Florida Court Denies Request for Rehearing on Terri Schiavo’s Law

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 21, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Court Denies Request for Rehearing on Terri Schiavo’s Law Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 21, 2004

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request by attorneys for Governor Jeb Bush to rehear a case regarding Terri’s Law, the measure that allowed Bush to ask doctors to prevent Terri from being painfully starved to death. Last month, the state’s high court declared the law unconstitutional.

Without comment, the court decided 4-3 to not reconsider its unanimous decision saying Terri’s Law violated the separation powers clause of the state constitution.

Terri’s estranged husband Michael has been trying for years to remove her feeding tube, which would cause Terri to die a painful death via starvation.

George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael’s attorney, told the Associated Press that the ruling allows Michael to ask doctors to remove the gastric tube. However, he said Michael would wait until a decision expected tomorrow on a request for a hearing to determine if Michael is fit to remain Terri’s guardian.

Governor Bush is now left with few options to protect Terri’s life. He is considering appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could temporarily prevent Michael from taking Terri’s life.

"The legal process is narrowing down to not many options for us, but we will review them and see what the next step will be," Bush said.

Attorneys for Bush and Terri’s family say Terri would never have chosen to have food and water taken away from her — which medical experts say would cause an excruciating week-long death via starvation.

Bush’s attorneys wanted a chance to show the Florida court that Terri would have chosen lifesaving medical care and rehabilitation. The state’s high court never allowed them that opportunity, which prompted the request for the rehearing.

Terri’s feeding tube was removed for six days last October, though she was not killed. The first time the feeding tube was removed was in 2001 for two days.

A poll conducted by Wilson Research Strategies from August 13-15 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.

Related web sites:
Florida Supreme Cout on rehearing –
https://www.flcourts.org/pubinfo/summaries/briefs/04/04-925/Filed_10-21-2004_OrderRehearing.pdf
Florida Supreme Court Opinion –
https://www.flcourts.org/pubinfo/summaries/briefs/04/04-925/Filed_09-23-2004_Opinion.pdf
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org