Judge Greer Refuses To Postpone Removal Of Terri Schiavo's Feeding
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 9, 2003
TAMPA, FLORIDA--Pinellas Circuit Judge George W. Greer refused Wednesday to delay the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube scheduled for October 15.
Greer said he was following orders from the 2nd District Court of Appeal when he scheduled next Wednesday as the date to have the feeding tube removed that provides nourishment to Terri. Greer added he believes he no longer has jurisdiction to postpone it.
Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, had asked Judge Greer to postpone the removal while they appeal his recent decision denying swallowing therapy that might help her relearn to eat and drink.
Larry Crow, an attorney for the Schindlers, said Greer's refusal will be taken to the appeals court, likely by the end of the week. Crow said he hopes the appellate court will issue a stay and hear their appeal.
"Until the court has fully fleshed out these issues with regard to rehabilitative swallowing therapy, Terri Schiavo should not be put to death," said Crow, a former state legislator.
U.S. District Judge Richard Lazzara is scheduled to hear arguments Friday at 1:30 p.m. on a federal discrimination lawsuit by the Schindlers seeking to remove Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, as guardian, and to order swallowing therapy for Terri.
Mr. Schiavo claims that his wife told him before her 1990 brain injury that she would not want to live "by artificial means". Judge Greer has consistently sided with his wishes to remove Terri's feeding tube.
Terri's parents claim Terri is alert, responsive and could benefit from rehabilitative therapies which Michael Schiavo has refused to allow. The Schindlers claim that Michael wants Terri to die, in part, so he will be able to take advantage of what is left of a $700,000 insurance settlement.
Disability rights advocacy groups are watching the case closely, concerned that allowing Terri to starve to death would signal that people with disabilities are not worth keeping alive.
"A sister tends to a life that cultivates her fighting spirit" (St. Petersburg Times)
"Terri Schiavo's Right To Live" (Inclusion Daily Express)
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation