WASHINGTON, March 18, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A nurse and spokeswoman for the Schindler foundation announced that today, at 1:45 pm, Terri Schindler’s feeding tube was removed, on the order of Florida judge George W. Greer.
Cheryl Ford, in an e-mail release from fight4terri.blogspot.com, said, “Word was just received that Terri’s parents were asked to leave Terri’s room.Â Michael Schiavo was present when the feeding tube was removed.” Bay News 9 local news reported that a relative of Michael Schiavo’s girlfriend emerged from Schiavo’s Clearwater home to tell reporters that Terri’s feeding tube was removed.
“Schiavo said he allowed a prayer service without the family present,” Ford continued. “Terri’s parents were asked to leave their daughter’s room at 1:45 pm. Her last feeding began at 11:00 am. She had some nutrition provided before Judge Greer ordered her feeding tube removed, stated Barbara Weller, attorney for the Gibbs firm. Terri’s parents are very upset.”
Greer ignored subpoenas from US Congress. Congress had issued the subpoenas to the Florida hospice where Terri resides late Friday morning, requesting her attendance at a Congressional Health Committee hearing on March 28. Any wilful obstruction of a Congressional subpoena is considered contempt and can lead to arrest.
“I have had no cogent reason why the [congressional] committee should intervene,” Greer said to attorneys, as reported by the AP. He claimed that the last minute action on the part of Congress does not nullify years of legal proceedings.
“The Senate and the House remain dedicated to saving Terri Schiavo’s life,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said in a release Friday. “While discussions over possible legislative remedies continue, the Senate and the House are taking action to keep her alive in the interim.”
“The purpose of the hearing is to review health care policies and practices relevant to the care of non-ambulatory persons such as Mrs. Schiavo,” Frist continued. “Federal criminal law protects witnesses called before official Congressional committee proceedings from anyone who may obstruct or impede a witness’ attendance or testimony.More specifically, the law protects a witness from anyone who—by threats, force, or by any threatening letter or communication—influences, obstructs, or impedes an inquiry or investigation by Congress. Anyone who violates this law is subject to criminal fines and imprisonment.”
“It is a contempt of Congress to prevent or discourage someone from following the subpoena that’s been issued,” said lead attorney acting for Terri’s parents, David Gibbs. “What the U.S. Congress is saying is, ‘We want to see Terri Schiavo.’”