Schiavo drama being re-enacted, and this story could be worse

FRESNO, Calif. -- Three years after the fight over Terri Schiavo pulled the nation into the end-of-life debate, the case of a comatose Fresno County woman is reopening old wounds -- and could prove even more inflammatory.

The family of Janet Rivera, 46, wants to keep her alive in a Fresno hospital. The county, acting as her legal guardian, wants the issue decided in court.

Among the questions her situation has raised: Should a government agency be able to overrule family members and withhold life support when the patient's wishes are unknown?

The Schiavo family has taken an interest in this case. The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation helped find a lawyer to represent the Rivera family, said Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler.

Rivera's situation is more alarming than his sister's, he said.

"We had a family dispute," he said. "This is a family in agreement."

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