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Judge refuses request to order Schiavo’s tube re-inserted

TAMPA, Fla. (BP)–A federal judge March 22 refused to order the re-insertion of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube, handing her parents a loss after Congress had given them a second chance in the lengthy court battle. The judge’s ruling is being appealed.

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore, an appointee of President Clinton, refused to order the tube be placed back in Schiavo, who has been without hydration and nutrition since March 18, when the tube was pulled. If not reinserted she will die of starvation and dehydration within a week or so.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta will consider the appeal.

In his ruling Whittemore wrote that Bob and Mary Schindler — Schiavo’s parents — had not “established a substantial likelihood of success on the merits.”

Schiavo’s case has captured the nation’s attention in recent weeks. For years her parents and her husband have been in a legal struggle over whether she should live or die. While her husband, Michael Schiavo, says she would not want to live in her present state, no written request exists. Meanwhile, he has lived with his girlfriend, by whom he has fathered two children. Terri Schiavo’s parents say she has the capacity to swallow and could be fed orally. She is 41.

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