Terri Schiavo’s Parents Back in Court, Hope Florida Legislature Will Help

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 7, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Parents Back in Court, Hope Florida Legislature Will Help Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 7, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s parents were back in court on Monday in what is the beginning of a week filled with court hearings on several 11th hour efforts to save their daughter’s life.

Bob and Mary Schindler and their attorneys are frantically working to come up with any solution that will stop or postpone the March 18 date on which Terri’s estranged husband Michael can starve her to death.

On Monday, Circuit Court Judge George Greer heard arguments in favor of 10 motions, including one permitting Terri to be fed by mouth should her feeding tube be removed.

On Tuesday, the Schindlers are scheduled to return to court to make the case that Judge Greer ruled incorrectly in 2000 when he first approved Michael’s ability to remove Terri’s feeding tube.

They say he misinterpreted a conversation Terri had with her friend about Karen Ann Quinlan, another disabled woman previously in the national spotlight over euthanasia. Terri had told a friend she would not want her food and water taken away, as happened to Quinlan.

The Schindlers will also argue Tuesday that Terri should undergo further cognitive and other medical tests before her feeding tube is removed.

On Wednesday, Judge Greer will hold a hearing on a request by the Florida Department of Children and Families to postpone the starvation by 60 days to investigate numerous allegations that Michael abused or neglected Terri.

Attorney David Gibbs, who represents the Schindlers, said Monday they are hopeful they can further spare Terri’s life.

After the Monday hearings, Greer immediately ruled against two motions — one allowing members of the media to visit Terri and another allowing Terri to die at home with her family if the feeding tube is ultimately removed.

Meanwhile, the Schindlers are looking to the state legislature for assistance.

When Michael was last able to remove Terri’s gastric tube, the Florida state legislature passed Terri’s Law, which allowed Governor Jeb Bush to ask doctors to prevent the starvation. Florida courts eventually held that law unconstitutional.

Now, the Schindlers and pro-life groups are hoping lawmakers will pass legislation that would require courts and doctors to presume that any disabled patients unable to make their own health care decisions, such as Terri, would not want to have food and water taken away from them.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing soon after lawmakers convene their 60-day session on Tuesday.