Terri Schiavo’s Parents Re-File Federal Suit to Stop Feeding Tube Removal

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

Terri Schiavo’s Parents Re-File Federal Suit to Stop Feeding Tube Removal

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 23, 2003

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s parents on Monday re-filed a federal lawsuit against Terri’s husband Michael to stop the removal of a feeding tube that is providing Terri with food and water.

Circuit Court Judge George Greer ordered the removal of the gastric tube on October 15, but Terri’s parents are continuing the multiyear battle to keep Terri alive and provide her with the rehabilitative care Michael has never provided.

Earlier this month, a federal judge heard the original lawsuit filed by Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

New Jersey lawyer Christopher Ferrara with the American Catholic Lawyers Association helped family attorney Pat Anderson prepare the suit. The Schindlers say Michael Schiavo has been a "rogue guardian" who has violated his wife’s rights under federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, by withholding medical treatment and refusing to allow her to fed by mouth.

"(The Schindlers) are about to lose their daughter because no one wants to put a teaspoon of Jello to her mouth," Ferrara said at the hearing. "It’s insane."

They also contend Judge Greer should have recused himself from the case because he has been colluding with Michael and his attorney, euthanasia advocate George Felos.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara wasn’t persuaded by the evidence presented by Bob and Mary Schindler’s attorneys. However, he scheduled another hearing to give the family a second chance to make their case.

Lazzara called the family’s complaint "quintessential shotgun pleading" and an attempt to delay the decision Greer had yet to make concerning the removal of Terri’s feeding tube.

However, he acknowledged the family had little time to prepare the lawsuit.

"I would hope that the federal judge looking at this realizes this is just an attempt to rehash what has gone on before," said George Felos, Michael Schiavo’s attorney. "It just shows how desperate they are becoming."

In 1990, Terri Schiavo was 26 years old when she collapsed at home from what doctors believe was a potassium imbalance.

Two years later, a jury awarded Michael Schiavo $1.3 million in a malpractice lawsuit he brought against her doctors. The money was placed in a trust fund to pay for medical treatment and rehabilitation, but she has received no therapy in over 10
years and only minimal nursing care.

Michael is now living with another woman, with whom has had a child. Terri’s family claims he wants Terri to die so he can receive the rest of the trust fund money.

In addition, doctors other than those selected by Michael’s attorney, reviewed Terri’s medical records.

"It was found that a heart attack did not cause Terri’s collapse as everyone was led to believe. Rather, according to one physician, Terri may have been a strangulation victim," Pamela Hennessy, a representative of the family, told LifeNews.com.

If true, the allegations demand an investigation, Hennessy said.

Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s family – https://www.terrisfight.org