6-2 Final Project Milestone Three Draft of Final Project II Bioethics.docx

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Running head: FINAL PROJECT II: BIOETHICS 1 6-2 Final Project Milestone Three: Draft of Final Project II: Bioethics Reese Bridge Southern New Hampshire University: IHP 420 October 13, 2019
Running head: FINAL PROJECT II: BIOETHICS 1 Introduction During many end of life events there usually is a significant balance of ethics, medicine, science, family desires, as well as law. In the case of Terri Schiavo, a well-publicized bioethics, it outlined many ethical issues. The family battled in court over the right of Terri wanting to live or her right to die. Facts of the Case February 20, 1990, 27 year old Terri Schiavo had an unwitnessed cardiac arrest at her residence in St. Petersburg, FL. It is unusual for someone so young to have such an event, but it was thought that it was most likely brought on by complications of an eating disorder. Michael Schiavo, her husband, found his wife unresponsive and immediately called 911. She was successfully resuscitated by EMS, but had suffered massive brain damage due to the lack of oxygen after the cardiac arrest event. This left Terri in a comatose state. A coma is defined as a prolonged state of debilitating unconsciousness that typically lasts for a few weeks (Pavel, 2018). The parents of Terri, Robert and Mary Schindler, tried to make sure their daughter had the best care and therapy. About two and a half months later, no improvement was noted and the providers then changed their diagnosis to persistence vegetative state (PVS). This state occurs after the person has suffered a coma, and they are only able to perform involuntary actions on their own. The patient then loses cognition and has no high level of consciousness (Pavel, 2018). During the next two years, physical and speech therapy were initiated, as well as many experimental therapies in hopes that she would improve. Unfortunately, there was no improvement and Terri remained dependent on a feeding tube in a vegetative state for years. Her parents insisted there be further neurological testing and exams, in hopes there was a sign that
Running head: FINAL PROJECT II: BIOETHICS 1 their daughter would recover. During these tests, there was no evidence of higher cortical function and it was confirmed that she would remain in this state. It was in 1998 that her husband Michael petitioned the 6 th Circuit Court of Florida to remove his wife’s feeding tube. He then stated that Terri wouldn’t have wanted to live this way in this condition. Her parents immediately opposed his decision and fought for her to continue in the state she was. They wanted to keep Terri alive and claimed that being Catholic, Terri would have never chose to end her life. This case went in and out of court upwards of 10 times over a span of 7 years. During this time, there were many appeals, state interventions from Governor Jed Bush, as well as federal interventions from President George W. Bush. All of this was accompanied by widespread media coverage as well as protests by right to life advocates (Rohlinger, Pederson, & Valle, 2014). After a long battle, intense media coverage, and many

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