Jeb Bush, Pro-Life Groups Want Florida Leg. to Protect Terri Schiavo

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Jeb Bush, Pro-Life Groups Want Florida Leg. to Protect Terri Schiavo

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 21, 2005

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Congress may have approved legislation designed to help Terri Schiavo and President Bush may have signed it. However, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and pro-life groups want the Florida legislature to pass a bill that would be more comprehensive than the one passed in Washington.

Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican, praised Congress and his brother, the president, for their actions. With a federal district judge likely to rule against the Schindlers in their efforts to prevent Terri’s starvation death, a Florida bill is needed.

”I don’t believe [the congressional bill] takes away responsibility of the Florida Legislature or this office to act in a way that deals with these issues going forward and deals with Terri Schiavo,” Bush told the Miami Herald newspaper Monday.

Pro-life groups moved their protests from Terri’s hospice in southwest Florida to Tallahassee to lobby lawmakers.

Some covered their mouths with red tape with the message "Life" and others held signs such as Schiavo is starving. What are you doing?”

A group of seven pro-life advocates tried to address legislative committee meetings on Monday but were prevented.

Dr. Gary Cass, executive director of Coral Ridge Ministries’ Center for Reclaiming America, took more than 200,000 petitions Monday afternoon to the Florida legislature urging them to pass a bill.

"I support legislative, judicial and executive efforts that will stop the forced starvation of Terri Schiavo," the petition says.

Kate Adamson, a formerly paralyzed stroke victim had her own feeding tube removed for eight days. She joined Cass at a press conference to ask for a bill to be approved.

The Florida House passed a measure last week by a large bipartisan margin that would have required courts and doctors to presume that a patient would want food and water unless they had previously indicated otherwise in an advance directive.

Terri never indicated the kind of medical treatment she would want in any sort of legal document, though she told a best friend that she would not want to be deprived of lifesaving medical care.

However, the Senate opposed the bill on a 21-16 margin.