Supreme court lifts stay in Schiavo case


Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 1, 2004 at 12:07 a.m.
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted a monthlong stay it had given Gov. Jeb Bush to appeal the case of Terri Schiavo to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the decision had no immediate practical impact.
Two days after the state's high court granted the governor's request in late October, a trial judge in Tampa ruled that Schiavo's feeding tube can't be removed until all appeals are exhausted on a request for a new trial. That blocks any immediate action.
The issue for that trial is whether Schiavo, who is severely brain-damaged, would want to live or die.
The issue before the state Supreme Court was a 2003 law that gave Bush the authority to order that Schiavo's feeding tube be reinserted just days after her husband, Michael Schiavo, won court approval to carry out what he believes are his wife's wishes to die.
The state's high court found that law unconstitutional in late September. The monthlong stay it ordered was to postpone issuing the official "mandate" in that decision. The court issued the mandate Tuesday.
Doctors have said Terri Schiavo collapsed from a chemical imbalance due to an eating disorder 14 years ago. She left no written will. Terry Schiavo's parents dispute she would want the feeding tube removed and have fought to keep their daughter alive.
George Felos, an attorney representing Michael Schiavo, has appealed the judge's indefinite stay to the 2nd District Court of Appeal.
Felos said Tuesday the latest development removes one impediment from removing Terri Schiavo's tube - but not the other. Felos said the legal battle would continue until courts stop issuing stays.
Jacob DiPietre, a spokesman for the governor, said Tuesday the governor planned to appeal the Florida court's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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