A US tycoon has offered $1 million to the husband of a badly brain-damaged woman to stop him from removing her feeding-tube next week. Let the games begin.

Robert Herring, a supporter of stem cell research, said he would pay Michael Schiavo if he gave up his right to decide his wife’s medical treatment.

Terri Schiavo has been incapacitated since she collapsed at home in 1990.

Her parents, who want to keep her alive, have been locked in a bitter legal dispute with her husband.

He says his wife told him she never wanted to be kept alive artificially.

The $1m offer expires on Monday, 14 March, four days before Mrs Schiavo’s feeding-tube is due to be removed. Under the offer, Mr Schiavo would hand over his rights to decide his wife’s future to her parents.

Mr Herring, who founded an electronics firm and later a satellite channel, said he was moved to act after following the legal battle and realising that time was running out for Mrs Schiavo.

As a supporter of stem cell research, he said he believed that there was hope of a medical cure.

He said he was a “neutral party”, insisting he had no connections with the woman’s parents, husband or any organisation involved in the case.

“I believe very strongly that there are medical advances happening around the globe that very shortly could have a positive impact on Terri’s condition,” he said.

“I have seen miraculous recoveries occur through the use of stem cells in patients suffering a variety of conditions.

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