DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The husband of a brain-damaged woman at the center of a legal tug of war between her family members will go to court next week to fight Governor Jeb Bush's order to reinsert her feeding tube, the husband's attorney said yesterday.
The husband, Michael Schiavo, will go back to court Monday to challenge the constitutionality of the governor's actions, attorney George Felos said.
Felos said his client has been bolstered by the outpouring of public support on his behalf:
"He's a fighter, and he's feeling in some ways encouraged." Terri Schiavo has been in what doctors call a "persistent vegetative state" since 1990, when her heart stopped because of a chemical imbalance. Her eyes are open, but doctors say she has no consciousness.
Michael Schiavo contends that his wife told him she would rather die than be kept alive artificially, but family members dispute that and have fought Michael Schiavo in court for a decade.
The tube was removed by a court order on Oct. 15, but the Legislature this week rushed through a bill designed to keep Terri Schiavo alive. Bush quickly invoked the law and ordered the feeding tube reinserted.
Meanwhile, Terri Schiavo's parents and brother visited her for more than an hour in the hospice where she was transferred after the tube was reinserted.
"Terri is great, absolutely great. She has her color back. She's tired, but she just looks wonderful," said her father, Bob Schindler. "I think she's out of harm's way."
Meanwhile, the governor's personal intervention has raised suspicions that he is engaging in political grandstanding. "It may very well be consistent with his religious beliefs, but why single out this particular case?" asked Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political science professor.
Bush said his actions reflect deeply held beliefs. "I am prolife, and I believe in the sanctity of life, and I don't think that's a surprise to anybody," he said.