New Evidence Sheds Light on Terri Schiavo's Desire to Live

The lawyers for Terri Schindler Schiavo’s parents filed a new motion asking Judge George Greer to reverse his 2000 order to remove Terri’s feeding tube, in light of newly surfaced evidence of her desire to live, on Wednesday, March 2, 2005.

According to a statement released by David Gibbs, attorney for Bob and Mary Schindler, Pinellas County Court Judge Greer erred in discounting the testimony of Terri’s friend Diane Meyer, who in 2000 said that the now-brain damaged Schiavo at one time indicated she did not agree with taking people off of artificial life support.

"In our motion we pointed out that in Judge Greer's February 2000 Order authorizing Terri's death, he made a clear mistake by discounting the testimony of Terri's friend, Diane Meyer. Diane testified that in 1982 Terri told her she did not agree with the decision by Karen Ann Quinlan's parents to take their daughter off life support,” Gibbs’ statement explained. “Judge Greer, although initially finding Diane's testimony 'believable,' finally concluded that this conversation could not have occurred in 1982.

“Judge Greer said in his 2000 Order that he was 'mystified' about Diane Meyer's use of present tense verbs in relating her conversation with Terri. Therefore, he concluded that Terri's statements to Diane did not indicate end-of-life wishes made as an adult, because Terri would only have been 11 or 12 years old in 1976, the year he believed Karen Ann Quinlan had died,” wrote Gibbs.

However, according to Gibbs, “it was not Diane Meyer who was mistaken – it was Judge Greer,” since Karen Ann Quinlan did not die until 1985, some 9 years after her court case ended and her respirator was removed.

Gibbs further explained that since this critical piece of information may have erroneously influenced Greer’s decision to remove Terri’s tube, a new trial should be ordered.

"If Judge Greer's 2000 Order authorizing Michael Schiavo to end his wife's life were a criminal death sentence, Terri would be entitled to a new trial on the basis of reversible error. Although Terri is not a criminal, she is still under a court-imposed death order, an order that is the equivalent of a death penalty,” wrote Gibbs. “Therefore, we are asking Judge Greer to correct his mistake by either reversing his 2000 Order or conducting a new trial.”