Governor Bush Asks to Meet With Terri’s New Guardian

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 10, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Governor Bush Asks to Meet With Terri’s New Guardian

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 10, 2003

Pinellas Park, FL ( — Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) has asked to meet with a Stetson University law and health professor who has been appointed as an independent guardian for Terri Schiavo.

On October 31, Chief Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge David Demers appointed Dr. Jay Wolfson as guardian ad litem to Terri, despite the suggestion of bias from Terri’s family.

Wolfson, who criticized passage of Terri’s Law by the Florida state legislature, will become Terri’s advocate in the courts. Ultimately, Wolfson’s responsibility is to make recommendations to Governor Bush and the court about Terri’s care.

Bush said he wants to meet with Wolfson to express his concerns about Terri in person and to "determine the scope" his Wolfson’s participation.

Bush sent a letter last Thursday to Wolfson requesting a meeting.

The letter prompted opposition from lawyers for Terri’s estranged husband Michael Schiavo, who has been living with another woman for years and has two children with her.

”This is the latest example of the governor’s intrusion into this case. I find it very inappropriate,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which recently joined Michael’s legal team.

Governor Bush told the Miami Herald newspaper that the request to speak with Wolfson was not inappropriate — in fact the courts asked Wolfson to talk with Bush.

”What the judge asked the guardian to do is make a determination based on some very specific facts,” Bush said. To make a final decision on Terri Schiavo’s fate, he said, "I need to have a larger set of facts to explore and so I want to talk to him about it.”

Wolfson declined to say whether he would accept Bush’s offer to discuss the case privately.

Meanwhile, Pat Anderson told that Terri’s family has met with Wolfson "and is very hopeful he can get his work done in the thirty days given to him."

Following the passage of Terri’s Law, Wolfson told WFTS-TV in Tampa, Florida: "If this law stands the constitutional test of the courts, then it certainly implies the executive of our state has the prerogative of injecting the state into your life, or your family member’s life."

Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri’s parents, have asked the courts to allow Terri’s brother Bob Schindler, Jr. to become her guardian. A decision is pending.

Related web sites:
Terri’s family –