Terri Schiavo’s Parents Argue for Medical Tests Before Starvation Death

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 8, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Parents Argue for Medical Tests Before Starvation Death Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 8, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Before Terri Schiavo’s estranged husband Michael is given the final go-ahead to starve her to death, she should be given extensive neurological tests using new medical technology. Michael is set to take Terri’s life by removing her feeding tube on March 18 unless a local judge postpones the date.

During the Tuesday hearing, Schindler attorney David Gibbs asked Circuit Court Judge George Greer to allow the motion requiring the cognitive tests.

Gibbs presented affidavits from doctors and other medical professionals who, based on seeing videotapes of Terri interacting with her parents, believe that her condition would improve if she received the medical care and rehabilitative treatment Michael has denied her for years.

Gibbs told Judge Greer that Terri deserves another neurological evaluation because the last one that she received was in 2002.

"We do believe Terri should get this benefit," Gibbs said, according to an AP report. "She deserves to have the tests run."

Responding to the request, George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael’s lead attorney, told Judge Greer that there has been no change in Terri’s condition since the last round of tests.

However, Dr. William Hammesfahr, a Nobel Prize nominated researcher who is an internationally recognized expert on cases of brain-injured patients, disagrees.

"We, and others I know, have treated many patients worse than Terri and have seen them regain independence and dignity," Hammesfahr said.

"There are many approaches that would help Terri Schiavo," Dr. Hammesfahr explained. "I know, because I had the opportunity to personally examine her, her medical records, and her X-rays."

Felos also accused Gibbs of filing dilatory motions for the Schindlers to postpone the case without merit.

Judge Greer indicated he would rule on the motion as early as Wednesday.

Gibbs also told Judge Greer that he should throw out the 2000 ruling allowing Michael to remove Terri’s feeding tube.

Gibbs says say Judge Greer 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.

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.

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.