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Published: Thursday, 3/10/2005

<font face='verdana' size='1' color =#CC0000><b> * NEW * </b></font>Judge says agency cannot intervene in case of brain-damaged woman


TAMPA, Fla. A judge ruled today that Florida s social services agency cannot intervene to delay the removal of the feeding tube keeping brain-damaged Terri Schiavo alive.

The Department of Children & Families had asked for a 60-day delay in the removal of the feeding tube, now scheduled March 18.

The agency said it wanted time to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect by the woman s husband, Michael Schiavo.

But Circuit Judge George W. Greer ruled the agency s attempt to get involved at this late stage appears to be brought for the purpose of circumventing the court s final judgment ... in violation of the separation of powers doctrine.

Michael Schiavo s attorney had criticized the last-minute attempt by the agency to get involved, saying that it was engineered by Gov. Jeb Bush and others who support Terri Schiavo s parents in their bid to keep their daughter alive.

Terri Schiavo is in what some doctors say is a persistent vegetative state. She suffered brain damage after her heart stopped because of a chemical imbalance that was believed to have been brought on by an eating disorder.

Michael Schiavo has gotten a court order to remove the feeding tube, contending his wife told him she would not want to be kept alive artificially. Her parents dispute that.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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