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Florida Governor Orders Doctors to Begin Hydrating Comatose Woman - 2003-10-22


Florida's Governor Jeb Bush has ordered doctors to begin giving fluids to a brain-damaged woman who has been in a coma for the past 13 years. The governor's action comes after the Florida state legislature gave him emergency powers to overrule a court decision which allowed the woman's husband to have her feeding tube disconnected.

Doctors have begun feeding Terri Schiavo, 39, again, six days after they disconnected her feeding tube when a court ruled in favor of her husband's request to allow his wife to die.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the brother of President George W. Bush, intervened in the case on behalf of the womans parents, who had fought unsuccessfully in Florida's courts to keep their daughter alive.

Earlier this week, he Florida state legislature passed emergency legislation allowing Governor Bush to intervene in the case. A judge has rejected a request by the woman's husband, Michael Schiavo, to overturn the governor's order.

The case has become politically charged, with right-to-life groups demonstrating on behalf of Terry Schiavo's parents who say, with intensive therapy, their daughter might be able to regain some functions. Many doctors disagree, saying Terry Schiavo has no hope of recovery from the persistent vegetative state she has been in for 13 years.

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