Supreme Court Ruling Could Lead to Removing Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 25, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Supreme Court Ruling Could Lead to Removing Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 25, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Following the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday not to hear Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s appeal of a Florida court’s decision to overturn Terri’s Law, the next question is when Terri’s estranged husband Michael may have permission to remove Terri’s feeding tube for a third and final time.

Bush attorney Ken Conner, the former president of the pro-life Family Research Council, said a stay remains in place preventing Michael from removing Terri’s feeding tube until her parents learn if a Florida appeals court will hear their case to replace him as Terri’s legal guardian.

Michael’s lead attorney, euthanasia advocate George Felos, would not predict when Michael would be able to remove the feeding tube, a process which will cause Terri a one-two week long painful starvation death.

He told the Associated Press he is concerned that Terri’s parents will continue to file what he terms "frivolous appeals" that will further delay the case.

"We are just hoping that the court sees through this abuse of the legal system and says no," Felos said. "This case is not going to end until the courts summon up the courage and resolve to say we are not going to permit this abuse anymore."

Michael must wait until Terri’s parents exhaust a few 11th-hour legal options. Should they lose those efforts, he could remove her feeding tube as early as the beginning for February.

Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, say Michael is unfit to be Terri’s guardian because of numerous conflicts of interest – including that he is living with another woman and has two children with her, while still married to Terri.

They also say Terri has never had an attorney on her behalf in the years-long legal battle between Michael and the Schindlers.

Their case is headed back to Circuit Court Judge George Greer on Friday, who has almost always ruled against the Schindlers and twice before granted Michael the right to euthanize Terri.

Robert Schindler, speaking at Monday’s March for Life in Washington told those at the rally against abortion that Terri’s family will never give up. He blasted the Supreme Court’s decision.

"What happened here today is judicial homicide," he said. "It borders on the criminal. They’ve ignored all the facts. Terri is not a person in a vegetative state. Terri talks. She reacts to the family. She reacts to commands. She needs therapy and she’s been denied it for 10 years."

Terri’s feeding tube was removed in October 2003, but doctors reinserted it at Bush’s request after the legislature passed Terri’s law.

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Terri Schiavo’s parents –