Two Florida Courts Reject Schindlers' Last-minute Efforts
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 17, 2003
TAMPA, FLORIDA--Two separate Florida courts on Friday turned down requests by the parents of Terri Schiavo to have their daughter's feeding tube reinstalled two days after it was removed by court order.
Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Sjostrom of Tallahassee rejected a last-minute request by Bob and Mary Schindler to direct Governor Jeb Bush to stop their daughter's starvation death. Sjostrom said the request should have been filed in Pinellas County, where Judge George Greer originally ordered the feeding tube removed.
The 1st District Court of Appeal then denied the Schindlers' request without comment.
The requests were what Schindlers' attorney Patricia Anderson called a "Hail Mary" effort, that did not hold much promise.
"There has been an awful lot of judicial attention to this case," Anderson said. "Judges don't like to second-guess each other."
The Schindlers want the governor to open an investigation into their suspicions Terri was abused by her husband and guardian, Michael Schiavo. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Pinellas County State Attorney's Office have refused to investigate, citing a lack of evidence.
Terri's feeding tube was removed Wednesday at the request of Mr. Schiavo, who claims his wife told him she would not have wanted to live "by artificial means". Terri has breathed and regulated her own blood pressure without artificial means since she collapsed from a chemical imbalance in February 1990 and was without oxygen for several minutes. Some doctors have said that Terri is in a "persistent vegetative state" and that there is no chance for her to recover.
Terri's parents have fought Mr. Schiavo in the courts for the last six years to keep their daughter alive, claiming that Schiavo failed to mention his wife's wishes until after winning a $1 million settlement from a malpractice lawsuit. The Schindlers have suspected that Schiavo wants Terri to die so he can have what's left of the settlement, and so he can marry another woman. They have wanted the state to investigate their allegations that Schiavo may have been responsible for Terri's initial collapse along with his refusal to allow rehabilitative therapies.
Doctors say Terri will likely survive 7 to 14 days from when the feeding tube was removed.
Disability rights advocates and right-to-life groups have been holding a round-the-clock vigil since the first of the week.
"Terri Schiavo's parents could never have imagined" (World Net Daily)
"Patient won't suffer, doctors say" (Sun-Sentinel)
"Terri Schiavo's Right To Live" (Inclusion Daily Express)
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation