Sunday, March 20, 2005
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
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
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
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.