by Steven Ertelt
March 25, 2005
Tampa, FL (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge has turned down an emergency request to save Terri Schiavo. Bob and Mary Schindler had turned to U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore a second time hoping he would change his mind from a decision earlier in the week against taking their case and stopping Terri’s painful starvation death.
In his ruling, according to an AP report, Judge Whittemore again said the Schindlers could not establish "a substantial likelihood of success on the merits" of their lawsuit.
Whittemore heard over three hours worth of arguments on Thursday evening and said he would stay at the courthouse until he made his decision, which he handed down early Friday morning.
David Gibbs, the Schindlers’ attorney, told Whittemore that Terri is not in a persistent vegetative state and highlighted new analysis from two neurologists who have thoroughly reviewed Terri’s medical records.
They say that Terri is in a minimally conscious state and interacts with her parents, family and others on a limited basis.
Gibbs asked Judge Whittemore to allow Terri to have food and water while the legal fight between the Schindlers and Terri’s estranged husband Michael continues.
However, George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael’s lead attorney, told Whittemore, "The interminable adjudication of Mrs. Schiavo’s right has to come to an end.”
"She is seven days into her death process. She has a right to die in peace,” Felos said, according to an Associated Press report.
Whittemore told Gibbs not to discuss the case in emotional terms. Instead, he wanted a discussion of the legal merits of the Schindlers’ arguments.
"The emotional aspects of this case and the rhetoric cannot influence this court. You know it and I want the public to know it,” Whittemore told Gibbs. He said he must "follow the rule of law.”
Gibbs stated that Terri’s rights to life and privacy were being violated. He said that every person is entitled to a right to life under the 14th Amendment and that "life can’t be denied."
Gibbs said he had new expert witnesses who could provide valuable information in a new trial and asked Judge Whittemore to stop Terri’s starvation for 30 days to hold it.
"Give us enough time to keep Terri alive," he said.
"We hope to save Terri’s life," Gibbs said as he arrived at the federal courthouse. "This could be it, so let’s pray. We think there is some new ground and we are going right to the heart of the matter."
Related news stories:
Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org