Florida Legal Battle Involves Life and Death Debate Similar to Terri Schiavo
by Steven Ertelt
September 8, 2008
Okeechobee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A legal battle is brewing in southern Florida pitting a disabled womans husband against her family in a fight over whether or not to take her life. The battle is similar to the one the family of Terri Schiavo faced to prevent her husband from subjecting her to a painful starvation and dehydration death.
This new case involves 57-year-old Karen Weber, who doctors claim has been in a partial vegetative state since December, when she suffered a stroke.
The situation is similar to the Schiavo case in that Weber did not have a living will or other advanced directive spelling out the kind of medical care she would like should she become unable to make her own medical decisions.
Weber is currently on a feeding tube and her husband Raymond wants to end her life by removing that and starving her to death.
She has pneumonia, he told WPBF-TV. She has colostomy bags. She has a breathing apparatus."
However, Karens mother, Martha Tatro, is hoping to get a court to approve her request to prevent Raymond Weber from taking his wifes life.
I’ve told her she could live out the rest of her life and she would never have to worry about anything and I will protect her," Tatro said.
Im her mother and her husband filed a thing to take her life," Tatro told the television station.
Her sister Joyce Tatro-Manes added: A woman in the year 2007-08 should be heard, no matter if she’s impaired or not. She has a right to her opinion and she has a right to her own life.
Local courts held a guardianship hearing on Wednesday and Webers relatives told a local judge that she is able to communicate with them through blinking, nodding, and laughing.
During the hearing, Raymond Weber said he wants guardianship of his wife.
"Ive been her husband for 34 years, so why shouldn’t I have guardianship," he said.
The television station indicated a state-appointed attorney for Karen Weber suggested to the court that her husband should win the legal right to make her medical decisions and the court is expected to render a decision in about a month.
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