Michael Challenges Terri’s Law, Wants Guardian Appointment Delayed

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 30, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michael Challenges Terri’s Law, Wants Guardian Appointment Delayed

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 30, 2003

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — Michael Schiavo made his challenge of "Terri’s Law" official by having his attorney submit a 44-page filing that calls the law unconstitutional. Meanwhile, his attorneys also filed a separate legal motion asking that the appointment of an independent guardian for Terri be delayed while this lawsuit is pending.

In filing his motion seeking to overturn the law and Governor Bush’s executive order allowing doctors to reinsert Terri’s feeding tube, Michael’s attorney George Felos contends the law violates Terri’s right to privacy and separation of powers under the state constitution.

Felos, an assisted suicide advccate, filed the brief along with lawyers from the ACLU, who joined the case last week.

"It argues that her constitutional right to refuse medical treatment was, in essence, cast aside by a statute that allows the governor to do that under any whim and without any standards and without any review," said Felos.

Now, Attorney General Charlie Crist has a week to file a response on Bush’s behalf.

"We will be responding in court," said Bush spokesman Jacob DiPietre. A hearing date has not been set.

The legal battle is likely to head to the Florida Supreme Court, which earlier refused to hear the lawsuit filed by Terri’s parents.

Pat Anderson, an attorney for Terri’s parents has not yet read the filing, but she says ending Terri’s life — not protecting it — would be unconstitutional. She says it would violate laws that require protection of those with disabilities and also violate her Constitutional right to life.

Terri’s law also allowed an independent guardian to be appointed for Terri.

Bob and Marcy Schindler, Terri’s parents, objected to the appointment of Dr. Jay Wolfson, a professor of health and law at Florida-based Stetson University, as Terri’s guardian. They say he should not be appointed because he has already made his opinion in the case known by opposing Terri’s Law and Bush’s order helping her.

On Wednesday, Deborah Bushnell, Michael’s other attorney, asked Chief Circuit Judge David Demers to delay the appointment of a guardian until after the Terri’s Law suit has been completed.

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