by Steven Ertelt
February 22, 2005
Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s estranged husband Michael plans to remove her feeding tube on Tuesday, even though a hearing on whether to renew a stay preventing him from doing so won’t take place until Wednesday.
The current stay is in effect until Tuesday afternoon, when the Florida 2nd Court of Appeal is expected to finalize its decision against a claim by Terri’s parents saying starving their daughter to death would violate her religious liberties.
Once the mandate in that decision is issued at 1 p.m. EST, Michael plans to remove the feeding tube.
How the mandate is written could change the outcome, but it is expected that it will authorize the Michael to subject Terri to the beginning of the 7 to 10-day long starvation process.
"I will not comment on the mechanism, but it’s fair to say the tube will come out as soon as the mandate is issued," euthanasia advocate George Felos, Michael’s lead attorney, said Monday.
David Gibbs, the attorney for the Schindlers, called Felos Monday to make what he described as a "personal and polite plea" to wait until after the Wednesday hearing with Circuit Court Judge George Greer before removing the gastric tube. Felos rejected the request.
Gibbs also filed an emergency motion with Judge Greer to stop the feeding tube from being removed until the Wednesday hearing.
Greer’s secretary told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper that the judge will not consider the emergency motion until he has had a chance to review the appeals court’s mandate. Depending on how the mandate is written, he could rule on the request then or wait until the Wednesday hearing to decide.
Of concern to the Schindlers is the possibility that the feeding tube would be removed Tuesday afternoon and not be put back in place until after the Wednesday hearing.
Gibbs told the Orlando newspaper he was hopeful it would not damage Terri any further.
"Terri is very strong. She has a will to live," he said at a news conference in front of the Clearwater courthouse. "Physically, Terri will withstand that, but I think that it would be unbelievably cruel for the guardian to do that. What kind of human being would say I’m going to just jerk your food away for 24 hours when there’s other legal issues pending?"