Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BUSH KEEPS RIGHT-TO-DIE WIFE ALIVE; Husband's Anger as Law Is Passed

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BUSH KEEPS RIGHT-TO-DIE WIFE ALIVE; Husband's Anger as Law Is Passed

Article excerpt


PRESIDENT BUSH today signed a law to force doctors to keep a brain-damaged woman alive.

Terri Schiavo, 41, who has been in a vegetative state for 15 years, is at the centre of a bitter legal battle between her husband and parents.

Her plight has split America and has led to emotional scenes outside her Florida hospice where pro-life campaigners have gathered.

Michael Schiavo wants her to be allowed to die naturally and won a Florida ruling on Friday that allowed her feeding tube to be removed.

But her parents have campaigned for her to be kept alive.

Both houses of Congress debated the issue into the early hours of today and agreed a Bill that would allow the feeding tube to be reconnected pending a hearing by a federal judge.

Confirming the laws, Mr Bush said: "Today I signed into law a Bill that will allow federal courts to hear a claim by or on behalf of Terri Schiavo for violation of her rights.

"In cases like this one our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favour of life. This presumption is especially critical for those like Terri Schiavo who live at the mercy of others." Now she is likely to have food restored to her

after a weekend of intense battles between the two sides of her family and fanatical lobby groups.

Both sides have led protests outside the hospice in Pinellas Park, St Petersburg, where Mrs Schiavo is being treated Four pro-life campaigners were arrested after trying to smuggle a meal of bread and water to her bedside.

The stand-off has seen security guards posted around her bed with her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, claiming they have been banned from seeing her in case they try to slip her even a "sliver of ice" to help keep her alive.

Mrs Schiavo lapsed into a persistent vegetative state at the age of 26 after her heart stopped beating temporarily in 1990. She left no living will or written indication about what sort of care she would want to receive in the event of such a situation.

Two malpractice suits against doctors for misdiagnosing her condition brought awards of more than [pounds sterling]1 million. …

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