Florida Court Prohibits Terri’s Parents From Joining "Terri’s Law" Battle

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

Florida Court Prohibits Terri’s Parents From Joining "Terri’s Law" Battle

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 4, 2003

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — A Florida state court on Tuesday disallowed Terri’s parents from entering the legal battle over Terri’s Law. They wanted to join attorneys for Governor Jeb Bush in defending the legislation that allowed Bush to ask doctors to reinsert the feeding tube that is allowing Terri to live.

Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri’s parents, were represented in the request by attorneys from the American Center for Law and Justice, a pro-life law firm.

"We’re very disappointed with the court’s ruling," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "It is clear that state law permits the parents to get directly involved in a case to defend a state law that is keeping their daughter alive. It is unfortunate that the court did not find that the parents have sufficient legal interest in defending the state’s actions — actions that provide the only barrier between Terri and death by starvation.

Sekulow indicated the Schindlers may appeal the decision.

"We are currently examining all legal options available — including an appeal — for our clients. We will do everything possible to ensure that the interests of Terri’s parents are represented in this case," he said.

Sekulow said the ACLJ is considering several options including filing a motion with the court to reconsider its ruling denying the motion to intervene; filing an appeal with the Florida Second District Court of Appeal; or, representing the interests of Terri’s parents with the filing of an amicus brief on the issue.

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.

Attorneys for Governor Jeb Bush are expected to file a response to Michael’s "Terri’s Law" lawsuit this week.

The American Civil Liberties Union is aiding Schiavo in the lawsuit against Terri’s Law.

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