Milestone 3.docx - Nicole Carruthers Final Milestone II IHP...

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Nicole CarruthersFinal Milestone IIIHP 420April 2020
IntroductionTheresa Marie Schiavo became a household name in the early 2000’s with regards to medical ethics and the right-to-die. The Terri Schiavo case spanned over serval years from 1990- 2005. Terri was a married, twenty-six-year-old woman, living in St. Petersburg, Florida when shesuffered a cardiac arrest in her home on February 25, 1990 and collapsed. She was successfully revived but had suffered irreversible brain damage due to lack of oxygen to her brain. Over a period of two months following the incident, Terri showed no improvement and doctors changed her diagnosis to that of a persistent vegetative state (PVS) (Haberman, 2014). A persistent vegetative state is defined as “a condition in which a medical patient is completely unresponsive to psychological and physical stimuli and displays no sign of higher brain function, being kept alive only by medical intervention” (Persistent vegetative state, n.d.). In the beginning both Terri’s husband Michael Schiavo and parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, cared for her. After four years of this, doctors informed Terri’s husband and family that there was nothing more they could do for her. This is when Terri’s husband decided that removing Terri’s feeding tube would be the best option as there was no more hope of improvement. Terri’s parents disagreed with this idea and the legal battle commenced. In 1998 Terri’s husband petitioned to have the feeding tube removed because, according to him, Terri had previously stated she would not want to live this way. Because there was no living will the petition went to the Florida State court. The first decision handed back by the court was in favor of Terri’s husband Michael Schiavo, however, Terri’s parents disagreed and said that removing the tube would be “tantamount to murder” (New York Times, 2014). Nineteendifferent judges heard this case in various different appeals and all decisions were in agreement with the original ruling that the feeding tube should be removed. Terri’s parents then pled to the
media and politicians became involved in the case. In 2003, the Florida State Legislature passed a bill giving Governor Jeb Bush the authority to prevent the removal of the feeding tube, giving rise to Terri’s Law. As a result of Terri’s Law doctors were made to reattach Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube that had been disconnected six days earlier. (New York Times, 2014). The case then made it’s was to

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