Michael Schiavo Wants Terri’s Parents Out of "Terri’s Law" Battle

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 4, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michael Schiavo Wants Terri’s Parents Out of "Terri’s Law" Battle

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 4, 2003

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — It should come as no surprise to Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler or their supporters that Michael Schiavo’s attorneys on Monday filed a motion to block them from participating the lawsuit related to Terri’s Law.

Michael’s attorneys have filed suit to declare the law passed by the Florida legislature unconstitutional. It allowed Florida Governor Jeb Bush to ask doctors to reinsert Terri’s feeding tube.

In court papers filed Monday, Michael’s attorneys said the legal battle is between Michael and Governor Bush and that, while Terri’s parents have an interest in her well-being, they should not be a party to the lawsuit.

"The rights at stake in this litigation are uniquely those of Mrs. Schiavo and it is those rights that are directly affected by the challenged legislation and Governor’s actions,” said the brief filed by Michael’s attorneys. "The Schindlers’ interest in continuing to pursue their belief that the prior litigation was wrongly decided simply does not meet the requisite legal standard for intervention."

Attorneys for Governor Jeb Bush are expected to file a response to the lawsuit this week. However, the Schindlers hoped to intervene in the case and argue on behalf of Terri’s Law as well.

"Terri’s parents have a vested interest in the outcome of Terri’s Law," Pamela Hennessy, a representative of the family, told LifeNews.com.

Circuit Court Judge W. Douglas Baird would have to approve the Schindlers’ request. They were helped in filing a brief by pro-life attorneys at the American Center for Law and Justice. Meanwhile, the ACLU has lined up behind Michael.

Pro-life attorney Tom Marzen, who monitors end-of-life issues, told LifeNews.com he agrees the Schindlers have a right to be involved.

"The Schindlers should be allowed to intervene since their interests are certainly affected by the outcome of the suit," Marzen explained.

Michael’s lawsuit also seeks a removal of Terri’s feeding tube for the third time. The Schindlers’ petition asks the judge to allow them to be appointed Terri’s guardian in place of Michael.

Related web sites:
Terri’s family – https://www.terrisfight.org