Poll Claims Florida Residents Back Overturning Terri Schiavo’s Law

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 11, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll Claims Florida Residents Back Overturning Terri Schiavo’s Law Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 11, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — A new poll claims a majority of Florida residents support the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Terri’s Law, a measure passed by the state legislature that allowed Governor Jeb Bush to prevent Terri Schiavo from being starved to death by her estranged husband.

According to a Mason-Dixon poll released late last week, 47 percent of Florida residents supported the Florida high court’s decision to overturn the law while only 32 percent opposed it.

However, highlighting the confusing presentation of Terri Schiavo’s plight in the media, 21 percent of Florida citizens said they were not sure if they supported the court’s decision.

In the Mason-Dixon poll, men and women were equally in favor of the Florida court’s decision (46 and 48% respectively).

However, Florida residents were split on the decision by political party with Democrats favoring the decision to overturn Terri’s Law by a 64-19 percent majority and Republicans opposing it by a 47-29 percent margin.

The results of the poll conflict with another one conducted by Wilson Research Strategies August 13-15.

That poll showed 46 percent of respondents say Terri should continue to be provided food and water through a gastric tube that is helping the disabled woman stay alive. Only 32 said the feeding tube should be removed.

Terri’s father Bob Schindler previously told LifeNews.com, "If the people who were polled knew the entire truth about Terri’s potential to recover and the fact that she has been denied any rehabilitation to assist her for over ten years, the percentage favoring continuation of Terri’s feeding and hydration would be overwhelming."

In a unanimous 7-0 ruling three weeks ago, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the law violated the separation of powers clause in the state constitution by essentially allowing Governor Bush to overturn a lower court’s decision allowing Terri’s estranged husband Michael to end her life.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush has directed his attorneys to ask the state’s high court to reexamine its decision overturning Terri’s Law.

The Mason-Dixon poll asked the following question of respondents:

"Recently, Florida’s Supreme Court struck down a state law that is keeping Terry Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged Clearwater woman, alive. Schiavo left no living will or instructions, but her ex-husband won a court order to remove her feeding tube. Schiavo’s parents and other family members fought this decision and persuaded Governor Bush and the State Legislature to pass a law to keep her alive. The state’s highest court declared "Terri’s Law" unconstitutional, saying the Legislature and governor had intruded on the power of the courts. Do you approve or disapprove of this court decision?"

Related web sites:
Florida Supreme Court Opinion –
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org