TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Invoking a law rushed through the
Legislature only an hour earlier, Gov. Jeb Bush ordered a feeding
tube reinserted yesterday into a brain-damaged woman at the center
of one of the nation’s longest and most bitter right-to-die
battles.

The bill was designed to save the life of Terri Schiavo, whose
parents have fought for several years to keep her alive. Her
husband, Michael Schiavo, says she would rather die.

Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed by court order at her
husband’s insistence last Wednesday, and doctors have said the
39-year-old woman will die within a week to 10 days without food
and water.

The Senate voted 23-15 for the legislation, and the House passed
the final version 73-24 only minutes later. Bush signed it into law
and issued the order just more than an hour later.

After the Senate’s vote, a cheer went up among about 80
protesters outside Terri Schiavo’s hospice in Pinellas Park.

“We are just ecstatic,” Bob Schindler said after Bush told him
he would issue the order. “It’s restored my belief in God.”

Suzanne Carr, Terri Schiavo’s sister, called the development “a
miracle, an absolute miracle.” Terri’s mother broke down crying
when she heard the news.

George Felos, a lawyer for Michael Schiavo, took steps to stop
Bush even before the governor received the bill. He filed a request
for an injunction if Bush issued an order. Pinellas Circuit Court
Judge George Greer denied it on technical grounds, but said Felos
could refile the request.

The family’s lawyer, Pat Anderson, said Schiavo would have to be
placed on an IV to rehydrate her before the feeding tube is
reinserted.

“It ain’t over until its over. “Until I see that IV running she
is not out of the woods,” Anderson said.

In the Senate, even some supporters of the legislation expressed
concern about their actions.

“I keep on thinking ‘What if Terri didn’t really want this done
at all?’ May God have mercy on all of us,” said Senate President
Jim King, a Republican.

Lawmakers were already called to the Capitol for a special
session on economic development when they decided to intervene in
the case.

Bush said he did not think lawmakers were motivated by
politics.

 

 

 

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