WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- Two Florida lawmakers have filed a bill that would give a brain-damaged Tampa woman kept alive by a feeding tube access to a special federal court hearing.
Sen. Mel Martinez and Rep. Dave Weldon, both Republicans, said incapacitated patients like Terri Schiavo should have the same type of federal hearing as death row prisoners, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.
"This legislation is about due process and equal protection for disabled individuals like Terri Schiavo. It ensures Terri has the same federal legal protections as convicted murderers," Martinez said.
George Felos, attorney for Schiavo's husband, Michael, said it was a "horrible" idea.
"To allow never-ending federal review of state court decisions would make it virtually impossible to carry out patients' wishes if anyone in the family disagreed," Felos said.
Terri Schiavo is at the center of a legal battle between her husband, who wants to remove her feeding tube because that would be her desire, and her parents, who want to keep her alive.