri's final moments. The Schindlers were escorted out of Terri's hospital room so Schiavo could be alone with his wife as she died.

"Bobby and I were in the room, I would say minutes before she died, and we were ushered out of the room by Mr. Schiavo and asked to leave the premises," said Suzanne Schindler Vitadamo, Terri's sister. "When we left, it was awful."

But Schiavo said he ordered the family to leave so Terri could die in peace.

"I had seconds to go say goodbye to my wife," he told "Dateline." "I didn't want a police officer standing over her head when she died, and that's exactly what was going to happen. If Bobby was in that room, they would have had a police officer in there. I didn't want that. I didn't want that animosity. I didn't want the feeling. The aura that Bobby and I -- we hate each other."

The Schindlers disagree with the way Schiavo treated their daughter's final moments, just as they disagree with autopsy reports that concluded Terri was blind and her brain was "profoundly atrophied."

Furthermore, the Schindlers challenge the 64 percent of Americans from a recent ABC poll who believe it was right to remove Terri's feeding tube.

"Sixty-four percent of people don't know the facts of the case," Bob Schindler. "I think if they read the book they'll have a much better understanding."

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