Kevorkian Prosecutor Says Bush Has Legal Authority to Help Terri

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 16, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kevorkian Prosecutor Says Bush Has Legal Authority to Help Terri

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 16, 2003

Clearwater, FL ( — An attorney who was one of the initial prosecutors of assisted suicide crusader Jack Kevorkian says Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) has the legal authority to intervene to help Terri Schiavo.

Attorney Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, a pro-life legal firm, sent a letter to Governor Bush Thursday morning saying Bush should conduct a formal investigation into Terri’s situation.

‘It is clear that there is sufficient evidence upon which to conduct a formal criminal investigation," Thompson writes.

He says the Florida Department of Law Enforcement can look into the situation because Bush serves as the state’s chief cop and is obligated to ensure that the state’s laws have been followed.

The Florida Constitution says that the governor is responsible for ensuring that laws are "faithfully executed." State statute also gives Bush the authority to order an investigation, the letter says.

Thompson, who is joined in the letter by Edward White, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Florida, says there is evidence that physical abuse may have caused Terri’s collapse and coma. They also tell Bush that Michael Schiavo should be investigated because of conflicts of interest.

One year after Terri’s collapse, a bone scan revealed that she had compression fractures and apparent traumatic injuries.

Michael wants Terri’s body cremated following her death. Thompson and White are worried that doing so would destroy any evidence investigators could use to ascertain whether Terri was a victim of domestic abuse.

The evidence, along with the lack of medical care given to Terri during two recent hospitalizations, gives Bush "probable cause" to investigate, the letter states.

The attorneys say Michael has conflicts of interest because he is living with another woman while still legally married to Terri. He and his girlfriend have one child already and are expecting another.

They also say Michael has violated a promise to a jury that $700,000 of a $1.5 million medical malpractice judgment awarded to him would be used to pay for rehabilitative and medical care for Terri.

After Michael received the award, he placed a "do not recesitate" order on Terri.

"It seems prudent under the circumstances that the presumption for life should prevail and a formal ‘time out’ should take place," they conclude.

Related web sites:
Letter 1 from law firm to Bush

Letter 2 from law firm to Bush