Governor Bush Orders Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube Reinserted

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

Governor Bush Orders Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube Reinserted

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 21, 2003

Washington, DC ( — Governor Jeb Bush wasted no time asking doctors to reinsert the feeding tube that provides Terri Schiavo with the nutrition needed to allow her to stay alive. His move follows a strong bipartisan vote by the Florida legislature to give him the power to issue such an executive order.

"Like the tens of thousands of Floridians who have raised their voices in support of Terri Schiavo’s right to live, I have been deeply moved by these tragic circumstances," Bush said.

"Any life-or-death decision should be made only after careful consideration of all related facts and conditions," Bush added. "For that reason, I appreciate the extraordinary action of the Legislature today and will use the discretion they have granted regarding the restoration of nutrition and water to Terri Schiavo."

Terri’s family was elated by the news.

"We are just ecstatic,” Terri’s father Bob Schindler said. "It’s restored my belief in God.”

Suzanne Carr, Terri Schiavo’s sister, called Bush’s decision "a miracle, an absolute miracle.” Terri’s mother was in tears when she heard the news.

The battle over Terri Schiavo’s life now turns to the courts.

Before the legislation was passed and Bush issued his order, George Felos, lead attorney for Michael Schiavo, filed a motion with Circuit Court Judge George Greer asking for an injunction to overturn Bush’s order.

Greer, who originally granted Michael’s decision to remove Terri’s feeding tube, denied Felos’ motion, but only on technical grounds. Felos may refile the motion.

Pat Anderson, attorney for the family, said Terri would need to have an IV inserted to rehydrate her before the tube can be reinserted.

"It ain’t over until its over. Until I see that IV running she is not out of the woods,” Anderson told the Associated Press.

Executive Order 03-201, states:

"Effective immediately, continued withholding of nutrition and hydration from Theresa Schiavo is hereby stayed.

"Effective immediately, all medical facilities and personnel providing medical care for Theresa Schiavo, and all those acting in concert or participation with them, are hereby directed to immediately provide nutrition and hydration to Theresa Schiavo by means of a gastronomy tube, or by any other method determined appropriate in the reasonable judgment of a licensed physician.

"While this order is effective, no person shall interfere with the stay entered pursuant to this order. And,

"This order shall be effective until such time as the Governor revokes it."