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Court denies request to keep Fla. woman alive



Published: Tue, January 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The woman's husband and her parents disagreed on whether to keep her alive.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court refused Monday to step in and keep a severely brain-damaged woman hooked to a feeding tube, all but ending a long-running right-to-die battle pitting her husband against her parents.

It was the second time the Supreme Court dodged the politically charged case from Florida, where Republican Gov. Jeb Bush successfully lobbied the Legislature to pass a law to keep 41-year-old Terri Schiavo on life support.

The decision was criticized as "judicial homicide" by Mrs. Schiavo's father, Robert Schindler, but applauded by her husband, Michael Schiavo, who contends his wife never wanted to be kept alive artificially.

Narrow action

The court's action is very narrow, affecting only Schiavo.

More broadly, sometime after returning from their winter break, the justices will consider the Bush administration's request to block the nation's only law allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients die more quickly. Oregon voters passed that law in 1998, and more states could follow if justices find that the federal government cannot punish doctors who prescribed lethal doses of federally controlled drugs.

Terri Schiavo was 26 when she suffered brain damage in 1990 after her heart temporarily stopped beating because of an eating disorder.

Most of the legal wrangling in the case has involved whether she is in a persistent vegetative state with no chance of recovery and whether her husband has a conflict of interest because he lives with another woman and has two children with her.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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