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Schiavo death sparks proposed Missouri law

March 31, 2005
By: Victor Roberto
State Capital Bureau
Links: HB 905

Just hours after Terri Schiavo's death, some Missouri lawmakers are trying to change state law regarding the issue.

Victor Roberto has more from the state Capitol.

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Representative Cynthia Davis says she wants to make sure a case like Terri Schiavo's won't happen in Missouri.

That's why she introduced a bill that would make sure patients have at least food and water, unless they have a living will that says otherwise.

The bill is designed to prevent deaths like Terri Schiavo's, a brain-damaged woman who died after doctors removed her feeding tube.

The O'Fallon Republican says Missouri law is too similar to the Florida law that allowed Schiavo to die.

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Contents: The point we're trying to accomplish with my bill is just to say in Missouri, we don't withhold the food and water from somebody without having anything to say to the contrary.

Missouri Senator John Loudon filed a related bill in early March.

His bill would let courts choose who can take custody of terminally ill patients.

From the state Capitol, I'm Victor Roberto.

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Shortly after Terri Schiavo's death, Missouri lawmakers are already working to prevent similar cases in the state.

Victor Roberto has more from the state Capitol.

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One Missouri Representative is trying to make sure the state provides food and water to patients in a vegetative state.

Republican Rep. Cynthia Davis of O'Fallon introduced a bill that would do just that.

It would require Missouri to keep patients alive unless they have a will that says otherwise.

But not all Missouri lawmakers are happy about the bill.

Democratic Senator Chuck Graham of Columbia says the Republican agenda is misguided.

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Contents: Now what they want to do is stick the government right in the middle of family decisions, and frankly, they don't belong there. My family had to make this decision about my mom when she had cancer 11 years ago...and frankly, it's none of the government's business...and they should stay out of our family matters.

Graham says the existing Missouri law doesn't need to be changed.

From the state Capitol, I'm Victor Roberto.