March 26, 2005 in Nation/World

Schiavo’s parents’ appeal fails

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Bob Schindler gives an update on the condition of his daughter, Terri Schiavo, on Friday.
(Full-size photo)

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – A federal appeals court panel refused to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube Friday, hours after the severely brain-damaged woman’s father said she was weakening and down “to her last hours.”

In its ruling, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said it had already ruled on most of the issues raised in the latest appeal, and that other issues raised did not apply to the case.

It marked the third time in four days the court had denied an emergency request made by Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. Attorneys for the parents said they planned to appeal, but would wait until this morning.

Doctors have said Schiavo would probably die within a week or two of the feeding tube being removed, which was done March 18 after a judge sided with her husband’s argument that she would not want to be kept alive artificially.

As she entered her second week without the tube that sustained her life for 15 years, dehydration took its toll on the 41-year-old woman. Her tongue and eyes were bleeding and her skin was flaking off, said Barbara Weller, the Schindlers’ attorney.

“Terri is weakening. She’s down to her last hours. Something has to be done and has to be done quick,” said Bob Schindler, who visited his daughter Friday morning. After a later visit, he added: “I told her that we’re still fighting for her, and she shouldn’t give up because we’re not. But I think the people who are anxious to see her die are getting their wish.”

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the same court that has ruled against the parents twice this week.

Attorneys for Michael Schiavo, Terri’s husband, argued that the Schindlers had abandoned all pretense of the law and are simply making “a pure emotional appeal.”

Another legal maneuver Friday included a late afternoon filing asking Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer to order the reinsertion of the tube, claiming Terri Schiavo tried to say “I want to live” when her tube was removed. The motion said Schiavo was asked to repeat that phrase and responded: “AHHHHH” and “WAAAAAAA.”

Doctors who have examined her for the court case have said her previous utterances weren’t speech, but were involuntary moans consistent with someone in a vegetative state. Greer, who had ordered the tube removed, was expected to announce a decision by noon today.

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