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Homeland Security Advisory

March 19, 2005

Feed Shark Turbo Tagger

Save Terri

PINELLAS PARK, Fla.- Lying in her hospice bed with a crowd of protesters gathering outside, Terri Schiavo stopped receiving nourishment through a feeding tube that has kept her alive for more than a decade. Activists promised to keep a vigil for Schiavo, while congressional Republicans and her parents' lawyers promised to go on fighting for her life as she spent her first full day Saturday without food and water.

Doctors removed the tube Friday despite an extraordinary, last-minute push by Republicans on Capitol Hill to use the subpoena powers of Congress to keep the brain-damaged woman alive.

Schiavo, 41, could linger one to two weeks, provided no one intercedes and gets the tube reinserted - something that has happened twice before.

Outside the hospice, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition said activists planned to try to enter the hospice Saturday morning "to try to give Terri a cup of water."

But Schiavo's husband said removing the tube was what Terri wanted. He was at her side shortly after the tube was removed at mid-afternoon.

"It felt like some peace was happening for Terri," Michael Schiavo told NBC's "Today" on Saturday. "And I felt like she was finally going to get what she wants, and be at peace and be with the Lord."

The removal signals that an end may be near in a decade-long feud between Schiavo's husband and her devoutly Roman Catholic parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. The parents have been trying to oust Michael Schiavo as their daughter's guardian and keep in place the tube that has kept her alive for more than 15 years.

Michael Schiavo says his wife told him she would not want to be kept alive artificially. Her parents dispute that, saying she could get better and that their daughter has laughed, cried, smiled and responded to their voices. Court-appointed physicians testified her brain damage was so severe that there was no hope she would ever have any cognitive abilities.

David Gibbs III, the Schindlers' attorney, said he would work through the weekend to prepare another appeal for a federal appellate court. He also said he hoped lawmakers in Washington or Tallahassee could agree on legislation that would force that the tube be reinserted.

"I'm hopeful these men and women can get a strategy, get a focus, because we're running out of time," Gibbs said.

Bobby Schindler, Terri's brother, told NBC on Saturday that the woman's family still believes she can improve with therapy.

"It's clear to us Terri is very much alive and she just needs help," he said. "There's a reason why Michael and his attorney are trying so hard to keep Terri from the public and I would just welcome the opportunity to bring Terri outside and allow the world to see her."

On Friday, Republicans on Capitol Hill used their subpoena power to demand that Terri Schiavo be brought before a congressional hearing, saying that removing the tube amounted to "barbarism." Michael Schiavo's attorney shot back at a news conference, calling the subpoenas "nothing short of thuggery."

"Terri Schiavo has a right to die in peace," attorney George Felos said.

The judge presiding over the case ruled in the husband's favor and rejected the request from House attorneys to delay the removal, which he had previously ordered to take place at 1 p.m. EST.

"I have had no cogent reason why the (congressional) committee should intervene," Circuit Judge George Greer told attorneys in a conference call, adding that last-minute action by Congress does not invalidate years of court rulings.

Gov. Jeb Bush said the judge's decision "breaks my heart" and noted it often takes two decades for a death row inmate's appeals to go through the system.

"There's this rush to starve her to death," Bush said.

Michael Schiavo said Bush and other lawmakers have no business interfering in a personal, family matter. "These people are pandering for votes. That's all," he told NBC.

Late Friday, the Supreme Court, without comment, denied an emergency request from the House committee that issued the subpoenas to reinsert Schiavo's feeding tube while the committee files appeals in the lower courts to have its subpoenas recognized.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said in a statement late Friday that they "are committed to reaching an agreement on legislation that provides an opportunity to save Mrs. Schiavo's life."

Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when a chemical imbalance apparently brought on by an eating disorder caused her heart to stop beating for a few minutes. She can breathe on her own, but has relied on the feeding and hydration tube to keep her alive.

Both sides accused each other of being motivated by greed over a $1 million medical malpractice award from doctors who failed to diagnose the chemical imbalance.

The Schindlers also said Michael Schiavo wants their daughter dead so he can marry his longtime girlfriend, with whom he has young children. They have begged him to divorce their daughter, and let them care for her.

The tangled case has encompassed at least 19 judges in at least six different courts.

In 2001, Schiavo went without food and water for two days before a judge ordered the tube reinserted when a new witness surfaced.

When the tube was removed in October 2003, her parents and two siblings frantically sought intervention from the governor, who pushed through "Terri's Law," and six days later the tube was reinserted. The Florida Supreme Court ruled in September 2004 that Bush had overstepped his authority and declared the law unconstitutional.

On Feb. 25, Circuit Judge George Greer gave Michael Schiavo permission to order the removal of the feeding tube Friday.

Does this girl look Comatose to you? A Vegetable?
Or incapacitated?
I say she is as incapacitated as Christopher Reeves was, only cant speek to say so.
Now that this has reached such National attention, if she can as her parents say she can respond with her smile, and her eyes, then SHE needs to have HER day in court.
Let Terri Have Her day in court Senators!
Put that feeding tube back in her until she gets to Capital Hill!
Let the lawmakers decide now.
It's not a "Family" matter anymore since the Media has brought it to the Nation's view! This law that will be written will affect ALL cases like this now.
If you want more info on Terri, here is her webpage, or click the Title of This Blog.


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