The Rift Over the Right to Die

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photoForty-one-year-old Terri Schiavo has been diagnosed by doctors as "in a persistent vegetative state" for the past 15 years. Since 1998, her husband, Michael, has been fighting a legal battle to remove the feeding tube that is keeping her alive, a decision that her parents oppose.

Last Friday, a Florida state judge ruled in favor of removing Schiavo's feeding tube. Now, a bill passed by an emergency session of Congress and signed into law by President Bush, has granted jurisdiction over the case to a Florida federal court.

A poll out today from ABC shows two-thirds of Americans disapprove of federal intervention in the case, and think that Congress overstepped its bounds for political gain. Many conservatives see the Schiavo case as an extension of their anti-abortion agenda.

Hear about the fate of Terri Schiavo and the political divide in the U.S.


Charles Babington, covers Congress for The Washington Post


Tim Padgett, Miami bureau chief Time magazine covering Schiavo case

Barney Frank (D-MA)

Phil Gingrey (R-GA)

Nate Pursily, professor of law and political science at The University of Pennsylvania

Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics

This program aired on March 21, 2005.


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