Appeals Court Rejects Motions by Terri’s Parents Allowing Her to Live

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 14, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Appeals Court Rejects Last-Ditch Legal Motions by Terri Schiavo’s Parents

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 14, 2003

Lakeland, FL ( — A Florida appeals court on Tuesday gave the final stamp of approval for the removal of the feeding tube that is allowing Terri Schiavo to live.

Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler hoped the 2nd District Court of Appeals would side with them and it was one of their last legal hopes of keeping Terri alive.

"Our legal remedies are exhausted," attorneys for the Schindlers said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

The motions asked that Circuit Court Judge George Greer be removed from the case and that Terri be allowed to learn to eat and drink on her own before the gastric tube is permanently removed.

Terri’s family believes Greer has been colluding with Terri’s husband Michael Schiavo and his attorney, euthanasia advocate George Felos.

"It certainly appears the legal options for the Schindlers are diminishing very quickly," Felos told the Associated Press in response to the court’s decision.

Both the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme court have rejected hearing the case.

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.

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

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

Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s family –

(Photo courtesy of Gary McCullough, Christian Communication Network.)