Michael Schiavo Moves To Block Bush Appeal
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 13, 2003
TAMPA, FLORIDA--Michael Schiavo on Wednesday asked a judge not to delay his suit against Governor Jeb Bush for ordering a feeding tube reinserted into his wife, Terri.
Mr. Schiavo sued Bush on October 21, the same day the governor signed "Terri's Law", which gave him authority to over-ride several court decisions and have Terri's feeding tube reinstalled just six days after it had been removed. Attorneys for Mr. Schiavo and the American Civil Liberties Union claim that the legislature and the governor overstepped their constitutional bounds by passing the law last month specifically to save Terri's life.
An attorney for Bush tried to block Mr. Schiavo's suit on Monday by filing an appeal with the 2nd District Court of Appeal. Bush's office claims that Schiavo's attorney failed to properly notify the governor of the suit. They also claim that the suit should have been filed in Leon County, where Bush is based, rather than Pinellas County, where Schiavo lives.
Bush's appeal prompted an automatic stay, which means that Terri cannot be forced off the feeding tube until after both sides present their positions through the appeal process.
Terri Schiavo's case has been watched closely by disability rights advocates for several years. Her husband and several doctors claim that she has been in a "persistent vegetative state" since she collapsed from an apparent heart attack in February 1990 at age 26. The courts have supported Mr. Schiavo's claims that Terri cannot recover from her injury, that she does not feel pain, and that she would not have wanted to live. A local judge ordered doctors to remove the gastronomy tube that provides Terri with food and water on October 15.
Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, believe that she is alert and responsive and that she might improve with rehabilitative therapies that Mr. Schiavo has denied her for at least the past 10 years. They also suspect that Terri's husband wants her to die so that he can marry another woman with whom he has fathered two children, and so he can benefit from what's left of an insurance settlement that now pays for her treatment.
The Schindlers and advocates have defended Terri's right to live, noting that allowing her to die by starvation would reinforce the message that the lives of people with certain disabilities are not worth living. With their urging, Governor Bush championed the bill that gave him permission to order Terri's feeding tube reinserted on October 21, and to appoint an independent guardian to review her situation and provide the governor with recommendations.
Columnist Wesley J. Smith on Wednesday looked at the claims by Mr. Schiavo and others that Terri's death by starvation would be painless.
"A 'Painless' Death?" column by Wesley J. Smith (Weekly Standard)
IDE Archives "Terri Schiavo's Right To Live"
IDE Archives "Robert Wendland"
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation