Florida Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Terri Schiavo Case

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 23, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Terri Schiavo Case

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 23, 2003

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — The Florida Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear the case of Terri Schiavo, who is at the center of a legal battle over whether to end her life.

The one page order handed down by the court said "no basis for jurisdiction exists” in the case and no motion for reconsideration would be allowed. All seven justices signed the order.

A date for removing the feeding tube probably will be set by a judge early next week, said George Felos, the attorney for Terri’s husband Michael.

Once it is removed, Terri is expected to die from starvation within 15 days.

The court’s decision follows closely on the heels of legal action taken by Terri’s family against Michael for denying them medical information concerning a recent brief hospital stay.

The attorney for Terri’s parents and family, Pat Anderson, said she was consulting with other lawyers to determine if any legal recourse remains to help Terri. But the prospects look dim, she said.

The Florida Supreme Court’s decision means that the state’s Second District Court of Appeals retains jurisdiction over the case. On Monday, that court is expected to issue an order moving the case back to the jurisdiction of Circuit Judge George Greer. Greer signed the original court order allowing Terri to be euthanized.

The family could appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. It is also hoping that Gov. Jeb Bush will step in and issue an executive order to stop the removal of the feeding tube.

Anderson said the Schindlers, Terri’s parents, are "completely devastated" by the court’s decision. "They had held out hope that the state’s highest court would provide justice in this matter," she said.

Michael Schiavo is seeking to have her feeding tube removed, which would kill Terri. Her parents and siblings say she has never received proper rehabilitation care, responds to them, and accuse Michael of wanting to cash in on the rest of an insurance policy.

Terri Schiavo was 26 in 1990 when she suddenly collapsed in her home and fell into a coma.

To see the Florida Supreme Court’s decision, go to https://www.flcourts.org/pubinfo/summaries/briefs/03/03-1242/Filed_08-22-2003_CourtOrder.pdf