Judge Denies Gov. Bush’s Effort to Help Terri Schiavo
by Steven Ertelt
August 27, 2003
Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Circuit Court Judge George Greer denied an effort by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to appoint a guardian to independently investigate Terri Schiavo’s situation and provide the court with an unbiased view.
Bush sent a letter to Greer asking him to postpone the decision to end her life by removing her feeding tube.
"I read it because it came from the governor and I respect his position," Greer told the Tampa Tribune. "Beyond that, it is going in the file."
In his letter, Bush said he was concerned that Terri Schiavo’s guardian, her husband Michael, was denying her medical treatment for a threatening illness. If left untreated, Terri could die and make the ultimate decision about her fate moot, Bush explained.
However, Greer’s comments to the press indicated that he initially couldn’t decide whether he is allowed appoint a guardian for Terri or not.
"Frankly, I think I’m operating under a mandate from the 2nd District Court of Appeal, and frankly I don’t think I can stray from that mandate,” Greer told The Associated Press after receiving the letter.
Greer also said he is "not inclined” to appoint a guardian, implying the decision rests with him. In other comments, he has indicated court rulings have established him as the independent guardian Bush seeks.
Bush said he had an obligation to write Greer after his office was deluged with 27,000 emails supporting Terri.
However, Michael Schiavo blasted Bush’s decision to write.
"The governor has deliberately twisted the facts in this case in an apparent effort to kowtow to his ‘right-to-life’ political supporters,” Michael Schiavo told the Tampa Tribune. "This has nothing to do with him. He should stay out of it.”
Though he denied the guardian request, Greer also fulfilled one of Bush’s wishes by denying a request from Michael’s attorneys that Terri be refused medical treatment while she undergoes her second hospitalization for an illness.
Greer says he will decide Terri’s fate at a September 11th hearing on a motion by Terri’s family calling Michael to task for denying them information about Terri’s medical condition in both hospitalizations, an apparent violation of a 1996 court order. Michael also prohibited a family priest from visiting Terri in the hospital.
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