Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube Can be Removed Appeals Court Says

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 22, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Feeding Tube Can be Removed Appeals Court Says Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 22, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — A Florida appeals court cleared the way for Terri Schaivo’s estranged husband Michael to remove her feeding tube this afternoon. The court issued a mandate that lifts a stay that had been in place preventing him from doing so.

The Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal issued the one-page mandate finalizing its decision against an argument by Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler that starving their daughter to death would violate her religious liberties.

Now, Michael, who lives with another woman and has two children with her, can order doctors to remove the feeding tube as early as this afternoon.

An attorney for the Schindlers yesterday asked Circuit Court Judge George Greer for an emergency order preventing removal of the feeding tube until a Wednesday hearing on whether to issue another stay while the Schindlers appeal the 2nd District’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Greer’s secretary told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper Monday 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.

If Judge Greer does not agree to the emergency order, Michael can 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.

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?"

Related web sites:
Terri’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org