TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (BP)–The Florida Supreme Court voted 4-3 June 16 to hear the case regarding “Terri’s Law,” in which Gov. Jeb Bush, acting with the legislature’s approval, ordered doctors to re-insert a hydration and nutrition tube for a disabled 40-year-old woman.
According to the Associated Press, the Supreme Court took the case from the 2nd District Court of Appeal, which had asked the high court to take up the matter. The high court has scheduled oral arguments for Aug. 31.
At the center of the case is Terri Schiavo, who collapsed under mysterious circumstances in 1991. At that time her brain was deprived of oxygen; she is in what some doctors call a “persistent vegetative state.” Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, disagree with that diagnosis and have said that she has never received the rehabilitation doctors recommended.
Michael Schiavo, Terri’s estranged husband and legal guardian, has tried for nearly a decade to have her feeding tube removed so that she can “die with dignity.” He has insisted she would not want to be kept alive, although both her priest and her parents have said she would not wish to be euthanized.
Bush’s attorneys have said the facts of the case are in dispute and that it should not go to the Florida Supreme Court at this time. The Schindlers have filed at least twice to have Michael Schiavo removed as Terri’s legal guardian.
Michael Schiavo argues that “Terri’s Law” is unconstitutional because it violates his wife’s right to privacy and the separation of powers between branches of government.
This story first appeared in the Florida Baptist Witness, online at www.floridabaptistwitness.com