Schiavo Vote in the Florida Legislature

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

Lawmakers are literally racing against the clock to win passage. Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube could be removed as early as 1 p.m. Friday.

Rep. Aaron Bean, (R) Fernandina Beach, said, "If there is any, I guess, people on the fence right now, I would hope that you would choose life."

With the clock ticking, a House committee was the first to act.

Rep. Hugh Gibson, (R) Lake County, said, "I wouldn’t withhold substance from a plant."

It approved, it’s legislation that prohibits the denial of sustenance and hydration from any living person unless they have specifically said in writing that they do not want food or water.

Rep. Julio Robaina, (R) Miami, said, "To me this is cut and dry; no living will means you want to be kept alive at all cost."

By noon the senate judiciary committee was taking up similar legislation with senators raising questions. The house will pass the Schiavo legislation on Thursday, but the Senate wont likely send out the final version until sometime Friday morning, creating a race against the clock for the governor to sign it.

Gov. Jeb Bush says he will sign the legislation even if it gets to his desk late. He’s hoping the judge will waive the deadline.

"I would hope that the judge would show some deference to the Legislature as well, frankly, if the deadline, if he strictly adheres to a 1 p.m. deadline. I don’t know how the legislative process works, but there is the intent."

In less than a week, the legislation has received four favorable votes leaving little doubt about what will happen for the first time, some lawmakers have begun asking questions about the costs associated with keeping Terri Schiavo alive, but the House sponsor says those costs are not relevant to the debate.


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