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Court rules out Schiavo appeal -

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Court rules out Schiavo appeal

Reporter:

TONY JONES: In the United States, the Atlanta Federal Court of Appeals has rejected the latest bid
to keep a brain-damaged woman alive. In a split 2-1 decision, issued in the middle of the night,
the judges ruled against requests for Terri Schiavo's feeding tube to be reinserted. Ms Schiavo's
parents told the court they feared her death was imminent. Hamish Fitzsimmons reports.

MARY SCHINDLER, MOTHER: I'm begging you, don't let my daughter die of thirst.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: But the desperate plea of a mother for her daughter didn't sway a Federal Court
of Appeals which upheld an earlier decision to allow the removal of the severely brain-damaged
41-year-old's feeding tube. It's less than 24 hours since the last appeal by Terri Schiavo's family
was rejected in a lower court.

BOBBY SCHINDLER, BROTHER: Our family felt very encouraged with Congress passing this bill and we're
hopeful that the judge would have immediately had my sister's feeding tube reinserted.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Terri Schiavo has been in a vegetative state for 15 years, after her heart
stopped beating for five minutes. The seven-year legal battle over whether to keep her alive or not
came to a head last Sunday, when the US Congress passed legislation to allow a Federal Court to
hear the case. The case has become a lightning rod for conservative politicians and evangelical
Christians.

CHRISTIAN ACTIVIST: I'm not giving up. Until the unfortunate Terri goes back to be with Jesus - I
am here.

CHRISTIAN ACTIVIST: It's not right what they are doing, they're killing a human being. I don't
care, it's not right.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: But polls would suggest the majority of Americans feel Mrs Schiavo should be
allowed to die, which is what her husband has maintained is in her best interests.

MICHAEL SCHIAVO, HUSBAND: This is what Terri wants. She does not want to be in this condition. She
does not want to exist in this condition.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: In tonight's decision, Judge Charles Wilson acknowledged Terri Schiavo's death
was imminent. She's been without food or water for five days and both sides are expected to pursue
their appeals all the way up to the US Supreme Court. Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline.