IHP 420 Milestone Three.docx - October 9 2017 IHP 420...

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October 9, 2017IHP 420: Milestone ThreeSouthern New Hampshire University
IntroductionIn 2005, after a protracted legal battle, Terri Schiavo was disconnected from life support and subsequently died. Terri had spent the previous fifteen years in a permanent vegetative state. The question at the center of the fierce, public debate over her fate is whether the decision to discontinue life support for Terri Schiavo was justified or not.On February 25, 1990, Terri Schiavo collapsed in her home, in which doctors believe a potassium imbalance caused her heart to temporarily stop, cutting off oxygen to her brain. She went into a coma, and though her husband, Michael, raised money for an operation to implant a stimulator in her brain, she did not come out of the coma, remaining in what a doctor later called a "persistent vegetative state."In November of 1992, Terri’s husband Michael Schiavo wins a malpractice suit accusing doctors of misdiagnosing his wife for not recognizing that she was suffering from an eating disorder before her heart stopped. A jury awards more than more than $700,000 for her care, Michael receives an additional$300,000. Terri’s parents contend that Michael stopped his wife’s therapy and used the money to pay lawyer’s fees in an attempt to have his wife’s feeding tube removed. Her parents then opposed having the tube removed, declaring that she is not comatose but rather appears to smile, blink, and able to follow balloons. (Fremgen, 2016) Eventually, Terri’s feeding tube was removed as ordered by the court. One week after the feeding tube was removed; Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida legislature ordered that the feeding tube be reinserted. Terri’s feeding tube was removed and reinserted three times before the final removal. Terri died 13 days after the feeding tube was removed, which was 15 years after her collapse at the age of 26, and seven years after her court battle began. (Fremgen, 2016) The bioethical

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