Terri Schiavo Timeline

ByABC News

— -- Feb. 25, 1990

Terri Schiavo collapses in her home. Doctors believe a potassium imbalance caused her heart to temporarily stop, cutting off oxygen to her brain. She goes into a coma, and though her husband, Michael, raises money for an operation to implant a stimulator in her brain, she does not come out of the coma, remaining in what a doctor will later call a "persistent vegetative state."

November 1992

Michael Schiavo wins malpractice suit accusing doctors of misdiagnosing his wife for not recognizing that she was suffering from an eating disorder before her heart stopped. A jury awards more than more than $700,000 for her care, Michael receives an additional $300,000.


In February, Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, have a dispute with Michael over the malpractice suit money and Terri's care. In July, they file a petition to have Michael removed as Terri's guardian, but the case is later dismissed.

May 1998

Michael Schiavo files a petition to remove Terri's feeding tube.

Feb. 11, 2000

Pinellas, Fla., Circuit Judge George Greer rules the feeding tube can be removed.

April 24, 2001

Terri's feeding tube is removed, after the 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld Greer's decision and both the Florida Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene.

April 26, 2001

Circuit Judge Frank Quesada orders doctors to reinsert Terri's feeding tube.

Aug. 10, 2001

Greer denies the Schindlers' request to allow their doctors evaluate Terri, as well as their request to remove Michael Schiavo as her guardian.

Sept. 26, 2001

The Schindlers' attorneys argue before 2nd District Court of Appeal, citing testimony from seven doctors who say Terri can recover with the right treatment, and on Oct. 3, the court delays removal of feeding tube indefinitely. On Oct. 17, the court rules that five doctors can examine Terri to determine whether she has any hope of recovery. Two doctors are picked by the Schindlers, two are picked by Michael Schiavo and one is picked by the court.

October 2002

During a weeklong hearing in the case, three doctors, including the one appointed by the court, testify that Terri is in a persistent, vegetative state with no hope of recovery. The two doctors selected by the Schindlers say she can recover.

Nov. 22, 2002

Greer rules there is no evidence Terri has any hope of recovery and orders feeding tube to be removed on Jan. 3, 2003, but three weeks later he outs a stay on the order, to allow the 2nd District Court of Appeal to review the case.

April-September 2003

Despite an appeal from the Schindlers' attorneys to "err on the side of life" and overturn Greer's ruling, the 2nd District Court of Appeal holds the ruling on June 6, and in July refuses to rehear the case. After the Florida Supreme Court refuses to hear the case in August, the Schindlers take case to federal court in September.

Sept. 17, 2003

Judge Greer sets Oct. 15 as the date for the tube to be removed. State Attorney General Charlie Crist says on Oct. 3 that he won't get involved in case, and four days later Gov. Jeb Bush files a federal court brief urging that Terri be kept alive, but a U.S. District Judge rules he does not have jurisdiction to intervene. On Oct. 14, the 2nd District Court of Appeal again refuses to block the removal of the tube.

Oct. 15, 2003

The Schindler family and their supporters hold a 24-hour vigil at the Pinellas Park hospice where Terri lives, but it doesn't stop doctors from removing the feeding tube in line with the judge's order. Bush pledges to search for possible legal options to resume feedings.

Oct. 21, 2003

Gov. Bush signs "Terri's Law," which was passed by the two houses of the state legislature the day before, and issues an order to reinsert the feeding tube. Two state courts had rejected the Schindler's request to reinsert the feeding tube four days earlier.

Dec. 2, 2003

An independent guardian concludes there is "no reasonable medical hope" that Terri will improve.

Sept. 23, 2004

The Florida Supreme Court strikes down "Terri's Law" as unconstitutional, supporting a ruling made May 6 by Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird.

Oct. 22, 2004

Greer refuses to hold a new trial, which the family had sought based on comments from Pope John Paul II calling the withdrawal of food and hydration from the disabled a sin.

Dec. 1, 2004

Bush's attorneys ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case on "Terri's Law."

Dec. 29, 2004

The 2nd District Court of Appeal upholds Greer's decision not to grant a new trial.

Jan. 24, 2005

The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeal brought by Gov. Bush's attorneys.

Jan. 28, 2005

An attorney for the Schindlers asks Greer to allow him to proceed with a motion arguing that Terri's due-process rights were violated because she has never had her own attorney.

Feb. 22, 2005

The 2nd District Court of Appeal clears the way for Michael Schiavo to remove Terri's feeding tube, then Pinellas Circuit Court Judge Greer issued an emergency stay blocking removal of the feeding tube for until 5 p.m. the next day.

Feb. 23, 2005

Greer again issues an emergency stay, blocking removal of the feeding tube for another two days, until 5 p.m. Feb. 25.

Feb. 24, 2005

The Schindlers' attorney says the state social services agency has asked for a 60-day delay in the removal of the feeding tube so it can investigate new allegations the woman was abused and neglected.

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