Terri’s Parents Ask to Intervene in Lawsuit Over "Terr’s Law"

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 31, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri’s Parents Ask to Intervene in Lawsuit Over "Terri’s Law"

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 31, 2003

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — On Thursday, Terri Schiavo’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler asked a judge to be able to intervene in the lawsuit Michael Schiavo filed against "Terri’s Law" passed by the Florida state legislature. Schiavo’s lawsuit also seeks to remove Terri’s feeding tube again.

The Schindlers are getting legal help from the American Center for Law and Justice. The pro-life legal firm is joining forces with Pat Anderson, the family’s longtime attorney.

The partnership comes only days after Michael’s attorney George Felos, an assisted suicide advocate, obtained legal help from the ACLU.

"I would say their big guns have just been outgunned," Anderson said.

Florida lawmakers passed Terri’s Law on October 21, which gave Florida Governor Jeb Bush the authority to allow doctors to reinsert the feeding tube which has been helping Terri stay alive. She had gone six days without food and water at that time.

Attorneys for Bush are expected to file a response to Michael’s lawsuit by next Wednesday.

Jay Sekulow, lead counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, said Michael’s suit seeking to overturn the law is flawed.

"It is clear the Governor has the constitutional authority to act to save the life of someone on death row," Sekulow said. "This case is no different. What the legislature and the Governor did is not only appropriate, but legally sound and constitutional as well."

Felos contends the law violates Terri’s right to privacy and separation of powers under the state constitution.

Anderson said the family wants to intervene in the lawsuit to protect Terri’s interests, which are different from the interests of the state of Florida.

"The state’s interest is in defending the integrity of the legislative process," Anderson told the St. Petersburg Times."The Schindlers’ interest is direct and immediate and very personal. The Schindlers are about to lose their daughter."

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Douglas Baird will determine whether or not the Schindlers can intervene.

Related web sites:
Bob and Mary Schindler – https://www.terrisfight.org
ACLU legal brief – https://www.aclufl.org/schiavobrieffinal.html