Court Denies Terri's Appeal, Family Begs Gov. Bush
(CNSNews.com) - The Florida Supreme Court denied the last legal appeal available to the parents of Terri Schiavo to save their daughter, who has been without nutrition and hydration for more than a week. A spokesman for the family encouraged Terri's supporters to spend Easter with their families and pray for Terri.
"Terri is really showing signs of starvation and dehydration and they would like to thank all their supporters here and all over the world," said Bro. Paul O'Donnell, a spiritual advisor to the Schindler family. "As we celebrate Easter, they pray that you gather in the churches of your own denominations and, if you would, offer a prayer for their daughter, Terri."
Robert and Mary Schindler had appealed to the Florida Supreme Court asking that Terri's feeding and hydration tube be reinserted while a claim that she had verbally expressed her desire to live last week was investigated by the lower court. That request had already been rejected by Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer, and the state Supreme Court did not overrule him.
Referring to Terri's alleged cry, O'Donnell petitioned Gov. Jeb Bush to intervene on Terri's behalf.
"Governor Bush, you do have the authority to stop the killing of Terri Schiavo within your executive office. We beg you to have courage and take action," O'Donnell said. Terri's declaration last week, when she tried with all her might to say, 'I want to live!' trumps everything that has preceded in court. That declaration calls for you to take her into protective custody and save Terri."
Michael Schiavo's older brother Scott spoke with Fox News Channel's Geraldo Rivera. He responded to the Schindler family and their supporters' claims that Terri communicates with her family and others.
"There is no chance. She's not talking. She's not saying, 'Hi, daddy.' She's not trying to get up. She lays (sic) in a bed all day long," Scott Schiavo said. "She moans, she groans, she moves her head back and forth once and a while, but that is it. And, people, you've just got to look at the facts."
Scott Schiavo also accused the Schindler family of "taking all [Terri's] dignity away" by making the family's private dispute a "public spectacle." Terri's brother, Bobby Schindler, said Michael Schiavo could have prevented that by returning custody of Terri to her parents.
Terri denied communion
The Schindler family complained that, despite Terri's devout Roman Catholic faith, she has been denied Easter communion.
"This is in violation of her religious rights and freedom and also allows the governor to step in and intervene," O'Donnell said.
If he was listening to the Schindler family spokesman, Florida's chief executive also heard his own words read back to him.
"Governor Bush, in your State of the State address this year you said, 'This is a time for bold, brave new ideas in Florida that will shape our future and define us as dreamers, builders and problem solvers in the process,'" O'Donnell quoted. "We beg you governor, save Terri Schiavo."
Terri's family and their supporters still believe that Bush has the power to rescue Terri under the provisions of the Florida statutes regarding emergency protective custody of vulnerable adults. Bush had previously said that he believes he has already exhausted all legal options available to him.
'She looked beautiful'
After having seen Terri Saturday afternoon, the attorney for Michael Schiavo, Terri's estranged husband, gave his assessment of her condition.
"She looked beautiful," George Felos, the noted "right-to-die" attorney, author and activist said. "In all the years that I've seen Mrs. Schiavo, I've never seen such a look of peace and beauty upon her."
Bobby Schindler responded angrily to Felos' comment.
"It's hard to imagine a person, my sister, dying by dehydration and starvation is dying 'peacefully' and looks 'beautiful,'" Schindler told Fox News Channel. "That's just the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard."
He described Terri's appearance as similar to the individuals pictured in photographs from Nazi concentration camps. Terri's brother also had a message for those who disagree with the attempts of lawmakers to intervene to save Terri.
"For every person that believes it was wrong for Congress and the governor to get involved in my sisters case," Bobby Schindler said, "they need to go inside right now and look at my sister and when they come out, then you need to ask them if Congress and the governor were wrong to get involved in my sister's case."
O'Donnell said the Schindler family planned to attend private Easter services Sunday and would then visit Terri "as they have done every Easter for the last 40-some years.
"Easter will be different this year because all of their thoughts and their prayers will be with Terri," O'Donnell said. "The Schindlers are great people of faith and they trust in the power of Christ and his glorious resurrection."
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