Terri Schiavo’s Husband Tries Again to Block Terri’s Law Testimony

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 23, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Husband Tries Again to Block Terri’s Law Testimony

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 23, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s estranged husband Michael fired the latest salvo in the ongoing legal battle to protect her life. After a Florida appeals court handed Governor Bush and Terri’s family a victory saying Bush’s attorneys should be able to gather evidence to defend Terri’s Law, Michael’s attorney says he will again ask a district court judge to block depositions in the case.

Bush’s attorney Ken Conner informed the circuit court today that he plans to take depositions from seven people, including Michael, in order to ascertain what Terri’s wishes would be and show that she would not want her live to be ended.

Conner, the former president of the Family Research Council, said he also wants to depose Jodi Centonze, the woman with whom Michael is living.

Depositions will also be taken from Michael’s brother and sister-in-law, Scott and Joan Schiavo. All but Centonze have testified in court previously as the years-long legal battle has unfolded.

The Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled earlier this month that Circuit Court Judge Douglas Baird failed to "follow the rule that has been established for determining motions to intervene," when considering a request by Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, to become a party in defending Terri’s Law.

The appeals court also ruled that attorneys for Governor Bush who are seeking to defend the pro-life law in court should be able to question witnesses in the case.

George Felos, the assisted suicide advocate who is Michael’s attorney, says the testimony of the witnesses is irrelevant since they have testified before.

Felos, who is getting help from the ACLU in the case, has said the only decision before the local court is whether or not Terri’s Law is unconstitutional and that the facts of Terri’s situation are not material to the case.

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

"Terri Schiavo’s wishes are very much at issue. Terri Schiavo has demonstrated a resolute will to live," Connor said.

Michael claimed years after Terri’s collapse — and only after he and Terri’s estate was awarded a $1 million medical malpractice judgment — that he remembered a supposed conversation where Terri indicated she didn’t want extra measures taken to prolong her life.

However, a good friend of Terri’s vividly remembers watching a television program with Terri about a woman who was in a coma for years. Terri was upset when she told a joke about the woman and said there was no way doctors or lawyers could know the woman’s wishes.

"Where there is life, there is hope," Terri told her friend.

The money was supposed to be used to take care of Terri, but much of it has been used for Michael’s legal bills and her parents say Terri has never received appropriate medical care or rehabilitative therapy.

Terri’s parents are also urging Judge Baird 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.

Should that happen, Terri’s brother Bob Schindler, Jr., can be appointed as Terri’s legal guardian and begin making medical care decisions for Terri.

Related web sites:
Decision relating to Terri’s family – https://www.2dca.org/opinion/February%2013,%202004/2D03-5200.pdf
Decision relating to Governor Bush – https://www.2dca.org/opinion/February%2013,%202004/2D03-5783.pdf
Terri Schiavo’s family – https://www.terrisfight.org