Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Judge Denies Restoration of Feeding Tube

This morning, Judge Whittemore issued his opinion on the petition by Terri Schiavo's parents to restore her feeding tube. The judge declined to address the constitutionality of the recent federal legislation giving the parents this opportunity to save Teri's life and assumed for now that the law is constitutional. However,the judge treated the case as a request for a temporary restraining order and denied the parents' request to restore the feeding tube on the ground that the parents were not likely to prevail on the merits.

The new statute requires a de novo review (i.e., not accepting the prior state court decisions). Perhaps the Eleventh Circuit, which will hear the appeal, will find that a de novo review in this unusual case requires a stay of the Florida court's ordr to remove Terri's feeding tube in order to have time for a consideration of all the evidence and a determination of the law. Unfortunately, I fear that Terri's parents' efforts at the federal level will all be for naught.

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