The full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused an emergency review of a previous decision to reinstate Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.
Terri Schiavo’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, had requested an “expedited rehearing” of the Atlanta court 10 hours after the panel said in a 2-1 ruling that the parents ”failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims.”
”There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo,” the ruling said. ”We all have our own family, our own loved ones, and our own children. However, we are called upon to make a collective, objective decision concerning a question of law.”
”We agree (with the lower court) that the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims. We also conclude that the district court’s carefully thought out decision to deny temporary relief in these circumstances is not an abuse of discretion,” Judges Ed Carnes and Frank Hull wrote in the majority opinion.
But Judge Charles R. Wilson said in his dissent that Schiavo’s ”imminent” death would end the case before it could be fully considered. ”In fact, I fail to see any harm in reinserting the feeding tube,” he wrote.
Matt Davidson, the court’s calendar clerk, said a majority of the 12-member appellate court must agree to review the decision.
The Schindlers appeal said their daughter’s medical condition was “deteriorating rapidly.”
Today’s ruling was the latest legal blow for Schindlers as their 41-year-old daughter’s life hangs in balance since removal of the feeding tube by court order Friday. Doctors have said Schiavo could survive one to two weeks without water and nutrients.
Michael Schiavo’s lawyer, George Felos, said both sides were likely to pursue their appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Howard Simon of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida praised today’s ruling, reports the Associated Press.
”It’s naive to ever say this may be over, but the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to get into this case (before) and it may be the ruling that came out this morning that may finally be the end of this case,” Simon said.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged the Florida Legislature to pass legislation that would allow the feeding tube restore while legal matters are addressed.
Bush said the state’s Department of Children and Families is considering taking Terri Schiavo under protective custody, citing a law that allows protection of vulnerable adults.
Schiavo, 41, collapsed under disputed circumstances Feb. 25, 1990, suffering severe brain damage when her heart stopped momentarily. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, attributes the collapse to an eating disorder, but the Schindlers strongly suspect he tried to strangle her.
The Schindlers have pleaded with Michael Schiavo to divorce their daughter, pointing out his live-in relationship with another woman, with whom he has two children.
“It’s not about me, it’s not about Congress, it’s about Terri,” Michael Schiavo said Friday on CNN’s “Larry King Live” program.
“I want you all to think about going through a judicial process to have your own wishes granted and then the Congress and the government walking in on that because of their personal views. That’s absurd.”
Michael Schiavo has maintained Terri had no desire to live under her current medical conditions, though there was no written corroboration of that.
Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily has been reporting on the Terri Schiavo story since 2002 – far longer than any other national news organization – and exposing the many troubling, scandalous, and possibly criminal, aspects of the case that to this day rarely surface in news reports. Read WorldNetDaily’s unparalleled, in-depth coverage of the life-and-death fight over Terri Schiavo, including over 150 original stories and columns.