Bioethics Blogs

Another Florida “Terri Schiavo” Court Case

Now playing out in the Florida courts is a case strikingly similar to the Terri Schiavo case that was litigated there more than a decade ago.

Tim Mattingly, 67, is a retired DeLand police lieutenant.  He was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, on March 29, after he fell while coming down out of the attic in his home. He hit his head on the concrete floor of the garage, and underwent surgery to relieve swelling in his brain, including the removal of part of his skull.

In a plea aimed at convincing a judge to allow her brother to live and not take him off life support, Kathleen Provitola testified that her comatose sibling opened his eyes and followed her husband’s movement. She says that he is improving.

But two of Mattingly’s other sisters want him removed from life support saying their brother had told them in the past that he did not want to live in an incapacitated condition.  Their testimony is corroborated by Mattingly’s fellow police officers who testified about his response to seriously injured victims they encountered in the line of duty.

Circuit Judge C. McFerrin Smith III will issue a judgment on Friday.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.