Jeb Bush Has No Regrets on Trying to Save Terri Schiavo From Being Starved to Death

National   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Apr 20, 2015   |   6:10PM   |   Washington, DC

On April 17, presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said that looking back at his time as the Governor of Florida, he would not have handled the Terri Schiavo case any differently.

In 2003, Bush lobbied state lawmakers to pass Terri’s Law, which would have place a moratorium on deaths by starvation or dehydration and allow Bush to immediately order Terri’s feeding tube to be reinserted. Tragically, even though the legislation passed the Florida legislature, it was later deemed unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court.

At an event hosted by Saint Anselm College’s Institute of Politics Bush said, “I don’t think I would have changed anything. I stayed within the constitutional responsibilities or authority that I had. We changed the law first, and a year later it was ruled unconstitutional. Then basically, we didn’t have the ability to do anything. The federal government tried to intervene, and that was also ruled unconstitutional. So she starved to death.”

However, according to Politico, Bush did say the situation would have been better if advanced directives were in place. He said, “In hindsight, the one thing that I would have loved to have seen is an advance directive. If we’re going to mandate anything from government, it might be that if you’re going to take Medicare that you also sign up for an advance directive,” he said, “where you talk about this before you’re so disabled that then there aren’t fights within the family.” Bush added, “I think life is precious. It’s the definition of what kind of society we have. From the beginning to the end, there should be some respect.

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He concluded, “I feel sad. It was one of the most difficult things I had to go through. It broke my heart that we weren’t successful at sustaining this person’s life, so she could be loved by her mom and dad.”

As LifeNews previously reported, March 31st was the ten-year anniversary of Schiavo’s death. Earlier this year, Bobby Schinder, the brother of Terri Schiavo, described his sister’s condition in her final days on Earth.

He said, “After almost two weeks without food or water, my sister’s lips were horribly cracked, to the point where they were blistering. Her skin became jaundice with areas that turned different shades of blue. Her skin became markedly dehydrated from the lack of water. Terri’s breathing became rapid and uncontrollable, as if she was outside sprinting. Her moaning, at times, was raucous, which indicated to us the insufferable pain she was experiencing. Terri’s face became skeletal, with blood pooling in her deeply sunken eyes and her teeth protruding forward.”

Michael Schiavo, who led the relentless charge to remove Terri’s feeding tube, recently criticized Bush’s involvement in his wife’s case.

He said, “It was a living hell and I blame him. He should be ashamed. And I think people really need to know what type of person he is. To bring as much pain as he did, to me and my family, that should be an issue.”