HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, December 30, 2004

New Trial Denied in Schiavo Case

Gretchen Moore, over at JURIST, filed a report this morning saying that "[t]he Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal Wednesday denied a request from the parents of Terri Schiavo for a new trial in her long-running right-to-die case. Once the court issues a formal decision within two weeks, Schiavo's husband will be able to order the removal of a feeding tube that has kept his wife alive for over 14 years. Schiavo's parents argued for a new trial based on the Pope's recent statements regarding the rights of people in vegetative states."  The AP story is here, and the court's electronic docket sheet for the case (No. 2D04-4755) is here.

The prediction that Michael Schiavo will be able to order the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube sometime in the next two weeks may prove to be optimistic.  Her parents can be counted on to move to stay the appellate court's mandate until they can prepare an appeal to the Supreme Court of Florida.  The courts could decide that 14 years and countless motions to reconsider, rehear, and retry -- with countless trips to the appellate courts -- make it virtually impossible for the parents to show a likelihood of prevailing on the merits.  But irreparable harm, though something of a mixed bag, might be thought to favor the parents in this life-and-death struggle.  And with Gov. Jed Bush's cert. petition in his "Terri's Law" litigation pending in the Supreme Court (No. 04-757; docket), it is probably anyone's guess whether the Florida courts are yet willing to say enough is enough.

The Governor's petition can be found here (PDF) on the Terri's family's web site, terrisfight.org.  Lyle Denniston's analysis of the Governor's arguments can be found over at SCOTUSblog[tm]

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