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RUNNING HEAD: TERRY SCHIAVO: BIOETHICS Jessica HenriquesTerry Schiavo: BioethicsFinal DraftSouthern New HampshireUniversityIHP 420
TERRY SCHIAVO: BIOETHICS2IntroductionOn February 25, 1990, Theresa (Terry) Schiavo collapsed due to a severe cardiac arrest, lost consciousness, and suffered brain damage all at the young age of twenty-six. Her unexpectedtragedy sparked the interest and which soon became a loaded debate in this country. The details of this famous Right to Die case provide insight into why this personal issue became public. Terry’s husband, Michael, and her parents Robert and Mary Schindler began an open and transparent dispute regarding the removal of a feeding tube that would end Terry’s life (Sanburn, 2015). After fifteen years of being on enteral nutrition and hydration, doctor’s regarded Terry as being in a persistent vegetative state, however not brain dead. Michael, Terry’s husband’s believed he knew, “his wife would not have wanted her life artificially prolonged, with no hope of recovery” (Chalasani, 2016). Her parents firmly stood by the idea that there was a chance for recovery, and that as a Catholic, this type of life ending event could be viewed as a suicidal act, in which Terry would not have permitted. The debate between the parents and husband continued, as doctors testified for both sides with different perspectives. The overall opinion of the doctors was that Terry would not recover. The Florida Supreme Court’s final decision was based on the lack of a living will for Terry on her wishes if she were ever in this situation. The feeding tube was removed March 18, 2005. Terry passed away on March 31, 2005 at the age of forty-one (Haberman, 2014).