Terri Schiavo’s Family Prevented From Joining Terri’s Law Suit

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 1, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Family Prevented From Joining Terri’s Law Suit

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 1, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The family of disabled woman Terri Schiavo was prevented on Wednesday from joining Florida Governor Jeb Bush in an effort to defend Terri’s Law from a challenge by Terri’s estranged husband Michael.

The Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld a ruling issued by Circuit Court Judge Douglas Baird that disallowed the Schindler family entry into the lawsuit.

While the appeal’s court did not tender an opinion, it likely agreed with Judge Baird, who said the Schindler family was not directly affected by the outcome of the case.

George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael’s attorney, filed the lawsuit to overturn Terri’s Law, passed by the state legislature last October to grant Governor Bush the ability to direct doctors to reinsert Terri’s feeding tube.

Michael wants to end Terri’s life and, without the gastric tube, Terri had only days to live.

Felos claimed the law is unconstitutional because it violated the separation of powers by granting authority to Governor Bush that trumped the power of the courts.

"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," Schindler continued. "I just can’t understand how any judge would think that her mother and I have no interest in protecting her life."

Attorneys for Governor Bush are actively defending the law and will appear at a Florida Supreme Court hearing on the lawsuit set for August 31.

The Schindler family can still file amicus briefs in the case supporting Bush’s position in favor of Terri’s Law, but cannot become a party in the lawsuit.

Related web sites:
Judge Baird’s order denying intervention – https://zimp.org/documents/AmendedOrderDenyingInt031104.pdf
Terri Schindler’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org