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Court Rules on Comatose Woman

January 25, 2001

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) _ A comatose woman who has been in a vegetative state for nearly 11 years should be allowed to die, as her husband wishes, a state appeals court ruled.

Terri Schiavo’s brain was damaged beyond any medical hope of repair, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday.

Schiavo, 37, has been comatose since suffering a heart attack in February 1990. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, has been seeking permission since May 1998 to have her feeding tube removed, saying at a trial last year that she was unable to swallow and her brain was destroyed.

The court also dismissed accusations by Michael Schiavo and his wife’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, that each side wanted to inherit some $700,000 in a trust for Terri’s care, saying the real issue was her health.

Michael Schiavo stands to inherit the money if his wife dies.

A judge concluded last February that Terri Schiavo had no hope of recovery and said her husband could remove her feeding tube 30 days after the Schindlers exhausted all appeals.

The Schindlers have vowed to keep appealing that decision. They contend their daughter reacts to them, smiling, laughing and crying, and hope that Terri will eventually snap out of her coma.

``We will do whatever we have to do to save her life,″ Robert Schindler said. ``I personally would be pleased if the judges ... would take the time to see Terri. If they did, they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to end her life.″

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