Terri Schiavio’s Starvation Death Can Continue, Florida Appeals Court Rules

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 17, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavio’s Starvation Death Can Continue, Florida Appeals Court Rules Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 17, 2005

Lakeland, FL (LifeNews.com) — A Florida appeals court on Wednesday refused to block the removal of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube and schedule a new trial. Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, hoped the court would agree that Terri’s rights have never been represented in court because she has never had her own attorney.

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes or last-minute legislation is passed in the Florida legislature or Congress, Terri’s estranged husband Michael will have the right to begin the painful 7-10 day starvation process on Friday afternoon.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal also refused to grant a 60-day delay requested by the Florida Department of Children and Families. The state agency hopes to investigate more than 30 allegations of abuse and neglect of Terri at the hand of Michael.

The appellate court said that the issues the Schindlers raised were not new and have been heard before.

David Gibbs, the Schindler’s attorney, said he plans to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

He said the Schindlers want the high court to also look into whether Terri’s religious liberties have been violated. They say that, as a Catholic, Terri would not have supported starving her to death.

The Florida DCF had appealed a ruling by Circuit Court Judge Greer overturning their delay request.

DCF supervisor Susan McPhee told Judge Greer during a hearing that Michael has denied her medical treatment and isolated her in her hospice room with the blinds closed and prevented her from going outdoors.

Those are just some of the "30 detailed allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation" the agency received in a 34-page document in February.

Other DCF concerns include Michael’s failure to follow state law and provide an annual guardianship and medical care plan for Terri, failure to provide Terri with medical care and rehabilitative therapy as he told a court he would do, and lack of moving Terri from her bed which has caused her "severe contractures."

"The allegations … go to the heart of whether abuse, neglect and/or exploitation has been perpetrated by the guardian such that any relief afforded by this court to this guardian prior to the conclusion of such investigation would be tragically misplaced," the petition said.

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