A US appeals court has rejected a call to re-insert the feeding tube of a severely brain-damaged woman. Terri Schiavo’s parents had hoped it would overturn a lower federal court decision and have warned their daughter is “fading fast” after food and water were withdrawn on Friday.
Her case has both electrified and divided America. Schiavo’s mother – Mary Schindler – made an emotional appeal to lawmakers. “Please, I am begging you don’t let my daughter die of thirst,” she said.
Florida courts – 19 judges in all – have found Schiavo to be in a persistent vegetative state and have consistently sided with her husband in finding that she would not have wanted to be kept alive artificially.
But her parents say Schiavo responds to them and could get better. The case has become a cause celebre for the Christian right but the majority of Americans, according to opinion polls, disapprove of their politicians’ sudden involvement at the weekend, saying it smacks of political opportunism.