.- Yesterday, U.S. Representative Dave Weldon (R-FL), and Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) introduced a piece of legislation which many hope could save brain-damaged Terri Schiavoâs life.
According to Weldonâs office, House Bill 1151, the Incapacitated Personâs Legal Protection Act would âexplicitly clarify fundamental due process rights for those who are incapacitated, are under court ordered removal of nutrition and hydration and have no written advanced medical directive in effect.â
If passed, the bill would give the family of 41-year old Schiavo access to a federal court to argue for their daughterâs life.
Florida judge George Greer ruled February 25th in favor of Michael Schiavo, Terriâs husband, who has been trying for years remove the feeding tube, which gives food and hydration to his wife.
Lori Kehoe, Congressional liaison for the National Right to Life told CNA that she is encouraged by yesterdayâs introduction of the bill.
Basically, she said, â[representatives] fell into one of two categories: those who were extremely supportive of the bill and those who were very ambivalent and didnât really know all the facts.â
Kehoe said that it was very powerful for the representatives to meet Schiavoâs parents and âto have to look into their eyes and see that this is a human being, not just another test case.â
She noted that one of the few harsh reactions came from Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) who âlooked right at [Schiavoâs brother] and said âthatâs not lifeâ¦how long has she been in that coma and how much is it costing us?ââ
âIt was really badâ, Kehoe noted.
Bob Schindler, Terriâs brother who also spoke with CNA this morning said that, âthe secular media has really miscalculated [his] sisterâs conditionâ¦and has really dehumanized her.â
In response to Representative Johnsonâs comments to him yesterday, Schindler noted that, âshe had already made up her mind and didnât want to listen to me.â
While he tried to point out that his sister was not on life support or in a coma, he observed that Johnson âdidnât really know anything about the case and didnât want to hear it.â
Notwithstanding Johnsonâs comments, Kehoe has high hopes for the new bill. She noted positive reactions from some senators who she said âare usually very hard.â
âThe most difficult part now,â she said, â is the time line.â
Judge Greer set a date of March 18th for Terriâs feeding tube to be removed, an act which will effectively end her life.
âIt will be difficult but doableâ, Kehoe added, âWeâre just praying that this moves fast.â