Debate at FSU Over Constitutionality of Terri's Law

Schiavo has been at the center of a legal battle between her husband and parents.

Jon Eisenberg of California Appellate Court says, "Terri's Law chips away at a court principal of our system of government, the separation of power."

He’s just one of a dozen panelists sounding off about Terri's Law, a special piece of Florida legislation which allowed the reconnection of feeding tubes. Terri Schiavo's was removed last year. Panelists were divided on the case.

Ron Cranford, M.D., who examined Terri Schiavo, says, "It was the most massive invasion of privacy of the patient in any case, and I think part of that was due to the Schindler family, which I think really care for their daughter and have caring motivation for what they are doing."

Wesley Smith, a bioengineer, says, "If you are deemed not to have enough cognitive capacity, you are dehumanized, seen as a non-person, and what does that mean? What that means is exploitation, oppression, killing and dehumanization."

Florida State University professor Jeffery Spike argued death from malnutrition-dehydration is not as painful a death as cancer, and that it's a process those working in hospices are familiar with.

Jeffery Spike says, "We need to be very clear about the naturalness of death from malnutrition-dehydration for many patients and accept that some families make this decision for a loved one, and it is the right thing for that loved one."

A state judge ruled last May that the law indeed violated Schiavo's privacy rights. Tuesday, Florida's highest court will consider Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's appeal. Seventeen disability groups have signed on to a "friend of the court" brief supporting Schiavo's parents and the governor.


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