Terri Schiavo’s Starvation On Hold Until March While Parents Continue Battle

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

Terri Schiavo’s Starvation On Hold Until March While Parents Continue Battle

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 25, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNerws.com) — A Florida judge has again postponed the starvation death of Terri Schiavo while her parents continue their legal battle to save her life.

Terri’s estranged husband Michael must now wait until March 18 to remove the feeding tube providing her with food and water while Bob and Mary Schindler take their case back to the Supreme Court.

Circuit Judge George Greer issued a written order Friday afternoon to attorneys for both sides.

It gives the Schindlers time to appeal a Florida appeal court ruling that overturn their motion to stop the starvation based on arguments that it would violate Terri’s religious liberties. The Schindlers point to their daughter’s Catholic faith and say she would not want to be starved to death over a painful week-long process.

The Schindlers’ argument has been buttressed by recent statements from Pope John Paul II, who has said starving a disabled patient like Terri constitutes "euthanasia by omission."

However, Greer’s order also scheduled removal of the feeding tube for 1 p.m. on March 18 and denied a longer stay preventing Terri’s death. Because of that, the Schindlers are expected to appeal Friday’s ruling.

To prevent Terri’s death in March, the Schindlers will need to obtain a stay from the Supreme Court, appelate courts that are considering other legal arguments, or from Greer prior to that date.

Such a stay likely won’t come from Judge Greer.

In his three page order, Greer wrote that the case must eventually end and he will soon stop issuing new stays for new arguments to save Terri’s life.

"The court is no longer comfortable granting stays simply upon the filings of new motions," Greer wrote. "There will always be ‘new’ issues that can be pled."

The Schindlers say that their daughter needs more medical tests to determine whether she has the capcity to be rehabilitated from her current condition.

They point to a recent study conducted by a team of neuroscientists in New York, New Jersey and Washington used imaging technology (MRIs) to compare the brain activity of two disabled people in conditions similar to Terri’s and the level of activity of health individuals.

As expected, the minimally conscious subjects showed brain activity at less than half the levels of the healthy subjects.

But, the researchers also made audio recordings of loved ones telling cherished stories or recalling shared experiences. In each of the brain-damaged patients while the recordings played, the level of neural activity matched that of the health patients.

Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Children & Families wants 60 days to conduct an investigation into new allegations that Terri Schiavo was abused or mistreated.

An attorney for the Schindlers told Judge Greer on Friday that the agency says it has concerns that Terri has been denied medical treatment and rehabilitative care.

Judge Greer has previously ruled that Michael has the legal authority to remove Terri’s feeding tube and it has been removed twice before for brief periods.

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