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The Washington, D.C., watchdog group Judicial Watch filed an abuse complaint it says will allow Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to intervene on behalf of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, the brain-disabled woman who is starving under a court order initiated by her husband.
Judicial Watch President Thomas Fitton faxed a “Form to Report Abuse/Abandonment/Neglect/Exploitation” with the Florida Department of Children and Families yesterday then sent a letter to Bush and DCF Secretary Jerry Regier.
The letter said, “Based on our formal complaint via the faxed report referenced above, you have the authority and sufficient cause to immediately order the Florida Department of Children and Family Services to intervene on behalf of Ms. Schiavo; to restore her nutrition; and to initiate a full investigation of the circumstances surrounding Ms. Schiavo’s disability.”
Fitton said these actions are in accord with the U.S. Constitution, the Florida Constitution, Article 2, Section 5, and Florida statutes 825.102 and 782.04(2)(i), 77.04.
The abuse report, under “Description of Incident,” says:
Thirteen years ago Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage from a sudden collapse. She receives her food and water by means of a feeding tube. Terri’s other bodily functions are stable. She responds to voices, and is capable of smiling, laughing and crying. She vocalizes well.
Terri’s husband, Michael Schiavo, has denied her any rehabilitation treatment since 1993. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003, Michael Schiavo directed that Terri’s feeding tube be disconnected, subjecting her to starvation and dehydration that will result in an anguishing death in approximately 10 to 14 days.
Judicial Watch is known for its many lawsuits against President Clinton’s administration. But the group also has taken on the current White House, including a lawsuit to force the release of information about Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force.
Former longtime Judicial Watch leader Larry Klayman recently declared he will run for a U.S. Senate seat from Florida.
Legal documents and information on Terri’s case are posted on the family’s website.