Court Blocks Terri's Parents from Joining Lawsuit to Defend Law Keeping Her Alive

( [email protected] ) Jul 03, 2004 03:10 PM EDT

The Second District Court of Appeals said Wednesday that the parents of Terri Schiavo cannot intervene in the court battle over the "Terri's Law," which allowed Gov. Jeb Bush to order reinsertion of her feeding tube last fall to keep her alive.

Terri's estranged husband Michael Schiavo is suing Bush to have the law overturned in a case which the Supreme Court will hear on August 31.

The appeals court upheld Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird's ruling that denies Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, the right to join Bush in defending the law. The court's decision will keep the Schindlers from appealing any rulings in the upcoming case, according to George Felos, the lawyer representing Michael Schiavo. A court opinion was not issued with Wednesday's ruling.

Felos agree with Baird's decision, saying, "There was no purpose to be served by adding additional parties."

Although the Schindlers' have been barred from participating directly with the case, they will still file documents with the Supreme Court related to the case.

Their voices will be heard, said Pat Anderson, the Schindler's lawyer. "It would be a shame to shut them out of the process."

Terri Schiavo, 40, has relied on the feeding tube for survival ever since she collapsed at the age of 26 in her home. The collapse deprived her brain of oxygen and causing damage to her brain leaving her in what doctors call a vegetatitve state.

Schiavo's husband claims she told him before her collapse that she would not have wanted to be kept alive through artificial means.

The Schindlers doubt their daughter ever expressed such wishes and say she would have wanted to live. If she received the proper therapy, which has been denied to her thus far, the Schindlers' contend, Schiavo would be able to improve her condition.