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Michael Schiavo relative reports threat

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A look at past cases similar to the Schiavo case.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Terri Schiavo's likely condition.
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Terri Schiavo

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Michael Schiavo's sister-in-law said a man threatened to shoot her and her family if Terri Schiavo dies, Philadelphia police said Tuesday.

Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed by court order March 18. Doctors doubt she will live beyond this week without water and nutrients.

She has been in what courts have ruled as a "persistent vegetative state" since she collapsed in 1990 and suffered cardiac arrest. Her brain was damaged by a lack of oxygen.

Schiavo's husband and her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, have waged a long-running court battle over her fate.

Michael Schiavo claims his wife would not want to live in her current condition. Her parents believe she could improve with intense therapy.

Joan Schiavo, who has testified over the years that Terri Schiavo would not have wanted to be kept alive in her condition, reported Monday evening that a white car drove by her Philadelphia-area home at 4:30 a.m., 5:10 a.m. and 7 a.m., when she was leaving to go to work, said Cpl. Jim Pauley, a police spokesman.

During the last pass, Schiavo told police, the car stopped and the man inside yelled "murderer," then added, "If Terri dies, I'm coming back to shoot you and your family."

Joan Schiavo is married to William Schiavo, one of Michael's brothers.

Pauley said she described a four-door, early 1990s car, and said the driver was white, in his late 30s with brown hair and a "scruffy" appearance.

Police have been assigned to watch the house, Pauley said.

Michael Schiavo's older brother, Scott, told CNN that he receives threats every time Terri Schiavo's case is in the news. Michael Schiavo also has been the target of threats.

Police have arrested supporters of Terri Schiavo's family, the Schindlers.

Protesters have gathered daily outside the hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, and dozens have been arrested, most of them for stepping over a police line in a symbolic effort to bring Schiavo water.

Tuesday, a man ran past police and made it to the door of the heavily guarded Hospice House Woodside as the Rev. Jesse Jackson was speaking on behalf of the family. Officers used a Taser stun-gun to apprehend the man.

Monday, a man accused of soliciting offers for the murder of Michael Schiavo appeared in federal court in Asheville, North Carolina.

Richard Alan Meywes of Fairview, North Carolina, allegedly circulated an e-mail to friends and members of the news media offering $250,000 for the killing of Michael Schiavo and another $50,000 for the death of Florida state Circuit Court Judge George Greer, who ordered Schiavo's feeding tube removed on March 18.

Meywes' attorney claims he was not serious.

Last week, police arrested an Illinois man they said robbed a gun store in Seminole, Florida, as part of an attempt to "rescue Terri Schiavo."

Michael W. Mitchell, 20, faces charges of attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault and criminal mischief, said Marianne Pasha, spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

CNN's Laura Dolan contributed to this report.

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