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Terri's Law: An Ominous Euthanasia Inroad

Yesterday, as I was checking the links in my article, Terri's Law: A Scientology Sham, I discovered that the link to the text of Terri's Law led me to a page with this message: "The document was not found." The website that removed the Terri's Law document is I did find the Terri's Bill document (House Bill No. 35-E) elsewhere and saved it here.

The fact that removed the Terri's Law document and did not direct the visitor to a new location to view the document caused me to wonder. I decided to reread Terri's Law. As I reread this document, I noticed that not once is the phrase "feeding tube" mentioned. Similar terms such as "artificially administered feeding" or "medically assisted feeding and nutrition" are also not found in this document. In fact, there is no mention of anything having to do with medically administered nutrition and hydration written into the law that was supposedly written for the purpose of preventing the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding/hydration tube!

Terri's Law was not about preventing the withholding of  medically administered nutrition and hydration (feeding tubes). Terri's Law was about preventing the withholding of nutrition and hydration in general. And it was overturned.

Before you say that there is no need to define the terms, "nutrition and hydration" please understand that legal documents are precisely written. If the Florida Legislature intended to limit the definition of nutrition and hydration to medically assisted feeding, they would have done so.

The National Right to Life attorneys made a point of limiting the meaning of the word "nutrition" in their Model Starvation and Dehydration of Persons With Disabilities Prevention Act. In this proposed legislation, the word "nutrition" is narrowly defined as follows: 

D.  “Nutrition” means sustenance administered by way of the gastrointestinal tract.

(Quote source: National Right to Life)

Nutrition and hydration means food and water in general. Terri's Law, which was touted as the means by which Florida Governor Jeb Bush was given the "authority" (which expired after 15 days) to issue a one-time stay to prevent the withholding of nutrition and hydration from Terri Schiavo (and any others who met the specific criteria outlined in Terri's Law) was ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court! 

Note: Florida Governor Jeb Bush has failed to reprimand "Judge Greer" who has violated Florida statutes and judicial canons and denied Terri the rights of a person determined incapacitated. Gov Bush did not issue an executive order to prevent what Pat Anderson stated in her August 4, 2003 brief is "the first case of euthanasia in Florida's reported case law." Instead, he opted for the Terri's Law Sham which (after it was predictably overturned) paved the way for judges to withhold regular food and water as well as the gastric tube. [update: Judge Greer did exactly that in his illegal Feb.25,2005 court order which resulted in the dehydration death of Terri Schiavo.]

The precedent set by the overturning of Terri's Law: In the event that a judge orders the removal of nutrition and hydration (this includes regular food and water) from a person the court has found to be in a persistent vegetative state and deemed not able to recover to the level of cognition the court requires the highest official in the state may not intervene. Since euthanasia is illegal in all fifty states, the overturning of Terri's Law is an ominous euthanasia inroad indeed.

The wording of Terri's Law combined with the overturning of this legislation produced the highly sought after "withholding of regular food and water" precedent the euthanasia movement has been waiting for. [update]

Return to: Scientology Vs Terri Schiavo


modified 5/04/05

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