Florida Senate Passes "Terri’s Bill," Gov. Bush Will Sign Legislation

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 21, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Senate Passes "Terri’s Bill," Gov. Bush Will Sign Legislation

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 21, 2003

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — The Florida state Senate Tuesday afternoon passed legislation that gives Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) the ability to require doctors to reinsert Terri’s feeding tube and place a temporary moratorium on deaths in the state via starvation or dehydration.

Bush said he will immediately sign the bill, which the Senate supported 23-15.

"This is a response to a tragic situation." Bush said. "People are responding to cries for help and I think it’s legitimate."

George Felos, an assisted suicide advocate who is Michael Schiavo’s lead attorney, has already asked a court for a hearing on the legislation.

Felos, who called the bill an "astonishing power grab," said the it is unconstitutional and is seeking an injunction preventing Bush from mandating that the tube be reinserted.

"I don’t believe that the Legislature has the authority to interfere," Felos said. "I don’t think it would withstand constitutional scrutiny."

Terri’s only hope is for a judge to allow the tube to be reinserted while the lawsuit regarding the legislation makes its way through the court process.

Opponents of the pro-life legislation said government was stepping in where it had no business being.

"I do not believe the governor of Florida should be making a decision of life and death rather than the next of kin," said Sen. Steven Geller.

Terri’s feeding tube was removed last Wednesday after a court order by Judge George Greer allowed her husband Michael’s request that her life be ended. Terri’s family says she is responsive to them, is not in a persistive vegetative state, and they say Michael may have physically abused her.

Related web sites:
Terri’s Law – https://www.myfloridahouse.com/BillInfo.aspx?bID=12713
Bob and Marcy Schindler – https://www.terrisfight.org