The Terri Schiavo case is an all around tragedy. The legal battles for the case lasted from 1990 until 2005 and centered around end-of -life issues.
In 1990, Theresa "Terri" Schiavo went into cardio arrest. Although she was resuscitated, she suffered massive brain damage which left her in a coma. Her diagnosis was changed to that of "persistent vegetative state" after two months with no change.
While doctors tried everything to help Terri make progress, it was to no avail. Finally, in 1998, Terri's husband petitioned the Sixth Circuit Court of Florida (the couple was from St. Petersburg) in order to have her feeding tube removed, a right he was afforded under Florida state law. He faced heated opposition to his attempts, but the court found in favor of Michael's pursuit.
The feeding tube was removed in 2001, but was put back after only a few days. The tube was again ordered removed in 2005. Many parties became involved in the case, including Jeb Bush and his brother George W. Bush. Bush went so far as to sign legislation aimed at keeping Shciavo alive. After all of the appeals and interventions the original decision was upheld and the tube was removed for the final time on March 18, 2005. Terri passed away on March 31, 2005
The heartbreaking case was a battleground for the Pro-Life and Right to Die movements.
Michael is outraged by Jeb Bush's use of his late wife's tragedy for political gain. He is quoted in the Tampa Bay Times as saying:
"Using his disgraceful intervention in our family’s private trauma to advance his political career shows that he has learned nothing. He’s proud of the fact that he used the machinery of government to keep a person alive through extraordinary artificial means -- contrary to the orders of the court that were based on the court's determination, made over 6 years of litigation, that doing so would be against her wishes," he said. "What the campaign video shows is that if he ever got his hands on the power of government again, he would do the same thing again, maybe next time to your family."
Regardless of how an individual may feel about the rights surrounding life, it is fair to say that behind every decision involving a human life there is a family. To see that family's private struggle used as a means of political gain shows, at the very least, a grave error in judgement. It also brings into question the levels of compassion and empathy possessed by one who would do such a thing.