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Right to Die --Terri Schiavo

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:07 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.9 
  • Words: 2020
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Does a written document such as a living will decide when someone should die or should the verbal wishes of the incapacitated person be followed if known? Such as the controversy over when life begins, we now face the ultimate question of when does life end. In 1990, Terri Schiavo, a young Florida woman suffered a heart attack caused by bulimia leaving her brain was without oxygen for six minutes. According to medical opinions, she has limited involuntary physical movement. She has remained in a persistent vegetative state ever since. Terri did not have a living will or medical directive in place at the time of her heart attack.

Michael Schiavo, Terri’s husband, has repeatedly sought the courts intervention to allow his wife’s feeding tube to be removed and she be allowed to die. On more than one occasion Michael Schiavo testified before judges stating that his wife’s wishes were to never be “hooked up” to a machine to save her life. He insists that she expressed this to him and others on more than one occasion. He further declares that she would rather die than to live as she is forced to do now. Others have also testified that this statement is true. In 1993 a court awarded Terri $1 million dollars in a medical malpractice suit, and granted her husband authority over the money to use for her care (Goldenberg, 2003).

When questioned regarding his motives for wanting Terri to die, he emphatically denies her death would bring him any type of reward or satisfaction (Smith, 2004). If Terri dies her husband inherits the funds remaining in the malpractice suit. At the time of this writing, Terri’s husband lives with another woman and two children he has fathered with her without being divorced from Terri (Hennesy, 2004).

Conversely, Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler are seeking a court order to keep her alive via a feeding tube. Their wish is to seek rehabilitation therapy for their daughter in hopes she can regain a normal life. The...

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