A report today in CNS News indicates that critical testimony in an earlier hearing in the Terri Schiavo case was incorrectly disregarded. The testimony challenges the idea that there is “clear and convincing evidence” of Terri’s express wishes to die.
One of Terri’s close friends testified that she had expressed strong opinions against the removal of life support from comatose Karen Ann Quinlan during a conversation in 1982. The judge ruled that the testimony was mistaken as to when it took place because it couldn’t have been discussed in the present tense: he wrote that Quinlan was dead in 1982. But Quinlan didn’t die until 1985.
Judge Greer, the same man overseeing the case today, asserted that the conversation must have taken place during the mid-1970s when Terri was only 11 or 12 years old, thus diminishing the weight of its significance.
It’s not apparent how much consideration this motion will receive. But recurring revelations like this one demand the need to reexamine her case more closely. One might wonder why the fact about the mistaken date of Karen Ann Quinlan’s death hadn’t been noticed until now, but regardless, the Florida judicial system should err on the side of life.
In more hopeful news, Representative Dave Weldon of Florida will introduce next week in Congress the Incapacitated Legal Person’s Protection Act, which would allow Terri’s case to be transferred to a federal court for rehearing. Perhaps we won’t have to pin our hopes on the Florida courts. Keep an eye on this legislation.