Schiavo Parents Consider Next Move

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An autopsy that found Terri Schiavo suffered from severe and irreversible brain-damage has done nothing to sway her parents' position that she deserved to live and may have gotten better with therapy.

"Future legal action, we are at this point just examining every option and no decision has been made," said David Gibbs, the attorney for her family. "I've encouraged the family to just let time settle a little bit."

The autopsy report was thorough, about 5 times longer than normal, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod.

The long-awaited report Wednesday found Schiavo's brain had shrunk to about half the normal size for a woman her age when she died March 31 after her feeding tube was disconnected. The autopsy also determined she was blind.

Bob and Mary Schindler disputed the results, insisting their daughter interacted with them and tried to speak.

"She wouldn't recognize anybody's face, wouldn't recognize anyone's voice. wouldn't respond to stimuli in anything but a reflexive way," Dr. Douglas Miller, a neuropathologist, told CBS News. "They were seeing what they wanted to see, which is common and unfortunate in situations like this. It was just not possible."

The findings vindicated Schiavo's husband in his long and vitriolic battle with his in-laws that engulfed the courts, Congress and the White House and divided the country. Michael Schiavo and court-appointed doctors have said she had no hope of recovery. She died at age 41.

  • David Hancock

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