TAMPA, Fla. (AP), 7 august, 2002 — A judge has again ordered that a comatose woman’s feedings be stopped, siding against her parents and in favor of the husband who believes she should be allowed to die.
The ruling by Pinellas Probate Court Judge George Greer instructs Michael Schiavo to tell hospice workers to end his wife’s artificial feedings on Aug. 28. Terri Schiavo then would starve to death over a two-week period.
Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, are seeking to keep their daughter alive and can file an appeal with the Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland.
Also, both sides will be back in court Thursday for a hearing on the parents’ recent lawsuit against Michael Schiavo. The parents will ask a separate judge to make sure that Terri Schiavo is kept alive while the suit is pending.
Tuesday’s ruling “came as a shock to us,” said George Felos, Michael Schiavo’s attorney. “We didn’t know an order was being entered. My client was completely take aback.”
The Schindlers’ attorneys were not immediately available for comment. Mary Schindler said the family has not had a chance to discuss the order and declined comment until later this week.
Terri Schiavo, 37, has been in a coma for more than 11 years after suffering a heart attack. She left no written instructions on her wishes, but her husband maintains she never would have wanted to be kept on life support.
In April, Greer ordered her feedings stopped after a court battle that ended with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy declining to accept the case.
Days later, however, the woman’s parents filed the new lawsuit accusing Michael Schiavo of lying about his wife’s wishes because he wanted to collect her inheritance and marry another woman.
The appeals court ordered the feeding tube reconnected, pending Greer’s reconsideration of the case.
In Tuesday’s order, Greer said the Schindlers have shown no new evidence that would change his earlier decision that Terri Schiavo would not have wanted to be kept alive artificially and that she has no chance of recovering basic brain functions.