Terri Schiavo’s Parents Appeal Ruling Preventing Defense of Terri’s Law

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

Terri Schiavo’s Parents Appeal Ruling Preventing Defense of Terri’s Law

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 6, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life law firm that is aiding Terri Schiavo’s parents said on Monday it has filed an appeal with a Florida appeals court of the decision to prevent Terri’s parents from helping Governor Jeb Bush defend Terri’s Law.

Terri’s estranged husband Michael Schiavo filed a lawsuit late last year against the law, which allowed Bush to ask doctors to reinsert a feeding tube that is providing Terri with food and water. Michael wants to end Terri’s life and without the gastric tube, Terri had only days to live.

But in February, Circuit Court Judge Douglas Baird denied the Schindlers’ request. The Second District Court of Appeal ruled Baird used the wrong basis for refusing the request and instructed him to reexamine the motion.

Baird then denied the request a second time saying the legal rights of the Schindlers were not affected by the outcome of the Terri’s Law case.

"We will once again appeal a legally flawed decision that excludes the parents of Terri Schindler Schiavo from direct involvement in defending a law that is keeping their daughter alive," said Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice.

Sekulow said he the appeals court took Baird to task before and he was hopeful they would be sympathetic a second time.

"In order for the Schindlers to be entitled to intervene in this cause, they must demonstrate an interest in the matter in litigation of such a direct and immediate character that they will either gain or lose by the direct legal operation and effect of judgment," Baird wrote in his opinion.

But Terri’s father Robert Schindler, told LifeNews.com that he and Mary have tremendous interest in Terri’s well-being — more so than Terri’s estranged husband Michael.

"Imagine being told that you have no interest in your own child," Terri’s father told LifeNews.com. "I just cannot understand why this court continues to deny our daughter protection but affords so much to her guardian."

"Terri is our daughter, our eldest child and a human being that we are bound to by both love and responsibility," Robert continued. "I just can’t understand how any judge would think that her mother and I have no interest in protecting her life."

"Terri’s parents have sound legal reasons for intervening directly in this case," Sekulow added.

The ACLU is backing Michael’s attorney, George Felos, an assisted suicide advocate.

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

Related web sites:
Judge Baird’s order denying intervention – https://zimp.org/documents/AmendedOrderDenyingInt031104.pdf
Terri Schindler’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org
American Center for Law and Justice – https://www.aclj.org