Federal Court in Florida Takes Up Emergency Motion in Terri’s Case

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 20, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Federal Court in Florida Takes Up Emergency Motion in Terri’s Case

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 20, 2003

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A U.S. District Court on Monday heard arguments from a Florida disability watchdog organization that filed an emergency motion in Terri Schiavo’s case. Attorneys for the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities are asking for a temporary restraining order halting Terri’s death, for Terri to be fed immediately, and for a ten day investigation into numerous charges.

U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday did not rule on the injunction request, though he said that he would have a decision by the end of the day.

ACPD is a state-appointed organization that monitors the treatment of disabled adults in Florida. Gordon Scott, the group’s attorney, said he talked to Terri’s parents and a neurologist and says he believes Terri is suffering pain from the dehydration and starvation and that she is not in a persistent vegetative state.

Scott said his agency has the right to launch an investigation into whether Terri was abused, regardless of how the judge rules. However, he wants to make sure she is able to stay alive in the event his investigation proves she is able to feel the pain of the denial of food and water.

Michael Schiavo’s lead attorney George Felos, an assisted suicide advocate, claims the federal judge has no jurisdiction in the case and said ACPD is just trying to prolong the decade-lone lawsuit and undo repeated court rulings.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Medical Association passed a resolution at its annual meeting in Philadelphia on Friday saying that denying Terri Schiavo’s right to life is a violation of Florida law.

"To remove Terri Schiavo’s gastrostomy feeding without the opportunity to determine whether she could be taught to eat and drink by mouth constitutes depriving her of life without due process of law (Florida Statutes Section 744, 3211)," the pro-life medical group said in its resolution.

The CMA says the order withdrawing the feeding tube should be rescinded and Terri’s ability to "be nourished by oral feeding should be properly evaluated."

Related web sites:
Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities – https://www.advocacycenter.org

Bob and Marcy Schindler – https://www.terrisfight.org