Governor Bush Fights to Prevent Terri Schiavo’s Death During Appeal

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 26, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Governor Bush Fights to Prevent Terri Schiavo’s Death During Appeal Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 26, 2004

Tallahassee, FL ( — Florida Governor Jeb Bush intends to appeal the decision overturning a law written to protect Terri Schiavo’s life to the Supreme Court.

In the meantime, his attorneys have filed a request with Florida’s top court to make sure Terri’s estranged husband doesn’t take her life before the Supreme Court has a chance to hear his appeal.

Governor Bush says he has received a letter from Michael Schiavo, who is living with another woman and has two children with her, saying he will attempt to remove Terri’s feeding tube as soon as possible.

If the gastric tube is removed, denying her food and water, Terri will die from a painful week-long starvation death.

Attorneys for the governor filed a motion on Friday asking the Florida Supreme Court to prevent Michael from removing the feeding tube until he can make his case to the U.S. Supreme Court that Terri’s Law is constitutional.

Governor Bush says Michael Schiavo will suffer "no irreparable harm," if the removal of the feeding tube is postponed while the legal battle continues.

In the motion, Bush’s attorneys say they received a letter on Friday from Schiavo’s attorney, euthanasia advocate George Felos, saying Michael "intended to proceed as quickly as possible" to remove Terri’s gastric tube.

Bush’s attorneys intend to file their motion to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case within the next two weeks.

Last week, the Florida Supreme Court 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 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.

Bush’s attorneys wanted a chance to show Terri would have chosen lifesaving medical care and rehabilitation rather than euthanasia. The state’s high court never allowed them that opportunity, which prompted the request for the rehearing and is prompting the Supreme Court appeal.

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:
Bush’s motion on the feeding tube –
Terri Schiavo’s parents –