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House passes legislation to put Schiavo case in federal court

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] Wednesday passed legislation [House bill] which would delay the removal of the feeding tube sustaining Terri Schiavo [JURIST Newsmaker news archive] by allowing her case to shift to federal court. The House acted after a Florida appellate court upheld an earlier decision [JURIST report] to remove the tube. The bill, introduced by House Judiciary Committee chairman James Sensenbrenner [official website] and Florida representative Dave Weldon [official website], would allow a federal judge to decide whether withholding food, fluids, or medical treatment from an incapacitated person violates the US Constitution or other law. The legislation would only apply to incapacitated persons who had not left any clear directives with being kept alive in such a circumstance. Federal courts have already turned the Schiavo case twice, citing lack of jurisdiction. Senate Republicans are expected to introduce a similar bill Thursday. Schiavo's husband has long battled with her parents over his attempt to allow her to die. AP has more.

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