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Schiavo Case Preview

This case that has been the subject of legal battles for more than a decade; the battle over the life and death of Terri Schiavo. The case could take its final turn Tuesday when the Florida Supreme Court listens to arguments concerning a law passed last year.

Terri Schiavo has been in what doctors describe as a “persistent vegetative state” since she collapsed in 1990. Her husband and parents have been battling in court over her right to die since 1994.

Last October, state lawmakers approved Terri’s Law, allowing the governor to overrule a court and have the woman’s feeding tube reinserted. Now, the Florida Supreme Court is poised to decide if the law was constitutional and if Terri’s right to privacy has been violated.

Her brother says the family is anxious.

Bobby Schindler, Jr., Terri’s brother, says, "My family has been very strong through all of this and we will do what we have to continue to fight to save my sister."

Bobby Schindler, Jr. appeared on behalf of seven national disability groups. Those groups fear if Terri is allowed to die, the value of all their lives will be diminished.

FSU Professor Carrie Sandahl says, "We believe that society must regard Mrs. Schiavo’s life and all the lives of people with disabilities as inherently valuable."

But on the other side are 55 bio-ethicists who have intervened to say a person’s right to privacy is supreme.

James Walters of Loyola Marymount University says, "The governor in this situation and the legislature are deciding what’s best for Terri Schiavo, regardless of what her wishes are."

Terri Schiavo’s fate is likely to remain in limbo for months as the court sorts through the complicated question of whether the governor or the legislature overstepped their bounds, and also whose rights take precedence.


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