Terri Schiavo

(redirected from Theresa Marie Schiavo)
A woman who suffered an anoxic insult in 1990, fell into a persistent vegetative state and was kept alive for the next 15 years while her husband fought to have her removed from life support and her parents fought to maintain it
References in periodicals archive ?
(1.) Congress, Senate, An Act for the Relief of the Parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo, 109th Cong., 1st sess., S.
Congress, which in March 2005 passed the For the Relief of the Parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo Act.
Report to Governor Jeb Bush and the 6th Florida Judicial Circuit In The Matter of Theresa Marie Schiavo. December 2003.
24, 2003, at A1; Editorial, Theresa Marie Schiavo, N.Y.
District Court for the Middle District of Florida to "hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain life." Congress did not say that the court could determine whether the parents or the husband or the state court judge were right or wrong concerning the withdrawal of a feeding tube.
the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States." Yet the federal courts already had the authority to rule on civil rights appeals from the states under laws passed previously by Congress.
For Theresa Marie Schiavo, good science, good medicine, and the careful application of the law were not enough.
But however impressed the federal judges were with the care and deliberation of the state courts--and however much they thought the Schindlers filed their federal suit merely for delay--Congress specifically directed the federal courts to "determine de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo" and to do so "notwithstanding any prior State court determination." (68) Respect for Congress thus required the federal courts to decline to accord weight to the prior state court proceedings.
Wolfson, A Report to Governor Jeb Bush in the Matter of Theresa Marie Schiavo, 1 December 2003.
On March 21, 2005, the President signed into law an Act for the Relief of the Parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo. (3) That act did not create any substantive rights, but instead provided for federal jurisdiction in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida over "a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life." (4) The act also provided standing for Schiavo's parents, called for a de novo determination notwithstanding state proceedings, and prohibited delay, abstention, or imposition of an exhaustion requirement.
(31) In effect, then, Section I is essentially a redundant predicate to the real operative provisions of the Schiavo Relief Act, which follow in Section II entitled "Procedure." Section II states as follows: Any parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo shall have standing to bring a suit under this Act.
Everyone should be troubled, however, by the fact that virtually all members of the legislative, executive and judicial branches involved in enacting or applying the "Act for the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo" (also referred to as "Terri's Law") (1) seemingly ignored serious questions about the law's constitutionality, and in so doing avoided their responsibilities as constitutional interpreters.