Judge in Terri Schiavo Case Extends Feeding Tube Removal Delay Indefinitely

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 29, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Judge in Terri Schiavo Case Extends Feeding Tube Removal Delay Indefinitely Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 29, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — In another victory for those seeking to protect the life of Terri Schiavo, the disabled woman at the center of the nation’s contentious euthanasia debate, a local judge has indefinitely extended a stay preventing her estranged husband from taking her life.

The stay allows the feeding tube to remain in place until Terri’s parents have exhausted their appeals on a new motion saying killing Terri would violate her Catholic beliefs.

The decision by Circuit Court Judge George Greer extends a previous decision he made to prevent removal of the gastric tube until December 9.

It also follows a decision by the Florida Supreme Court giving Terri a one-month lease on life while Governor Jeb Bush appeals its decision overturning Terri’s Law.

George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Terri’s attorney, called the Greer decision "outrageous" in an interview with the Associated Press.

"What everyone with any common sense should realize is this case has been mulled over time and time again," said Felos. "To permit endless stays for endless appeals is simply a miscarriage of justice."

Felos said Greer’s latest order could prevent Michael from taking Terri’s life for months, even as long as one year.

The Florida Supreme Court decided on Wednesday to give Bush’s attorneys until November 29 to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will take up its appeal of its unanimous decision overturning Terri’s Law, the measure the state legislature passed to allow Bush to prevent Terri from being starved to death.

If the nation’s top court decides to hear the case, the Florida Supreme Court will reissue the stay, allowing Terri to live during the continuation of the legal battle.

Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri’s parents, have argued that removing the feeding tube is considered "euthanasia by omission" by the Catholic Church and they say Terri would have wanted lifesaving medical care and rehabilitation instead of being euthanized.

Judge Greer said that claim wasn’t sufficient to order a new trial on whether to euthanize Terri.

However, David Gibbs, the new attorney for the Schindlers, said they are appealing the decision to the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Terri Schiavo collapsed in 1990 supposedly as a result of a potassium imbalance. However, Terri’s family has long suspected that the real cause may have been physical abuse at the hand of her estranged husband Michael.

A bone scan conducted on Terri in March 1991 showed she had several fractures and was the victim of "abnormal activity" that caused "previous traumas," indicating she may have been beaten or abused.

Michael adamantly denies having abused or mistreated his wife.

The Schindlers have tried to remove Michael as Terri’s legal guardian and replace him with Terri’s brother Bobby.

They say Michael has conflicts of interest because he is living with another woman while still legally married to Terri. He and his girlfriend Jodi Centonze have two children.

They also say Michael has violated a promise to a jury that $700,000 of a $1.5 million medical malpractice judgment awarded to him would be used to pay for rehabilitative and medical care for Terri.

After Michael received the award, he placed a "do not recesitate" order on Terri.

Related web sites:
Judge Greer’s Order – https://zimp.org/documents/102904stay.pdf
Terri’s Family – https://www.terrisfight.org