Ethical and Legal Considerations_Terri Schiavo Case_Final Project II_Bioethics.docx

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1 Terri Schiavo Case Final Project II Katherine Davis Southern New Hampshire University IHP-420-X3061 Ethical & Legal Considerations Instructor: Stephany Balow, MHA February 28, 2021
2 The case of Terri Schiavo doesn’t seem as if it should be that complicated on the surface. Terri’s husband was her next-of-kin and claimed to know her wishes. However, the parties involved (Terri’s husband and parents) challenged almost every precedent there was on the issue of “right to die.” Terri’s journey started in 1990 when she experienced cardiac arrest as a result of an eating disorder. She reportedly had bulimia and survived on only liquid (primarily iced tea) during the day (Campos, 2005). This caused severe hypokalemia. Her potassium level when she reached the hospital was 2.0 mEq/L, while the lower limit of normal was 3.6 mEq/L (Hook & Mueller, 2005, p. 1452). Terri was pronounced to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) shortly after, and never recovered. Initially, her husband and parents lived together and her husband, as her next-of-kin, was her legal guardian. In 1993, however, Terri’s parents went to court to remove him as her legal guardian because they felt his motivations and loyalty to Terri had changed (Hook & Mueller, 2005, p. 1452). Terri’s husband had filed (and won) a lawsuit against her OB/GYN for failure to diagnose her eating disorder; He was awarded two million dollars, and reportedly failed to share it with Terri’s parents (Hook & Mueller, 2005, p. 1452). After several

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