S.653 - A bill for the relief of the family of Theresa Marie Schiavo.109th Congress (2005-2006)
Summary: S.653 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)
Passed Senate without amendment (03/17/2005)
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)
Grants jurisdiction to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida to hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo (Ms. Schiavo) for the alleged violation of any right of hers under the U.S. Constitution or laws relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.
Grants standing to any parent of Ms. Schiavo to bring a suit under this Act. Allows suit to be brought against any other person: (1) who was a party to State court proceedings relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain Ms. Schiavo's life; or (2) who may act pursuant to a State court order authorizing or directing the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.
Declares that in such a suit the District Court shall determine de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Ms. Schiavo's within the scope of this Act, notwithstanding any prior State court determination and regardless of whether such a claim has previously been raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings. Directs the District Court to entertain and determine the suit without any delay or abstention in favor of State court proceedings, and regardless of whether remedies available in the State courts have been exhausted.
Requires the District Court, after a determination of the merits of a suit brought under this Act, to issue such declaratory and injunctive relief as may be necessary to protect the rights of Ms. Schiavo under the U.S. Constitution and laws relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.
Declares that, notwithstanding any other time limitation, any suit or claim under this Act shall be timely if filed within 30 days after its date of enactment.
Authorizes the District Court, upon the filing of such a suit or claim, to issue a stay of any State court order authorizing or directing the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain Ms. Schiavo's life pending the determination of the suit.
Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to: (1) create substantive rights not otherwise secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the several States; (2) confer additional jurisdiction on any court to consider any claim related to assisting suicide, or a State law regarding assisting suicide; or (3) constitute a precedent with respect to future legislation.
States that nothing in this Act shall affect the rights of any person under the Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990.