Florida Court: Removal of brain-damaged woman's feeding tube can proceed

Wednesday, October 15th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) _ A man can have the feeding tube removed from his severely brain-damaged wife after an appeals court refused to order her kept alive, ending one of her parents' last hopes.

Terri Schiavo, 39, was scheduled to have the tube removed Wednesday at 2 p.m. and was expected to die within two weeks. She's been in a vegetative state since suffering a heart attack in 1990.

A state appeals court in Lakeland rejected motions by an attorney for Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

``Our legal remedies are exhausted,'' the Schindlers' attorneys said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Michael Schiavo says he is carrying out his wife's wishes that she not be kept alive artificially. The parents say their daughter has shown signs of trying to communicate and could be rehabilitated.

Doctors have testified that the noises and facial expressions Terri Schiavo makes are reflexes and do not indicate that she has enough mental capabilities to communicate with others.

Gov. Jeb Bush has sided with the parents in court filings, but has not taken any other action. His office has said there is nothing Bush can do to stop the removal of the tube.

Bob Schindler said he has made no formal request of the governor, nor has the family ever made a formal complaint to DCF on their allegations of exploitation. Schindler said he may still file a complaint in the coming days.

``The game isn't over,'' he said. ``There is still time on the clock.''