Terri Schiavo’s Longtime Doctor Resigns, Court Battle Monday

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 24, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Longtime Doctor Resigns, Court Battle Monday

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 24, 2003

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s longtime doctor resigned on Thursday just as Michael Schiavo’s attorney is preparing to wage a court battle that will begin on Monday to overturn Governor Jeb Bush’s executive order asking doctors to reinsert Terri’s feeding tube.

Dr. Victor Gambone faxed a note to Morton Plant Hospital confirming he would be stepping down as Terri’s doctor. He had claimed that the removal of the tube would allow her to die peacefully within days — contrary to the belief of numerous pro-life doctors and doctors’ groups.

Michael’s attorney George Felos, an assisted suicide advocate, said, "The events of the last two weeks weighed on him very heavily."

Morton Plant Hospital, where Terri Schiavo was taken Tuesday for the gastric tube to be reinserted, brought in another specialist to take over for Gambone, Felos said.

Meanwhile, Terri’s parents visited her again on Thursday and they say she continues to improve, albeit slowly.

"Terri is great, absolutely great. She has her color back. She’s tired, but she just looks wonderful," her father, Bob Schindler, told the Associated Press.

Both sides will appear in court next Monday as Felos challenges Bush’s order. He says both the order and the legislation passed by the Florida legislature are unconstitutional.

Felos will file his brief on Monday and Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist is expected to file a response by next Friday.

The legislation allows for a guardian to be appointed for Terri and if both sides can’t agree on one, which is likely, a judge will be able to appoint one.

In other news, the ACLU has confirmed that it will aid Michael Schiavo in the upcoming legal battle.

For months the ACLU stayed uninvolved because courts continually sided with Michael. Howard Simon, director of the organization’s Florida affiliate said they decided to get involved once the legislature and Governor Bush intervened.

That news comes as an outrage to Pamela Hennessy, a representative of the family.

"I’ve been contacting the ACLU since the beginning of my involvement in this case to have them speak out against what’s going on with Terri," Hennessy said. "It’s going on against her will. She’s had her religious freedoms stripped from her. She’s had her civil liberties stripped from her. And they’re defending the husband?"

Leaders of the AARP and the Florida Bar Association are also considering whether or not to get involved, and also on Michael’s behalf.

Finally, Terri’s family confirmed that after Michael Schiavo required a representative of his to be present when Terri’s family during visitations that his "mistress" was once his official representative. In at least once instance, Jodi Centonze, with whom Michael has been living for a number of years and with whom he has one child and another one the way, was the official representative.

Related web sites:
Bob and Mary Schindler – https://www.terrisfight.org