A U.S. federal judge has refused to order a feeding tube reinserted into Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman at the heart of an emotional legal battle.
In his ruling Tuesday, the judge said Mrs. Schiavo's parents, who filed the emergency request, had failed to show that their daughter's religious liberties were being violated by the feeding tube's removal.
Lawyers for the family had argued that Mrs. Schiavo's death by starvation would be a "mortal sin" under her Roman Catholic beliefs.
The family says it will appeal the decision to a higher court. Mrs. Schiavo has been in what doctors call a persistent vegetative state since a 1990 heart attack.
She has been without food or water since her feeding tube was removed last Friday with the approval of a Florida state judge.
Her parents have been fighting her husband Michael in court. He says his wife told him she did not want to be kept alive artificially.