In a race to beat a 1:00pm EST court ordered deadline to remove the feeding tube of brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, lawmakers have issued subpoenas to bring her and her husband Michael Schiavo before a Senate Health Committee meeting on March 28th.
Terri’s husband has staged a multi year battle against her parents to have the feeding tube, which provides Terri with food and hydration, removed. In February, Florida Judge George Greer ruled in his favor and set the March 18th deadline.
David Gibbs, attorney for Schiavo’s parents said that, "It is a contempt of Congress to prevent or discourage someone from following the subpoena that's been issued. What the U.S. Congress is saying is, 'We want to see Terri Schiavo.'"
He added that, "The family is prayerfully excited about their daughter going before the United States Congress for the whole world to see how alive she is."
Under federal law, it is illegal to cause harm or death to a person who has been issued a Congressional subpoena.
Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) issued a statement today saying that the purpose of the hearing was to review health care policies and practices relevant to the care of non-ambulatory people.
In the midst of the last-minute legal battles, Judge Greer denied an appeal from the state of Florida to block the tube’s removal.
Schiavo’s feeding tube has already been removed twice before, once in 2001, and again in 2003. Her family has vowed to fight for their daughter’s life even up until the last moment.