Despite a plea from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a probate court judge said he likely will not delay removal of a feeding tube sustaining the life of a brain-disabled woman, Terri Schindler-Schiavo.
Flooded with 27,000 e-mails urging him to intervene, Bush sent a letter yesterday to Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge George W. Greer asking him for a delay until a court-appointed guardian can “independently investigate the circumstances of this case and provide the court with an unbiased view that considers the best interests of Mrs. Schiavo.”
Michael Schiavo (Photo: WFLA-TV)
But Greer insisted he is bound by the 2nd District Court of Appeals order to remove the feeding tube.
“I read [Bush’s letter] because it came from the governor and I respect his position,” Greer told the Tampa Tribune. “Beyond that, it is going in the file.”
On Friday, the Florida Supreme Court refused to intervene in the case, clearing the way for a Sept. 11 hearing in which Greer would set a date for removing the tube, which would lead to starvation within 10 to 14 days.
At a news conference yesterday, Terri’s husband Michael Schiavo said he wished the governor would keep his thoughts to himself.
Gov. Jeb Bush
“This is not about Jeb Bush, it’s not about the Schindlers and it’s not about me,” he said, according to WFLA-TV in Tampa. “It’s about Terri, and it’s always been about Terri.”
Bush said, according to a copy of the letter obtained by WND, he normally would not write a judge concerning a pending legal proceeding but noted the 27,000 e-mails his office received “reflecting understandable concern for the well being” of Schindler-Schiavo.
Earlier this month, WorldNetDaily publicized a petition drive launched on Schiavo’s behalf, including Bush’s e-mail address.
“This case represents the disturbing result of a severe family disagreement in extremely trying circumstances,” Bush said. “Emotions are high, accusations abound, and at the heart of this public and private maelstrom is a young woman incapable of speaking for herself.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler of Gulf Port, Fla., have been locked in a decade-long legal battle with their son-in-law over the care and custody of their daughter, who suffered massive brain damage when she collapsed at her home 13 years ago under unexplained circumstances at the age of 26.
Terri Schindler-Schiavo before her disability.
The bitter dispute over Terri’s lack of care became a major euthanasia battle five years ago when her husband Michael Schiavo petitioned the court for permission to have her feeding tube removed, claiming she is in a persistent vegetative state and would not want to be kept alive “artificially.” The Schindlers and a number of doctors and therapists believe she could be rehabilitated, but the courts have consistently sided with Schiavo and his lawyer, right-to-die advocate George Felos.
Schindler-Schiavo was hospitalized Sunday for the second time in less than two weeks, CNSNews.com reported.