Schiavo family asks protesters to leave


With their hopes fading and legal options exhausted, Terri Schiavo's family appeared quietly resigned to watching her die and asked protesters to spend Easter with their families as the severely brain-damaged woman went a ninth day without food or water.

Later, a priest said he gave Schiavo a drop of wine on her tongue. Thaddeus Malanowski said he could not give her a fleck of bread because her tongue was dry.

The priest's announcement drew applause and cheers from the crowd, which spent most of the day heckling police and protesting loudly. The noise prompted Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler, to come out and ask protesters to tone down their behaviour.

"We are not going to solve the problem today by getting arrested," he told the restless crowd of about three dozen people. "We can change laws, but we are not going to change them today ... You are not speaking for our family."

Schiavo's husband and parents have battled for years over whether the 41-year-old woman wanted to live or die.

The two sides have given differing opinions of her status. Her parents have said she is declining rapidly and in her last hours; Felos argued on Saturday that her condition is not yet that grave.