Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit, Terri Schiavo’s Death Will Proceed
by Steven Ertelt
October 10, 2003
Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge on Friday afternoon refused to allow Terri Schiavo to learn to eat and drink on her own prior to having a feeding tube that is keeping her alive removed next week.
U.S. District Judge Richard Lazzara decided against declaring jurisdiction over the case and dismissed it.
His decision confirms that Terri’s feeding tube will be removed Wednesday. The decision keeps Circuit Court Judge George Greer as the primary legal authority over Terri’s outcome and her parents’ lawsuit to allow her to live.
"The motion to dismiss was granted," Pamela Hennessy, a representative of the family, told the Cybercast News Service. "He denied the injunction, as well."
Lazzara’s ruling granted a motion filed by George Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo. Michael’s motion asked Lazzara to dismiss charges filed by the family that accuse Michael of withholding proper medical treatment and rehabilitative care. Terri’s family say Michael was granted hundreds of thousands of dollars in a judgment and the money should have been used to improve Terri’s condition.
The ruling cannot be appealed.
Felos claims tests conducted several years ago prove Terri cannot swallow on her own and that her parents want to relitigate the case. Terri’s family has consulted with doctors who say her condition can improve with rehabilitative care.
Michael Schiavo contends his wife would not want to be kept alive artificially and asked the federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, Governor Jeb Bush (R) filed a brief in the suit saying Terri should receive proper rehabilitative therapy.
In the documents filed on Monday, Governor Bush argued 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.