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Akron Univ. School of Law

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Text of Compromise Schiavo Bill Released

Sen. Frist has posted a link on his web page to the text of the compromise bill that the House will try to vote on tonight or tomorrow morning.  It differs from the engrossed version of S. 653 by deleting the latter's "Stay" provision (Section 5) and by adding a final section calling for the Congress to look into the need for legislation "regarding the status and legal rights of incapacitated individuals who are incapable of making decisions concerning the provision, withholding, or withdrawal of foods, fluid, or medical care."

Here's the full text:

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

introduced the following bill; which was read twice
and referred to the Committee on

           _____________________________

AN ACT

For the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo.

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
2    States of America in Congress assembled,
3    SECTION 1. RELIEF OF THE PARENTS OF THERESA MARIE                  
4    SCHIAVO
5 The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida shall 
6    have jurisdiction to hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by 
7    or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of
8    Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States 
9    relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment
10   necessary to sustain her life.
11   SEC. 2. PROCEDURE.
12 Any parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo shall have standing to bring a suit
13   under this Act. The suit may be brought against any other person who was a
14   party to State court proceedings relating to the withholding or withdrawal of
15   food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain the life of Theresa
16   Marie Schiavo, or who may act pursuant to a State court order authorizing or
17   directing the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment
18   necessary to sustain her life. In such a suit, the District Court shall determine
19   de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo
20   within the scope of this Act, notwithstanding any prior State court
21   determination and regardless of whether such a claim has previously been
22   raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings. The District Court
23   shall entertain and determine the suit without any delay or abstention in favor
24   of State court proceedings, and regardless of whether remedies available in
25   the State courts have been exhausted.
26   SEC. 3. RELIEF.
27 After a determination of the merits of a suit brought under this Act, the
28   District Court shall issue such declaratory and injunctive relief as may be
29   necessary to protect the rights of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the
30   Constitution and laws of the United States relating to the withholding or
31   withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.
32   SEC. 4. TIME FOR FILING.
33 Notwithstanding any other time limitation, any suit or claim under this
34   Act shall be timely if filed within 30 days after the date of enactment of this
35   Act.
36   SEC. 5. NO CHANGE OF SUBSTANTIVE RIGHTS.
37 Nothing in this Act shall be construed to create substantive rights not
38   otherwise secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the
39   several States.
40   SEC. 6. NO EFFECT ON ASSISTING SUICIDE.
41 Nothing in this Act shall be construed to confer additional jurisdiction on
42   any court to consider any claim related--
43  (1) to assisting suicide, or
44  (2) a State law regarding assisting suicide.
45   SEC. 7. NO PRECEDENT FOR FUTURE LEGISLATION.
46 Nothing in this Act shall constitute a precedent with respect to future
47   legislation, including the provision of private relief bills.
48   SEC. 8. NO AFFECT ON THE PATIENT SELF-DETERMINATION   
49   ACT OF 1990.
50 Nothing in this Act shall affect the rights of any person under the Patient
51   Self-Determination Act of 1990.
52   SEC. 9. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.
53 It is the Sense of Congress that the 109th Congress should consider
54   policies regarding the status and legal rights of incapacitated individuals who
55   are incapable of making decisions concerning the provision, withholding, or
56   withdrawal of foods, fluid, or medical care.

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