Terri Schiavo is shown in this Aug. 11, 2001, video released by her family, Oct. 14, 2003. (AP Photo/Schindler Family Video)
INDEPTH: TERRI SCHIAVO|
CBC News Online | March 31, 2005
Terri Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 after her heart stopped, depriving her brain of oxygen.
Doctors said the damage was severe enough to leave her in a "persistent vegetative state." She was able to breathe on her own but required a feeding tube to keep her alive.
Her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, and her parents, the Schindlers, were involved in a protracted legal dispute from 1998.
Michael Schiavo said his wife had said she would never want to be kept alive if she were in a vegetative state. He asked the courts to allow doctors to remove her feeding tube so she could die.
Two years later, the courts rule the feeding tube can be removed. The decision was challenged by Terri's parents. In April 2001, the tube was removed, but re-inserted two days later after the Schindlers file a civil suit against Michael Schiavo.
The tube would removed another two times as the legal battles continued. The last time would be March 18, 2005. Several courts refused to order that the feeding tube be reinserted. Doctors said Terri would last a week or two with no fluid or nutrition.
On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo died, 13 days after the feeding tube was removed.
Feb. 25, 1990:
Terri Schiavo collapses at home. Her heart stops beating temporarily, leading to brain damage because of a lack of oxygen.
June 18, 1990:
A court appoints Terri's husband Michael Schiavo as her guardian. Schiavo's parents, the Schindlers, do not object.
Terri Schiavo is awarded $250,000 US in an out-of-court malpractice settlement with one of her doctors.
Terri Schiavo's husband Michael Schiavo wins a malpractice case against another of Terri's doctors. He is awarded about $750,000 US for her care and about $300,000 US for himself.
July 29, 1993:
The Schindlers attempt to remove Michael Schiavo as Terri Schiavo's guardian. The court would later dismiss the suit.
March 1, 1994:
A court-appointed guardian says Michael Schiavo has acted appropriately and attentively toward his wife.
Michael Schiavo files a petition to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. The Schindlers oppose the petition. The court appoints another guardian to Terri Schiavo.
Dec. 20, 1998:
The guardian reports that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state with no chance of improvement. He also says her husband's decision-making may be influenced by the potential to inherit Schiavo's estate.
Feb. 1, 2000:
Judge George Greer rules that Terri Schiavo would have chosen to have her feeding tube removed and orders that it can be removed.
March 24, 2000:
Judge Greer stays his order to remove the feeding tube until 30 days after the Schindlers exhaust all their appeals.
April 20, 2001:
The Schindlers win a stay until April 23 to exhaust all their possible appeals.
April 23, 2001:
The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to intervene in the case.
April 24, 2001:
Terri Schiavo's feeding tube is removed.
April 26, 2001:
The Schindlers file a civil suit against Michael Schiavo, claiming he perjured himself when he testified that his wife had an aversion to remaining on life support. Pending the trial, Judge Frank Quesada orders the feeding tube reinserted.
Nov. 22, 2002:
Judge Greer rules that Terri Schiavo's feeding tube should be removed Jan. 3, 2003.
Dec. 13, 2002:
Judge Greer stays his order to remove the feeding tube until an appeal court can rule on the case.
June 6, 2003:
An appeal court affirms Judge Greer's order, says Michael Schiavo can remove the feeding tube on Oct. 15.
Aug. 22, 2003:
Florida Supreme Court declines to review the decision.
Sept. 17, 2003:
Judge Greer orders the removal of the feeding tube on Oct. 15.
Sept. 22, 2003:
The Schindlers petition Federal Court.
Oct. 7, 2003:
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush files a brief in Federal Court supporting the Schindlers' efforts to stop the removal of the feeding tube.
Oct. 10, 2003:
A Federal Court judge rules he lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.
Oct. 15, 2003:
Terri Schiavo's feeding tube is removed.
Oct. 21, 2003:
The Florida Senate passes a law, known as "Terri's Law," giving Gov. Bush the power to order doctors to feed Terri Schiavo. He issues an executive order and her feeding tube is reinserted. Michael Schiavo files a lawsuit in state court arguing that "Terri's Law" in unconstitutional.
Oct. 31, 2003:
Judge David Demers appoints another guardian to Terri Schiavo.
Dec. 1, 2003:
Guardian reports that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state with no chance of improvement.
May 6, 2004:
County Court Judge Douglas Baird rules that "Terri's Law" is unconstitutional and a violation of the right to privacy. Gov. Bush appeals the decision.
Sept. 23, 2004:
Florida Supreme Court unanimously affirms the lower court decision that "Terri's Law" is unconstitutional.
Oct. 4, 2004:
Gov. Bush files a motion to rehear the case. The court would later deny the motion.
Dec. 3, 2004:
Gov. Bush files a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to accept the case for review.
Jan. 24, 2005:
The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to review the Florida court ruling that "Terri's Law" in unconstitutional.
Feb. 16, 2005:
Randall Terry, founder of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, appears with the Schindlers at a news conference. He says his organization will hold protest vigils against the removal of the feeding tube.
Feb. 25, 2005:
Judge Greer orders that Michael Schiavo can remove his wife's feeding tube on March 18, 2005.
March 12, 2005:
Michael Schiavo turns down an offer of $1 million US from a Florida businessman to keep his wife alive.
March 16, 2005:
Florida Appeals Court refuses to block the removal of the feeding tube.
March 17, 2005:
The Schindlers file a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to block the removal of their daughter's feeding tube. The court denies the petition.
March 18, 2005:
The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate attempt to the block the removal of the feeding tube, but Judge Greer rejects the moves. The feeding tube is removed for the third time in accordance with court orders.
March 19, 2005:
The U.S. Senate delays its Easter recess to work through the night on a "private bill," a law applying to only one individual, Terri Schiavo, calling on the Federal Court to review her case. It passes the bill and the U.S. House of Representatives returns from Easter recess for a special session to debate the law.
March 21, 2005:
Shortly after 12:30 a.m., the House votes 203-58 to suspend its rules and pass the private bill. U.S. President George W. Bush signs it into law at 1:11 a.m.
Federal Judge James Whittemore hears arguments from both sides in the case, and adjourns without ruling.
March 22, 2005:
Judge Whittemore rules that the Schindlers had not established a "substantial likelihood of success" at trial and refuses to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.
The Schindlers launch an appeal in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
March 23, 2005:
In a 2-1 ruling at 2:30 a.m., a panel of judges in the Court of Appeals rejects the Schindlers' appeal, saying they "failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims."
The Schindlers' lawyer says he will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
March 24, 2005:
The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear the Schindlersí case. Judge Greer, who ordered on March 18 that the tube can be removed, denies motion to place Terri Schiavo in state custody.
March 25, 2005:
Judge Whittemore denies the Schindlers' second motion to reinsert the feeding tube. Their appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit fails to overrule the decision. A federal judge rejects the Schindlers' second appeal to restore their daughter's feeding tube. The Schindlers then file an emergency motion in an attempt to get Judge Greer to overturn his decision.
March 26, 2005:
Judge Greer rejects the Schindlers' latest appeal that claims Terri Schiavo communicated a desire to live before the feeding tube was removed. The Florida Supreme Court rejects another appeal by the Schindlers.
March 29, 2005:
The U.S. Court of Appeals agrees to consider an emergency motion by the Schindlers for a new hearing on reconnecting their daughter's feeding tube. Some doctors say it's not clear that reconnecting the tube at this point, 12 days after it was withdrawn, will save Terri Schiavo's life. Her family says her organs are still working, and it's not too late yet.
March 30, 2005:
The U.S. Court of Appeals rejects the Schindlers' latest motion.
March 31, 2005:
Terri Schiavo dies, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.