Terri Schiavo’s Family Begins 24 Hour Vigil, Governor Bush Trying to Help

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 23, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Family Begins 24 Hour Vigil, Governor Bush Trying to Help

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 23, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — With time and legal options running out, the parents of Terri Schiavo have started a 24 hour prayer vigil outside the Florida hospice where she lives. Bob and Mary Schindler and Terri’s bother and sister have been joined by dozens of pro-life advocates at the Woodside Hospice in St. Petersburg, where Terri lives.

Meanwhile, a pro-life activist asked by the Schindlers to help their cause is appealing to the Florida legislature to give them a hand.

Randall Terry is hoping Florida Governor Jeb Bush will ask the state legislature to convene in a special session to pass legislation that would help Terri and other disabled patients like her.

A pro-life lawmaker has filed a bill that would require doctors and the courts to presume that an incapacitated patient would not want to have food and water denied to them if they have not previously issued an advance directive saying otherwise.

Rep. Dennis Baxley, a Republican from Ocala, is the sponsor of the bill. However, he said his bill would need some fine tuning before being considered.

"It may need some more wordsmithing," he told the Tallahassee Democrat. "I feel like we’re at a juncture where all of the legal options need to be looked at."

In a press conference, Bush said he was exploring every legal possibility to again prevent Terri from being starved to death. He called the effort a "work in progress."

"I can assure you, I will do whatever I can within the means, within the laws, of our state to protect this woman’s life," Bush said Wednesday. "I won’t go beyond that."

The governor said he has received thousands of calls and emails from supporters of Terri and that he and his staff are working with attorneys at the legislature to devise a solution.

"People with deep faith and big hearts are concerned, as I am about the circumstance that Ms. Schiavo is in," the governor continued. "I want them to know I will do what I can, but there are limits to what any particular person — irrespective of the title they currently hold — can do."

Terry and some pro-life advocates picketed the home of Terri’s estranged husband Michael Wednesday morning. He told the Associated Press he had a brief conversation with Michael as police watched.

"I just spoke with him very briefly and asked him to please let Terri live, give her back to mom and dad," Terry said. "He said, ‘Mr. Terry, I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want you on my property. Good day."’

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