A Florida appeals court has refused to block the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. That leaves intact the scheduled Friday removal of the tube while Florida lawmakers scramble to keep her alive.
Legislative language designed to save Terri Schiavo could have the unintended consequence of forcing thousands of people to have feeding tubes inserted against their will. The language has become a sticking point between the House and Senate.
Sen. Skip Campbell, (D) Ft. Lauderdale, says, "You know, we have a lot of folks who have made oral advance directives, and if we had passed the bill that was on the floor yesterday, we would have cancelled all those out.”
The debate is even dividing the Senate.
Sen. Jim King, (R) Jacksonville, says, "All of us feel we’d like to do something, but the bill we have seen so far were to be in front of the senate right now, it would fail".
The House is insisting on much broader language.
Rep. John Stargel, (R) Lakeland, says, "And we’ll work with Senate staff and senators and everyone else to try and make sure that ultimately whatever bill we vote on is one that will be upheld by the courts."
The dispute has resulted in daylong behind the scenes negotiation.
Sen. Alex Villalobos, (R) Miami, says, "There are differences of opinion between very smart people, and we’re looking at all options, and we’re not there yet.”
Despite an invitation from Michael Schiavo for the governor to come and visit with his wife and look her in the eye, Jeb Bush has no plans to visit with Terri Schiavo. Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings says the governor’s decision is subject to change.
"Probably a more appropriate invitation would maybe be to DCF, who is trying to evaluate her circumstances,” she says.
A bill on the governor’s desk by Friday becomes more and more unlikely. Both the full House and Senate meet in session Thursday to take up the Schiavo-inspired legislation.
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