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DeLay's father taken off support

By wire services
Published March 29, 2005

WASHINGTON - Rep. Tom DeLay, the House majority leader who led the congressional effort to spare Terri Schiavo's life, was confronted more than 16 years ago with his own agonizing end-of-life dilemma and agreed to withdraw life support from the patient, his father, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times .

The newspaper reported that DeLay's father, Charles Ray DeLay, 65, a drilling contractor, was severely injured in 1988 in an accident at his home in Canyon Lake, Texas.

The account said that DeLay had suffered multiple injuries, including kidney failure, and that his wife, Maxine, and their other children had made the initial decision to withhold kidney dialysis and other treatments when it became clear he could not recover. DeLay, at the time in his third term in the House, did not object, the newspaper's report said.

A spokesman for DeLay did not return telephone calls or an e-mail message on Sunday.

However, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, said DeLay did not act inconsistently, and that the congressman's father could not be compared to Schiavo, who was receiving no medical treatment other than nutrition and hydration through a feeding tube.

"Two different situations," Perkins said. "With Terri Schiavo, there was no plug pulled, there was no respirator taken away from her. She was simply by court order deprived of food and water."

Social Security meeting in Tampa postponed

WASHINGTON - A town hall meeting about Social Security with several U.S. senators scheduled for Wednesday in Tampa has been postponed because of the Terri Schiavo case.

"It's out of respect for what's going on down there," said Kerry Feehery, spokeswoman for Florida Sen. Mel Martinez. "It's out of respect for the family."

Martinez planned to discuss proposed changes to the Social Security system with Republican leaders - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Martinez was the original sponsor of a bill that Congress passed last week to force Schiavo's case to go to federal court for a review - a move that lawmakers expected to force a judge to reinsert her feeding tube. Frist and Santorum helped Martinez broker a deal with the House to pass a bill.

The event will be rescheduled.

--Times staff writer Anita Kumar contributed to this report, which used information from the New York Times.

[Last modified March 29, 2005, 01:32:11]

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