- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 20, 2005

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) - Terri Schiavo’s parents yesterday notified her hospice to prepare to have her feeding tube reinserted in the event Congress passes a last-minute bill to save the brain-damaged woman.

Schindler attorney Barbara Weller said a letter was faxed to the hospice and to the office of Michael Schiavo’s attorney Saturday night notifying them of the action in Congress and that the tube could be reinserted as early as today.

She said the hospice and Mrs. Schiavo’s doctor were asked to “take whatever measures necessary to prepare for the tube to be put back in.”

The bill being considered in Washington would apply only to Mrs. Schiavo and would allow a federal court to review the case. If it passes, attorneys probably would have to seek a federal court order to have the tube reinserted while courts review the decisions that allowed Mr. Schiavo to remove the feeding tube, Miss Weller said.

“We’re going to be ready to do what we have to do immediately,” she said.

Miss Weller also learned yesterday that an appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on due process issues is still alive, with the court asking for additional briefs yesterday morning.

The same action was denied by a federal court in Florida Friday.

Bob Schindler said he visited his daughter yesterday morning at her hospice and she seemed to be doing well as supporters maintained a vigil outside.

The 41-year-old woman’s feeding tube was removed Friday on a Florida judge’s order. Doctors say Mrs. Schiavo will starve to death within one or two weeks if the tube is not reinserted.

Meanwhile, emotions swelled outside the hospice. Four persons, including survivalist James Gordon “Bo” Gritz, were arrested Saturday on trespassing charges when they attempted to bring Mrs. Schiavo bread and water ” a symbolic move, because she is unable to eat.

A spokesman for Mrs. Schiavo’s parents, Paul O’Donnell, later told reporters that they do not want supporters to engage in civil disobedience on their daughter’s behalf.

A small group of supporters congregated outside the hospice yesterday, including some who had camped out for days. New protest signs were put up yesterday saying, “Save Terri Schiavo From State-Sponsored Murder!” and “Free Terri, jail the rest.”

Guabe Garcia Jones, a 26-year-old lawyer from Washington, said he has been on a hunger strike since the tube was pulled Friday, drinking only water for the roughly two days he has spent in a tent outside the hospice.

“I’m not going to eat until she can eat ” or I break down,” Mr. Jones said.

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