Tuesday a Florida appeals court lifted a stay that has kept severely brain damaged Terri Schiavo alive.
The ruling clears the way for Schiavo’s husband to remove her feeding tube, but in Tallahassee there is a new push by lawmakers to change the guardianship all in a last ditch effort to prolong Terri's life.
The long legal battle over Terri Schiavo may not be over. State lawmakers are proposing two new avenues to keep her and others like Terri from having food or water withdrawn. HB 701 would prevent the removal of nutrition or hydration unless a person has specifically signed consent forms allowing food and water to be withheld.
Sponsor Dennis Baxley believes there is wide interest in the bill.
Rep. Dennis Baxley says, “There is a huge population of elderly that are very concerned about euthanasia type of thinking."
Senate sponsor Steve Wise says the idea goes far beyond Terri Schiavo.
Sen. Stephen Wise says, "We are going to have a couple more meetings to make sure that the wording is right that everybody agrees on the constitutionality of what it is that we put together."
Randall Terry, the Schindler family spokesman, says, "The Schindler’s intend to come here and have face to face meetings with key officials pleading for the life of their daughter."
Activist Randall Terry is at the state Capitol pushing a change in Florida’s guardianship laws. His idea is that a spouse like Michael Schiavo, who begins living with someone else, would lose their status as a guardian.
Randall Terry says, "The presumption is that they no longer have the best interest of their disabled spouse in a life or death situation and so their guardianship would be revoked."
Time is the enemy for both legislative concepts. To succeed they must keep Terri Schiavo alive until lawmakers begin meeting March 8.
Gov. Jeb Bush is being urged to take Terri Schiavo into productive custody while the state investigates claims she was abused. The governor has refused such a course in the past, but as the end nears he is being urged to reconsider.
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