1_New Colonialism - Nundy et al.

1_New Colonialism - Nundy et al. - PERSPECTIVE Florida...

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n engl j med 352;16 www.nejm.org april 21, 2005 1633 PERSPECTIVE Florida legislature created “Terri’s Law” to override the court decision, and the tube was again reinsert- ed. This law was subsequently ruled an unconsti- tutional violation of the separation of powers. On March 18, 2005, Ms. Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed for a third time. The U.S. Congress then passed an “emergency measure” that was signed by the President in an effort both to force federal courts to review Ms. Schiavo’s case and to create a legal mandate to have her feeding tube re- inserted yet again. The U.S. District Court in Flori- da denied the emergency request to reinsert the feeding tube, and this decision was upheld on ap- peal. Multiple subsequent legal appeals were de- nied, and Ms. Schiavo died on March 31, 2005, 13 days after the feeding tube was removed. This sad saga reinforces my personal belief that the courts — though their involvement is some- times necessary — are the last place one wants to be when working through these complex dilemmas. Although I did not examine her, from the data I reviewed, I have no doubt that Terri Schiavo was in
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