Terri Schiavo’sFamily Urges Reinstatement of Independent Guardian

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 6, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’sFamily Urges Reinstatement of Independent Guardian

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 6, 2004

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — In court papers filed on Monday, the family of Terri Schiavo is urging a juge to reappoint the independent guardian who was removed from the case in December. The Schindler family also wants the guardian to be able to determine whether Terri’s marriage to her estranged husband Michael can be dissolved.

On October 31, Chief Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge David Demers appointed Dr. Jay Wolfson, a professor of health and law at Stetson University in Florida, as Terri’s guardian ad litem.

Wolfson was charged with assessing Terri’s situation and making recommendations to Governor Jeb Bush. Wolfson evaluated Terri and determined that she is in a persistent vegetative state, but that she should be administered a swallowing test in order to determine whether she can eat and drink on her own.

In December, Demers dismissed Wolfson saying he completed all of the tasks assigned to him.

The Schindler family wants Demers to reappoint Wolfson and Governor Jeb Bush has already indicated he wants Wolfson back on the case. Michael opposes the reappointment.

They also want Wolfson to be empowered to determine if the Schiavo marriage has ended. Michael Schiavo is engaged to another woman, is living with her, and has already had two children with her.

They say the marriage should be declared void. If the courts agree, Michael would cease to be Terri’s guardian and her family could appoint Terri’s brother Bobby Schindler, Jr., to make medical and legal decisions for Terri.

Michael’s attorney George Felos, an assisted suicide advocate, agreed with Demers that Wolfson’s job is completed. He also said Demers lacks the authority to reappoint Wolfson since the original appointment came through legislation passed by the state legislature rather than the courts.

Meanwhile, Judge Douglas Baird has said he said that he does not need any new information to be able to rule on the constitutionality of Terri’s Law, the measure passed by the state legislature that allowed Florida Governor Jeb Bush to ask doctors to reinstate the feeding tube that is helping Terri Schiavo stay alive.

If Baird rules the law unconstitutional, Michael will be able to remove her feeding tube for a third time, possibly causing her death.

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