The parents of a brain-damaged woman nearing death have asked supporters gathered outside a Florida hospice to return home to their families for Easter.

A spokesman for Bob and Mary Schindler Sunday said the Schindlers have abandoned their fight in federal court to have their daughter's feeding tube re-inserted.

The case of Mrs. Schiavo, who doctors say has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, has ignited a national debate on an individual's right to refuse medical treatment.

Federal and state courts have repeatedly sided with Mrs. Schiavo's husband Michael, who says his wife would not want to be kept alive artificially.

Experts say Mrs. Schiavo, who has been without food or water since March 18, is likely to die within two weeks.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.