Judge Orders Removal of Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 17, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Judge Orders Removal of Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 17, 2003

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — The family of Terri Schiavo was disappointed today as Circuit Court Judge George Greer ruled that Terri will not be able to have rehabilitative care and her feeding tube will be removed next month.

Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri’s parents, had hoped Terri would be allowed to learn to eat on her own to combat the withdrawal of food and water she is currently provided via the tube.

Bob Schindler said he wasn’t surprised at all by the decision because Greer has denied every effort they have made to spare Terri’s life.

"We don’t expect anything from him. I’m not a bit disappointed or surprised,” Schindler said.

In a statement released by Terri’s parents, Pat Anderson, their attorney, said "It is clear that Florida is not the state in which to get sick."

"This case demonstrates that we all need to be very, very careful in choosing a spouse. It is [Terri’s parents’] belief that Terri could have been weaned off her feeding tube years ago and would be speaking today if Michael Schiavo had only cared enough about her to see to it that she received the proper therapy," Anderson said.

This is the third time since 2000 that a specific date has been set to remove Terri’s feeding tube. Each time, the Schindlers have been able to appeal the decision and push it back.

Pamela Hennessy, a representative of the family, told LifeNews.com that Greer’s decision to order the removal of the tube on October 15 was odd.

Michael Schiavo, Terri’s husband, had argued for the immediate removal of the tube.

Greer called his decision a "thankless task" and said requests to help Terri eat would be akin to conducting the mammoth lawsuit over again.

"But in the end, this case is not about the aspirations that loving parents have for their children," Greer wrote. "It is about Terri Schiavo’s right to make her own decision, independent of her parents and independent of her husband."

The family still hopes a federal court will intervene and allow Terri to be provided with the therapy she has been denied from the beginning. They have until September 22 to file an amended lawsuit.

Michael’s attorney, George Felos, said he expects further "frivolous" and "desperate" legal maneuvers form the family.

"I certainly hope this is the final date and we are approaching the end of the case and Terri’s wishes can be carried out," Felos told the Associated Press. "It’s going to take some courage and fortitude on the part of a number of judges to see that this happens."