CLEARWATER, Fla. – The parents of a brain-damaged woman at the center of a right-to-die case pushed Monday for new court rulings, and hoped lawmakers would again intervene in the case.
Lawyers for Bob and Mary Schindler argued their daughter Terri Schiavo (search), 41, should be fed by hand once her feeding tube is removed March 18 — a motion on which Judge George Greer did not immediately rule.
However, Greer turned down other family requests, such as letting the media see her in her nursing home bed, and that she be allowed to die at the Schindler family home.
He also refused to intervene in Michael Schiavo's plans to have his wife cremated and her ashes returned to Pennsylvania, where she was born and spent most of her life. He also decided against letting the family take their own pictures of Terri Schiavo before she dies.
The Schindlers are also hoping the Florida Legislature and Congress will come to their aid.
"We still believe that with what is coming forward, she may be alive for many, many years to come," said Schindler attorney David Gibbs.
Gibbs said he would return to court Tuesday to argue Terri Schiavo needs to undergo medical tests to determine if she is in a persistent vegetative state, and to ask Greer to reconsider testimony of what her end-of-life wishes might be.
He said an appeal also was filed Monday with the state 2nd District Court of Appeal (search) on Greer's denial of an indefinite stay to let new tests be performed. He said the court assured him it would rule by March 17.
Meanwhile, a bill that might effect the case is expected to be heard after state lawmakers convene Tuesday. However, it's unclear if they'll be able to act as they did in October 2003 when, at Gov. Jeb Bush's (search) urging, they rushed through a bill requiring the feeding tube be reinserted six days after it was removed.
The Florida Supreme Court later ruled the law unconstitutional.
In Washington, legislation sponsored by Rep. Dave Weldon and Sen. Mel Martinez, both Republicans from Florida, is expected to be introduced to give federal courts jurisdiction in such cases.
Federal judges have twice turned down the Schindlers' efforts to move the case out of state courts, citing a lack of jurisdiction.
Michael Schiavo contends his wife, who collapsed 15 years ago, suffered severe brain damage and would not want to be kept alive artificially. Her parents say she had no such death wish and believe she can get better with rehabilitation.