Judge Extends Terri Schiavo's Life for Three More Weeks

A Florida court judge ordered Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube to remain in place for three more weeks, allowing her parents time to pursue additional medical tests to prove Terri’s mental capabilities, but did not extend a stay on the 2000 decision to remove her tube.

"Even though the court will not issue another stay," Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer wrote, "the scheduling of a date certain for implementation of the February 11, 2000 ruling will give respondents ample time to appeal this denial, similar in duration to previous short-time stays granted for that purpose."

"Five years have passed since the issuance of the February 2000 order authorizing the removal of Theresa Schiavo's nutrition and hydration," Greer wrote, "and their appears to be no finality in sight to this process. The court, therefore, is no longer comfortable in continuing to grant stays pending appeal of orders...."

The ruling by Judge Greer comes three days after the March 22nd deadline when Terri’s tube was scheduled to be removed upon the request of her husband Michael.

Michael, who fathered two children with his live-in girlfriend, claims his wife did not want to be sustained on life support.

However, Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, deny the claim, pointed to the fact that Terri had never left any such written requests.

The Schindlers also deny Michael’s claims that Terri is in a “persistent vegetative state” and thus has no chance for recovery. Several court doctors sided with Michael in 2000.

During an interview with the Christian Post last week, Mary Schindler explained that Terri is "aware of her surroundings" and that she would know how to swallow if only she receives the proper training.

"None of the judges have seen her interact with loved ones. What we’re saying is that the judges need to remove Michael as he guardian," Mary said. "She doesn’t drool, and she could even eat through her mouth. She swallows, but she has to learn how to do it."

"Terri should have a swallowing test every two years to check if it gets worse or better. She’s supposed to do both for a while- feeding tube and swallowing by mouth- and then eventually take it out," Mary continued. "However, the judge won’t permit that since they say that she is PVS.

Mary also explained that Terri is not on "life support" in the traditional sense, since she knows how to breathe on her own.

"Terri receives the food and water, but other than that, she is not on any kind of life support," said Mary.

The Schinders added that taking out her feeding tube would essentially put her through a painful starvation process that could last for weeks.

"It is not dignified to be starved to death – you can’t even do that to a horse," said Schindler. "But they have been performing judicial homicide. It’s a death sentence for a woman who hasn’t done anything."

The Schindlers hope that more medical tests will show their daughter has more mental capabilities than previously thought by the court doctors.

The judge extended the stay until March 18.