News

    Brain-Damaged Florida Woman Given Last Rites

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman at the center of a legal controversy in the United States, has been given last rites and Easter communion, at her hospice in the U.S. state of Florida.  Ms. Schiavo's parents have given up legal appeals to keep her alive.

    Both Federal and Florida State courts repeatedly denied motions last week by Bob and Mary Schindler, the parents of Terri Schiavo, to re-attach their daughter's feeding tube. The Schindlers have now gone into seclusion to await their daughter's death, and have appealed to their supporters to suspend public demonstrations in front of the hospice where she is bedridden.

    On Monday, the Schindler's spiritual advisor and defacto spokesman, Paul O'Donnell, a Roman Catholic Franciscan monk, told reporters he believes Terri Schiavo's death is not imminent.

    "Everyone is willing to write this woman's obituary except one person, and that is Terri Schiavo herself. She is alert, she is awake and she is fighting for her life," Paul  O'Donnell said.

    The feeding tube keeping Terri Schiavo alive was disconnected more than 10 days ago after years of litigation between her husband Michael, who is her legal guardian, and her parents. Mr. Schiavo's position, that his wife told him and others that she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means, has been consistently upheld by both federal and state courts.

    On Monday, Paul O'Donnell, made another plea to Florida Governor Jeb Bush to place Terri Schiavo in protective custody, something Florida courts have forbidden him to do.

    "Bob and Mary Schindler are begging Governor Bush to step in and take custody of Terri. We have heard that he has the legal authority," he said.

    Speaking at a recent impromptu news conference in his office, Governor Bush said he had done all he could do to keep Terri Schiavo alive and that his powers are limited.

    "They [Schindlers] are acting on their heart and I fully appreciate their sentiments and the emotions that go with this. But, I have consistently said I cannot go beyond what my powers are. I am not going to do it," he said.

    George Felos, the lawyer for Michael Schiavo says his client is also in seclusion. Both Ms. Schiavo's parents and her husband are keeping a death vigil at her bedside, but they visit her at different time to avoid conflict. Mr. Felos told reporters he was surprised the case went on for more than a decade, but that he believes it was about a fundamental right of Americans to live and die as they choose.

    "I firmly believe in the right of individuals to make their own medical treatment choices, and that this is not an area where the state has an interest in being involved," he said. "I certainly never expected this case would take as long as it did but I have always felt that we would be letting Terri down if we did not carry it through and have her wishes carried out."

    Police have arrested a number of protesters over the past several days at the hospice where Terri Schiavo is spending her last hours. Federal law enforcement authorities have detained several individuals who allegedly threatened the lives of Michael Schiavo and the Florida judge who ruled to have Terri Schiavo's feeding tube disconnected.

    On Monday, local authorities in Pinellas Park, Florida canceled the re-opening of an elementary school that is near the hospice, saying they were worried about possible disturbances in the area.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.