Terri Schiavo’s Parents Look to Florida Legislature to Save Their Daughter

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Parents Look to Florida Legislature to Save Their Daughter Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 14, 2005

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Terri Schiavo’s parents are running out of legal options. Last week, Judge George Greer overturned more than 10 motions designed to prevent their daughter from being starved to death. Now they’re looking to the Florida legislature to save her.

Bob and Mary Schindler, along with dozens of pro-life advocates, lobbied state lawmakers on Sunday to pass legislation that would protect Terri and other disabled people like her.

The Florida legislature is considering a measure that would require courts and doctors to assume that disabled patients who are unable to make their own medical decisions would not want to be deprived of food and water.

Unless a patient had issued an advance directive stating otherwise, patients like Terri would be protected from becoming victims of euthanasia.

If approved, this would be the second time the Florida legislature has tried to save her life. A previous bill authorizing Florida Governor Jeb Bush to ask doctors to reinsert Terri’s feeding tube was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court as a violation of the separation of powers.

"As Yogi Berra says, we’re having deja vu all over again with what’s happening to Terri," her father told the crowd.

Last week, the House Health Care Regulation Committee approved the measure. It has to go before the House Judiciary Committee today and a third committee before it can receive a vote on the House floor.

Members of the Senate are considering similar legislation.

David Gibbs, the attorney for the Schindlers, told the Sun Sentinel newspaper that, "If it comes through in its present form, we believe it could save Terri’s life."

Rep. Dennis Baxley, a Republican who is the lead sponsor of the measure, said he would make sure that it applied to Terri’s situation. He also promised to do everything he could to get it passed soon.

"If I have my way, we’ll get it passed by the 18th (of March)," he said. That’s the date on which Michael is allowed to remove Terri’s gastric tube and begin a painful week-long starvation process.

Governor Jeb Bush supports the legislation and has met with Rep. Baxley to work on lobbying legislators to support it.

Meanwhile, Congress is considering a bill that could also protect Terri’s life by allowing them to take their lawsuit to federal courts. A federal court, if it agreed to take their case, could issued a stay preventing Terri’s death while it looks into the lawsuit.

Leaders of various pro-life groups will join the Schindlers this week in lobbying key lawmakers.

Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.TerrisFight.org
Florida state legislature – https://www.leg.state.fl.us