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Running head: BIOETHICS1Bioethics: The Terri Schiavo Case Amanda KrivacsSouthern New Hampshire University: IHP-420April 28, 2019
BIOETHICSIntroduction:The Terri Schiavo case involves her husband, Michael Schiavo and her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler. On February 25, 1990 Terri Schiavo collapsed due to abnormal low potassium, losing consciousness long enough to leave her in a “persistent vegetative state” (PVS)(Schiavo, n.d.). Even though she was in a PVS, she retained the ability to breathe on her own (n.d.). The case was brought about when Michael Schiavo wanted to have her tube feeding removed, which her parents opposed (n.d.). Robert and Mary Schindler filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in order to circumvent removal of the feeding tube. (n.d.). Michael Schiavo was granted this appeal on February 25, 2005 and her feeding tube was removed. (n.d.) Terri Schiavo died thirteen days later on March 31, 2005 (n.d.). The bioethical issue in this case is the withdrawing of treatment (Fremgen, 2016). Other ethical issues that are involved in this case are autonomy, beneficence, and nonmaleficence.Bioethical AnalysisSince Terri was in a PVS, she was unable to swallow and required a feeding tube to provide fluid and nutrition. In this case, the withdrawing of treatment is the removal of the feeding tube. One cannot survive without food or water. Michael Schiavo knew this; however, hemaintains that Terri would not have wanted to live in a PVS (Haberman, 2014). Normally a patient would decide if they wanted to be kept alive by artificial means, but as Terri was in a PVS, she could not make this decision and she had no living will or advanced directives (Egelko,2005). Her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, wanted her feeding tube removed since“Terri wouldn’t have wanted to live that way” (Haberman, 2014, para. 4).

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