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Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals denied a petition by attorneys for the parents of Terri Schindler-Schiavo to mandate Gov. Jeb Bush intervene to prevent the brain-disabled woman from being starved to death as demanded by her husband.
Terri responding to her mother in video clip available on terrisfight.org
Robert and Mary Schindler’s attorneys had planned to file a further appeal this afternoon with the Florida Supreme Court but changed their minds after determining they had no chance of success, because the high court already has rejected three motions related to the case.
The only option left, said pro-life activist Randall Terry, who represents the family, is to “cry out louder and louder for Governor Bush to intervene.”
“The family’s deepest frustration is with Governor Bush,” Terry told WorldNetDaily from the Pinellas Park, Fla., hospice where Terri resides. “We know that there are people near Bush that have told him that he does have the authority to intervene. If at this point he does not intervene, it’s totally because he lacks the political will, not the constitutional authority.”
Terri’s feeding tube was removed Wednesday by order of Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George W. Greer. Doctors say she can live no more than two weeks after its removal, but the Schindlers fear she could die as soon as this weekend due to drugs they believe are being administered to relieve the pain of starvation and dehydration.
At a press conference monitored by WorldNetDaily this afternoon, Terry said an attorney is appealing directly to the governor through one of his legal aides.
“At this point, it is clear the clock is running out,” said Terry, “and this is about the political will of the governor. He is literally their last hope.”
Terry, who led Operation Rescue in the 1980s, then directed his words to Bush.
“In the name of God, intervene,” he said. “Do the right thing. You have the authority, now use it.”
Bush has been sympathetic to the Schindlers’ position, but the governor’s legal team said yesterday it has been unable to find a basis for intervention.
“The legal office has been talking to people trying to find some strategy where my office can intervene in a different fashion that will yield a different result,” Bush said. “So far we have not found that option.”
Attorneys queried by the governor’s legal office yesterday said Bush has the authority and the legal obligation to use his executive powers to prevent Terri’s death and to launch a criminal investigation into the case.
Felos dismissed the opinions as “ideological and inflammatory rhetoric.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, Gov. Bush wrote Judge Greer a letter supporting Terri’s right to live and filed a friend-of-the-court brief in an unsuccessful motion to bring the case under federal jurisdiction.
On Wednesday, Bush met privately with the Schindlers for about half an hour.
Chased by death threats
Michael Schiavo temporarily has moved from his Clearwater, Fla., home after receiving death threats, the Associated Press reported.
His attorney, George Felos, said the threats, via phone, mail and e-mail, have been reported to authorities, and Schiavo has been moved to a safe house.
Terry said, however, a Schindler family member saw Schiavo at a nearby mall today.
“So evidently this huge shopping mall is carefully disguised as a safe house,” Terry said.
Schiavo, who insists his wife told him of her wish to not use extraordinary means to keep her alive, has been living with another woman, Jodi Centonze, with whom he has a daughter, Olivia.
He contends Terri is in a “persistent vegetative state,” but more than a dozen medical professionals have flatly rejected that. Videos released by the family indicate she is alert and responsive to people around her.
Michael Schiavo has presented testimony from physicians who maintain Terri merely is exhibiting reflexive actions.
Meanwhile, Judge Greer’s office has been flooded with e-mails, mostly from people angry about his ruling, reports WTVT-TV in Tampa.
“You’re nothing but a heartless killer in a robe,” one e-mail said. “At least the color of black fits you. I can only hope that you’ll soon die by starvation and dehydration.”
Court spokesman Ron Stuart argued the judge is only doing his job, the Tampa station said.
“I’ve tried to tell some of the people who call that their anger should be directed at Mr. Schiavo,” said Stuart. “He’s the one who’s ultimately making the decision.”
Legal documents and information on Terri’s case are posted on the family’s website.