IHP 420 BIOETHICS TERRI SCHIAVO - RUNNING HEAD TERRI SCHIAVO 1 ANGELA WORTHINGTON IHP 420 FINAL PROJECT II BIOETHICS DECEMBER 23,2018 RUNNING HEAD

IHP 420 BIOETHICS TERRI SCHIAVO - RUNNING HEAD TERRI...

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RUNNING HEAD: TERRI SCHIAVO 1 ANGELA WORTHINGTON IHP 420: FINAL PROJECT II “BIOETHICS” DECEMBER 23,2018
RUNNING HEAD: TERRI SCHIAVO 2 “A treatment may serve the useful purpose of prolonging life, it may not be morally justified if it involves a grave burden. This had been discussed in the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research. The right to accept or reject medical treatment is each person’s fundamental right. While the criteria for death vary.” [Fre16] In February 1990, twenty-six-year-old Theresa “Terri” Schiavo was found unconscious in her home with no signs of life. Emergency medical professionals arrived and began resuscitation. Terri was then transported to the nearest hospital where she was diagnosed with cardiac arrest associated with critical hypokalemia, low potassium level. Professionals believed that this onset by an eating disorder. During cardiac arrest Terri lost oxygen to her brain for more than five minutes which was a prolonged period for the brain to be without oxygen. Two of the attending physicians on the case evaluated Terri and diagnosed her as being in a permanent vegetative state (PVS). Characteristics of this permanent vegetative state (PVS) detail that a patient may appear to have a normal level of consciousness and alertness but is truly in a deep state of unconsciousness. Permanent vegetative state (PVS) is an irreversible brain condition. With this condition, Terri was able to breath on her own but required a feeding tube for nutrition and hydration. Her husband, Michael Schiavo was awarded legal guardianship over Terri by the state of Florida. In the four years proceeding Terri’s cardiac arrest, she had received extensive therapy to help improvement her condition. When the therapy did not demonstrate any signs of progress, the physicians attending to Terri’s medical condition informed Michael that Terri would never make a recovery. In 1998, Michael Schiavo, Terri’s legal guardian and a husband petitioned Florida court requested that the feeding tube be removed from Terri. Mr. Schiavo stated that,
RUNNING HEAD: TERRI SCHIAVO 3 Terri would not want to be alive in her condition. However, Terri’s parents who did not agree with this medical decision or Michael petitioned the courts of Florida to become involved. Up until this point Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler and her husband Michael Schiavo had

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