Feeding tube removal case goes to federal court

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President Bush signed legislation early Monday that permits a federal judge to intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo, whose feeding tube was removed Friday amid much national protest. The judge heard afternoon pleadings in Tampa from Schiavo's parents, who want the tube put back in, but adjourned for the day without any indication when he would issue a ruling.

The House voted 203-58 in the early morning hours Monday to approve the legislation, following a week of intense debate on Capitol Hill. The Senate had approved the measure to intervene in the case Sunday afternoon.

Schiavo, 41, has been the center of a right-to-die controversy after suffering heart failure 15 years ago. Doctors say she has been in a vegetative state since that time. While she can breathe on her own, she requires a feeding tube to survive. She has largely resided in long-term care settings.

Removal of the feeding tube was the result of a ruling by Judge George W. Greer of the Florida Circuit Court, 6th Judicial Circuit, Pinellas County, at the request of Schiavo's husband, Michael Schiavo. He has been engaged in the years-long legal battle with Schiavo's parents who want to keep their daughter alive.