Supreme Court May Be Last Hope For Parents Of Terri Schiavo

The parents of Terry Schiavo, the badly brain damaged Florida woman who is at the center of a right to die debate, said Wednesday they will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta refused to order the reinsertion of the feeding tube that has kept their daughter alive for 15 years.

But an American Civil Liberties Association official in Florida says, “the end of this sad case may be near.”

ACLU official Howard Simon says while "it's naive to ever say this may be over," he notes the Supreme Court has declined to get involved in the past.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush called on the state legislature to get involved in the case.

"Time is of the essence," Bush said as he called on everyone with "the ability and duty to act" to "do so with a sense of urgency."

In his statement today, Bush said he "could not be more disappointed" in the decision this morning from the appeals court.

Demonstrators outside the Florida hospice where Schiavo is living also decried the decision.

One of those keeping vigil outside of the hospice today called the ruling "a clear cut case of judicial tyranny."

“All the judges who have ruled against Terri are tyrants,” she said.

About 75 protesters gathered outside of the hospice Tuesday.

One of the women was arrested for trespassing after she tried to take Schiavo a cup of water.

Schiavo’s parents want a court to order doctors to reinsert the tube that was removed Friday after a protracted battle over the woman’s right to die.

Doctors said Schiavo could live for as long as two weeks without water or nutrition, but on Tuesday her parents said she is fading fast.

President Bush signed a bill early Monday morning aimed at prolonging Schiavo’s life by allowing a federal court to consider whether the feeding tube should be reinserted.

The President returned to Washington from Central Texas Sunday in order to be available to sign the measure.

A request was filed with a federal district court in Tampa, but on Tuesday, the judge refused to order the tube reinserted.

Attorneys for Schiavo’s parents then filed an appeal with the Atlanta court, which declined to act on Wednesday.

Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in February 1990 when her heart stopped because of a chemical imbalance.

Court-appointed doctors say she is in a persistent vegetative state.

Her husband says she once told him she would not want to live in such a state, but her parents disagree and claim that other experts hold out hope of recovery.

In January, U.S. Supreme Court Justices rejected an appeal from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush seeking reinstatement of a Florida law that barred Michael Schiavo from instructing doctors to remove the feeding tube.

Florida lawmakers passed the law in 2003 requiring the feeding tube be reconnected, but the Florida Supreme Court later struck down the measure.

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