For Immediate Release
Schindlers Ask Court to Void Order Removing Terri Schiavo’s Assisted Feeding
Another round of legal battles begins this week to save the life of Theresa Schiavo. The brain-damaged woman, has lived in a Pinellas County hospice facility for nearly five years while her husband and guardian Michael Schiavo awaits permission from the Pinellas County court to remove her feeding tube and cause her death by starvation and dehydration.
Attorneys for the Schindlers filed a motion today asking the court to void the 2000 Order authorizing Schiavo to discontinue his wife’s assisted feeding because Mrs. Schiavo was denied her right to due process of law. “In reviewing the many boxes of court filings,” said Attorney David Gibbs III, who represents the Schindlers, “we cannot find a single instance where Terri was afforded the right of every American to have a lawyer who would represent her own interests. Her parents have an attorney. Her husband has an attorney; but Terri has never had an attorney who could attempt to communicate with her and could represent her interests while her parents and husband battle over whether she should live or die.”
Furthermore, the new motion also argues that the courts have applied the wrong law to statements Terri allegedly made in the mid-1980s that she would not want to live on life support. Her parents vehemently deny that Terri ever made such statements. However, says Gibbs, “even if she did, in the 1980s under Florida law, assisted feeding was not considered to be life support.” Therefore, the motion argues, whatever Terri may or may not have said about not wanting life support, she could never have meant that she would now want to have her assisted feeding discontinued.
Finally, the Schindlers’ motion argues that the courts in this case have violated the constitutional separation of powers. By acting as judge, law-maker, and proxy-guardian, the court is intruding into the roles of the legislative and executive branches of the Florida government. In so doing, it has shed the neutral and objective judicial function to which Mrs. Schiavo is entitled and which is required by law.
A copy of this latest motion is available online.
Call the Gibbs Law Firm Media Director, Mr. Keith Brickell, at O:727-399-8300 or C:727-458-4824 to arrange an interview with Attorney David Gibbs III or Attorney Barbara Weller. He can be reached by email: [email protected]
The Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation is the official organization responsible for speaking on behalf of the Schindler family. For more information and background on the case, visit the foundation’s website at www.terrisfight.net.