Judge Will Rehear Motion Friday in Terri Schiavo’s Law Trial

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 14, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Judge Will Rehear Motion Friday in Terri Schiavo’s Law Trial

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 14, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — A local Florida judge will hold a hearing on Friday on the latest fight in the battle over Terri’s Law, the measure approved by the state legislature that allowed Governor Jeb Bush to ask doctors to reinsert Terri’s feeding tube.

In February, the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that attorneys for Governor Bush, who are seeking to defend the pro-life law, should be able to question witnesses in the case.

Circuit Court Judge Douglas Baird had initially refused to allow Governor Bush’s attorneys to make their case that Terri would not have wanted to have her life ended prematurely.

"A complete bar to the taking of any depositions may cause harm" to the governor’s case, the appeals court ruled.

The appeals court directed Judge Baird to revisit his order denying the depositions and, if he denies them again, to come up with a more legally sound reason for not allowing them.

Bush attorney Ken Connor, former president of the pro-life Family Research Council, says establishing that Terri would not have wanted to be killed is important to defending Terri’s Law.

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

Connor plans to take depositions from seven people, including Terri’s estranged husband Michael, in order to ascertain what Terri’s wishes would be and show that she would not want her live to be ended. He also wants to depose Jodi Centonze, the woman with whom Michael is living.

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

Michael claimed years after Terri’s collapse — and only after their 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.

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

Both Bush’s attorneys and Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri’s parents, have said Baird has all but decided in favor of Michael.

Related web sites:
Appeals court decision –
Terri Schiavo’s family – https://www.terrisfight.org