Federal Judge Refuses To Stop Scheduled Feeding Tube
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 10, 2003
TAMPA, FLORIDA--After a three-hour hearing Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Lazzara refused to stop the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, scheduled for October 15.
Lazzara said he would not grant an injunction because he had no jurisdiction in the case and because Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, failed to provide him with enough evidence. The Schindlers wanted Lazzara to order tests to determine if Terri can learn to swallow food on her own before the feeding tube is removed.
Also on Friday, attorneys for the Schindlers filed an appeal to the 2nd District Court of Appeal to have Circuit Court Judge George Greer removed from Terri's case. Greer has consistently sided with Terri's husband and guardian, Michael Schiavo, who first requested to have her feeding tube removed in 1998. Greer has also refused to allow rehabilitative therapies, including speech and swallowing therapies.
"Who knows what it means for Terri?" the Schinder's attorney, Pat Anderson, said of Friday's ruling. "But it's not the end of the road yet. As long as she is alive, there's hope."
Terri collapsed and her brain was without oxygen for several minutes in February 1990. Since then, Terri has breathed on her own, but receives food and water through a gastronomy tube installed in the wall of her stomach. Some doctors claim she is in a "persistent vegetative state", and that she will not improve.
Michael Schiavo has said that his wife would not have wanted to be kept alive by "artificial means". Florida courts have agreed with his desire to allow Terri to starve to death.
Terri's parents argue that their daughter is alert, follows some instructions, smiles, laughs, and tries to speak. They 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, and because he wants to marry another woman.
Several groups, including disability rights advocates, are planning vigils for this coming week if Terri's feeding tube is removed as scheduled.
"Federal judge says Terri Schiavo must die" (World Net Daily)
"Terri Schiavo's Right To Live" (Inclusion Daily Express)
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation