Victims Rights Group Wants Gov. Bush to Stop Terri Schiavo Starvation

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

Victims Rights Group Wants Gov. Bush to Stop Terri Schiavo Starvation

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 14, 2005

Tallahassee, FL ( — A victims rights group that has come to the aid of Terri Schiavo and her parents is calling on Florida Governor Jeb Bush to issue an executive order to preventing doctors from removing the disabled woman’s feeding tube on Friday.

Ted Hires, president and founder of the Justice Coalition, a Florida-based group, told a crowd of more than 300 people holding a rally over the weekend outside the Florida state legislature.

Hires says he wants Governor Bush to send the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, where Terri lives, to prevent her starvation, scheduled for Friday.

However, the last time Governor Bush tried to intervene, a Florida Supreme Court called it an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers.

The Justice Coalition also wants Governor Bush to appoint a special prosecutor and the FDLE to look into the cause of Terri’s collapse in 1990.

A bone scan conducted on Terri a year after her collapse showed evidence of physical trauma and possible abuse — leading some to speculate that Terri may have collapsed because she was abused by her now-estranged husband Michael.

“After a thorough review of Terri Shiavo’s case and seeking the opinion of legal counsel, I have concluded that Terri Schiavo is most certainly a victim," Hires said.

"There is a very real possibility that an act of domestic violence caused Terri’s present condition. The public has a right to know the truth regarding these criminal allegations and until they are investigated, we will not know the answers," Hires added.

Former Schindler attorney, Pat Anderson, had requested an investigation two years ago, but representatives of the Florida Department of Children and Families told her that supervisors in the region looked into the case by chose not to get involved.

Hires said he didn’t believe that answer.

Hires reminded the crowd of Terri supporters that Michael prohibited Terri from receiving most medical care and any rehabilitative treatment after he and Terri won a medical malpractice award.

Michael had initially promised to use the money on medical care and treatment, but has instead used it to pay legal bills to move ahead with Terri’s starvation.