Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Appellate Court Ignores Advocates, Orders Terri Schiavo's Feeding Tube Removed
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 6, 2003

LAKELAND, FLORIDA--Bob and Mary Schindler were dealt another blow Friday in their fight to save the life of their daughter, Terri Marie Schiavo.

Florida's 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that Circuit Judge George W. Greer was right last year when he scheduled the removal of the feeding tube that is keeping Terri alive. The three-member appeals court said that there is "no hope of a medical cure" and that there is "clear and convincing evidence" that she would not want to live in her present condition.

Schiavo had a heart attack on February 25, 1990 and was without oxygen for about five minutes. Some doctors say her brain was damaged to the point where she is in a "persistent vegetative state". Other doctors have said Terri would benefit from innovative therapies.

Her parents say Terri is alert and responsive, that she laughs at jokes, turns her head, smiles, cries, moans and drinks water.

Schiavo's husband and guardian, Michael, is pushing to have Terri's feeding tube removed so she will die. He claims that she told him, before the heart attack, that she would not want to live if she were disabled to this extent.

The Schindlers say that Michael Schiavo wants the remainder of a $700,000 medical trust fund awarded to his wife in a 1992 malpractice lawsuit that would revert back to him if she dies. They believe he also wants to marry another woman, with whom he had a baby girl in September.

Doctors say that if Terri's feeding tube is removed, she would likely die within two weeks.

Pat Anderson, the Schindlers' attorney, said they would appeal the latest ruling to the Florida Supreme Court. That court declined to hear the case two years ago. The U.S. Supreme Court has also refused to hear the case.

"I have prepared them the day will come when there will not be anymore legal options," Anderson said of Terri's parents. "That day has not arrived."

In February of this year, twelve disability rights groups, a university affiliated policy center, a patients' rights group, and two people who have experienced severe brain injuries filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief supporting Terri's right to food, water and treatment.

"This case reflects whether our society and legal system values the lives of people with disabilities equally to those without disabilities,"said attorney Max Lapertosa.

Related resources:
"Timeline of the Terri Schiavo case" (Associated Press via Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

"Terri Schiavo's Right To Life" (Inclusion Daily Express)


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.