Court records show the Department of Children and Families received 30 allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation of Terri Schiavo on its hotline last month.
DCF wants the judge to delay the removal of the brain damaged woman’s feeding tube for 60 days so it can investigate the claims.
Spokesman Bill Spann says it’s not about politics. It’s about the agency’s legal responsibility.
Bill says, "If we have new, credible allegations of abuse, we are required by law and quite frankly your viewers and the public should demand and rightly so that we investigate them fully and expeditiously, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do."
If the judge grants DCF’s motion, it would also buy the Florida Legislature more time.
At least one bill has already been filed to block the removal of disabled peoples’ feeding tubes unless there’s clear evidence that’s what they would have wanted.
The first of what will likely be many demonstrators are already arriving at the Capitol. Henrik Nylund brought his family from Tennessee to support Schiavo and the legislation.
Henrik says, "She’s very much conscious and she would very much feel the pain and there are lots of people in her situation that this bill could help.”
Right now Schiavo’s feeding tube is scheduled to come out March 18. Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings expects lawmakers will act quickly when the session starts Tuesday.
Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings says, "I think that’s potentially why the judge in Pinellas gave the 18th as the date so the Legislature would have the opportunity to address things."
The Schiavo case could make this one of the most closely-watched legislative sessions in recent memory.