Governor Jeb Bush May Have Found a Way to Help Terri Schiavo

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

Governor Jeb Bush May Have Found a Way to Help Terri Schiavo Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 23, 2005

Tallahassee, FL ( — Florida Governor Jeb Bush may have found a method of helping Terri Schiavo, the disabled woman at the center of a national euthanasia controversy.

The Florida Department of Children & Families investigated a way to intervene in the case on Wednesday, just hours after Bush told reporters in a press conference that he would do everything legally possible to help Terri’s parents prevent her estranged husband from starving her to death.

Details of just how DCF would get involved were not yet available, according to an Associated Press report.

Also on Wednesday, Circuit Court Judge George Greer extended a stay preventing the starvation until Friday so the Schindlers could have two more days to take care of additional appeals and legal motions.

However, Judge Greer prevented a DCF representative from being able to speak at the afternoon hearing.

The news had Terri’s father, Bob Schindler, hopeful again.

"We are really elated," Schindler told AP. "Forty-eight hours to us right now seems like six years. We pray to God and we thank God that we have some time and our very, very thankful that DCF has picked this up."

However, euthanasia advocate George Felos, the lead attorney for Michael, criticized the Bush administrations latest efforts saying it "reeks of the intervention of politics into the case and is an affront to the court."

DCF may have gotten involved, according to Felos and Schindler attorney David Gibbs, because of a bone scan conducted on Terri after she collapsed 15 years ago.

Though they were never investigated, because local authorities said they were too old to go into, DCF may be alleging that Michael abused Terri to cause the physical head trauma the scans displayed.

Terr is alleged to have made statements before the collapse to her family and friends that she was unhappy in her marriage, but Michael has denied hurting her.

In a press conference Wednesday, 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."

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