Judge Disallows State Disabilities Group to Postpone Terri’s Death

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

Judge Disallows State Disabilities Group to Postpone Terri’s Death

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 21, 2003

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge on Tuesday morning turned down a request by a state agency that monitors care for persons with disabilities to postpone Terri Schiavo’s death so an investigation into alleged physical abuse against her can be conducted.

Federal Judge Steven Merryday denied the request filed by Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, a state-appointed agency.

Attorneys for the disability watchdog group were 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.

Merryday said federal courts are not allowed to involve themselves in matters that have already been adjudicated by state courts. He also claimed the organization failed to provide enough evidence to support its request.

In his opinion, Merryday wrote that ADCP failed to show that Michael Schiavo was interfering with the agency’s right to conduct an investigation.

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, said before Merryday’s decision that the court no jurisdiction in the case and said ACPD is just trying to prolong the decade-lone lawsuit and undo repeated court rulings.

Related web sites:
Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities – https://www.advocacycenter.org
Steven Merryday’s decision – https://www.flmd.uscourts.gov/AdvocacyCenter-v-Schiavo.pdf
Bob and Marcy Schindler – https://www.terrisfight.org