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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Terri's parents file last-ditch SCOTUS appeal

This is it:
With time running out on their hopes of keeping her alive, the parents of brain-damaged Florida woman Terri Schiavo urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to issue an emergency order to resume tube feeding. Lawyers for Bob and Mary Schindler made the request late in the evening to Justice Anthony Kennedy, after being twice rebuffed by a U.S. appeals court in Atlanta earlier in the day. "Without a stay from this court, Terri will die a horrible death in a matter of days," attorneys for the parents said in a 40-page written request seeking an order to stay, or halt, any further withholding of nutrition and hydration.
For now, Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush is going to the courts, asking that the Department of Children and Families take custody of Terri. However, state officials today said they reserve the authority to place Terri in protective custody even without a court order:
Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings and the director of the state social services agency confirmed they were considering an intervention in the controversial and increasingly tangled case -- based on calls alleging that Schiavo is being abused in her hospice.
She and other state officials said the governor's office is considering using a state law that allows the state to take a vulnerable adult into immediate custody if there is a demonstrated need for protection. Lucy Hadi, secretary of the Department of Children and Families, said the state investigation into potential abuse is ongoing and the state is required by law to file a petition to bring Schiavo into state care if an emergency exists. The agency filed that new motion in state court this afternoon, alleging that Schiavo was abused by, among other things, her husband's insistence that the tube be removed. The state does not have to wait for a court to act, she said.

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