Terri Schiavo’s Husband Wants Fed. Suit Dismissed, Gov. Bush Weighs In
by Steven Ertelt
October 7, 2003
Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Michael Schiavo on Monday asked a federal judge to dismiss the latest lawsuit Terri Schiavo’s parents filed in an attempt to save Terri’s life.
After running out of options in state court, Terri’s parents sued in federal court saying that a new guardian should be appointed for Terri because Michael is denying her medical care and rehabilitation treatment.
They also say Circuit Court Judge George Greer, who has authorized removal of Terri’s feeding tube on October 15, has been colluding with Michael and his attorney and should recuse himself or be removed from overseeing the case.
A hearing on Michael Schiavo’s motion is set for Friday.
Meanwhile, Governor Jeb Bush (R) has filed a brief in the suit saying Terri should receive proper rehabilitative therapy.
In the documents filed on Monday, Governor Bush argues that Terri should be allowed to learn to eat and drink on her own before she is permanently removed from the feeding tube. To deny her that chance would be a violation of her right to life under the U.S. and Florida constitutions, Bush argued.
"Terri’s right to life is violated by the state when the state, acting as her guardian, assumes that her wish to live without artificial sustenance is the same as her wish not to be fed at all," Bush said in the brief.
The brief also argues that state law differentiates between a terminal illness and the "vegetative state" Terri is in currently. Greer’s conclusion that Terri is in a state of PVS is wrong, Bush argues.
"The fact that she is unable to give herself nourishment is not a symptom of a dying body," Bush said. "It is the result of severe injury and disability."
Bush’s brief cites a New York case where an appeals court determined that suicide and the artificial removing of a feeding tube were different actions based on different motivations.
"Terri has not lost the right to be fed naturally," the brief concluded. "Just as nursing a baby or hand feeding an elderly arthritis-sufferer or a quadriplegic person is not ‘medical’ intervention, so hand feeding a severely disabled woman is not a ‘medical’ intervention."