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Next stop: Supreme Court

By 2-1, a federal judge panel in Atlanta denies the request to reinsert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.

Associated Press
Published March 23, 2005


ATLANTA - A federal appeals court refused early Wednesday to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, denying an emergency request by the severely brain-damaged woman's parents.

The three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1, a day after a federal judge in Florida also refused a similar appeal.

Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, vowed another appeal Wednesday.

"The Schindlers will be filing an appropriate appeal to save their daughter's life," said Rex Sparklin, an attorney with the law firm representing the parents.

The Schindlers said Tuesday that their daughter was "fading quickly" and might die at any moment. The feeding tube was disconnected on Friday, and doctors have said that Terri Schiavo, 41, could survive one to two weeks without water and nutrients.

A man who answered Bob Schindler's cellular phone declined comment Wednesday.

The court's decision came less than 24 hours after U.S. District Judge James Whittemore of Tampa rejected the parents' request to have the tube reinserted, saying they had not established a "substantial likelihood of success" if a new trial were held on their claim that Terri's religious and due process rights have been violated.

The Schindlers have been locked for years in a battle with Schiavo's husband over whether her feeding tube should be disconnected. State courts have sided with Michael Schiavo, who insists his wife told him she would never want to be kept alive artificially.

Even before the parents' appeal was filed with the 11th Circuit, Michael Schiavo urged the court not to grant an emergency request to restore nutrition.

"That would be a horrific intrusion upon Mrs. Schiavo's personal liberty," said the filing by his attorney, George Felos. He filed a response to the Schindlers' appeal and said he would go to the U.S. Supreme Court if the tube were ordered reconnected.