The state Senate began debating a more limited version of the bill as lawmakers rushed to beat the scheduled removal of Schiavo’s feeding tube on Friday.
In an attempt to save Schiavo, 41, the U.S. Congress was also considering legislation to move the case to the federal courts.
The Florida House bill would block the withholding of food and water from patients in a “persistent vegetative state” who didn’t leave specific instructions refusing the artificial measure. It passed 78-37.
Governor Jeb Bush has urged the Legislature to pass a bill that would save Schiavo, as it did in 2003.
Late Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow Schiavo’s parents to take their case to prevent her starvation death from Florida to federal courts. House members approved the legislation on a voice vote.
Terri Schiavo has been at the center of a long court battle between her parents and her husband, who wants to remove her feeding tube so she can die.