Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
A brain-damaged woman kept alive for years over the objection of her husband has been “stripped of her most intimate personal rights,” his lawyer said in papers filed Monday with the Florida Supreme Court. Michael Schiavo, the husband of Terri Schiavo, has sued Gov. Jeb Bush over “Terri’s Law,” a measure Bush pushed through the Legislature in October after Schiavo removed the feeding tube keeping his wife alive. Terri Schiavo had gone six days without food or water and was in the process of dying when the governor ordered her feedings resumed. Schiavo is challenging the law keeping the 40-year-old woman alive. “Mrs. Schiavo is more akin to subjects of an absolute dictatorship than citizens of a democratic state,” the written arguments by Schiavo’s attorney, George Felos, said. “Nothing could be more repugnant to the Florida Constitution.” A spokesman for Bush said Monday the governor’s office had not yet seen the filing and could not comment. Felos did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment. Arguments are scheduled before the Florida Supreme Court on Aug. 31. Terri Schiavo has depended on the feeding tube to keep her alive for more than a decade after collapsing from a chemical imbalance. Michael Schiavo said his wife, who left no written living will, would have never wanted to be kept alive artificially. But her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, say their daughter had no such death wish and persuaded Bush and the Florida Legislature to intervene. “Terri’s Law” was declared unconstitutional by a Pinellas Circuit Court judge who accepted Michael Schiavo’s arguments that it violates his wife’s privacy right and the separation of powers between Florida’s branches of government. Bush’s attorneys say the law is constitutional because it provides an extra layer of protection for the disabled. The governor also argues that the Pinellas court should not have struck down “Terri’s Law” without first holding a trial where Bush’s attorneys could question Michael Schiavo. In Monday’s filing, Felos said Bush made Mrs. Schiavo’s wishes “legally irrelevant” by substituting his own will for her right to have made private medical decisions for herself. “A hundred juries could determine Mrs. Schiavo’s wishes, yet in every instance the governor is free to ignore those wishes,” Felos wrote. Bush attorney Ken Connor has said many issues need resolution before Michael Schiavo should be allowed to remove the tube, including why he never mentioned his wife’s wishes during a malpractice trial where the couple was awarded more than $700,000 to care for Terri Schiavo until the end of her natural life. Also at issue, the governor contends, is whether there is hope for Terri Schiavo’s condition to improve through rehabilitation. Some medical experts have concluded she is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope for recovery, but her parents and other doctors disagree. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.