.- In the latest blow to the parents of brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has denied an appeal to reinsert the 41-year old woman’s feeding tube, which has provided her with food and hydration for the last 15 years. In a 2-1 ruling this morning, the court declared that attorneys for Schiavo’s parents "failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims" that Terri's feeding tube should be immediately reinserted.
Judge Charles R. Wilson dissented from the decision saying that Schiavo’s "imminent" death would end the case before it could be judged.
"In fact, I fail to see any harm in reinserting the feeding tube," he wrote.
This decision comes in the wake of a Florida federal judge who ruled yesterday that, he too, saw no reason to overturn a February 24th decision by Florida Judge George Greer to have the tube removed.
Schiavo has now been without food or water since Friday.
Husband Michael has staged a multi-year battle against Terri’s parents, saying that his wife would have never wanted to be kept alive in her current state. The battle has heated up over the last week, bringing in the action of both congress and President Bush.
Burke Balch, J.D., Director of the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics at the National Right to Life Committee said this morning that, “The…court ruling is another in a series of acts of raw judicial power, determined to end the life of Terri Schiavo regardless of the rule of law or the norms of justice, but her fight for life is far from over.”
“In particular,” he said, “Floridians can and should be urging their state senators to enact legislation creating a more protective standard for decisions concerning food and fluids.”
Late yesterday, the U.S. Justice Department declared their support for Schiavo’s parents saying, "Unless preliminary relief is immediately issued, there will be significant and irreversible injury: Theresa Schiavo will die.”