The Terri Schiavo’s Case Analysis
When a patient is unable to make decisions for himself or herself, their caregivers and those who know them are appointed to make the decisions based on what the patient would have wanted. This is called surrogate decision making. According to the article Terri Schiavo and End-of-Life Decisions “when surrogate decision makers and caregivers cannot agree upon what that choice would have been, they may turn to the courts to determine either what the now-incapacitated patient would have chosen or who is best suited to choose as the patient would have” (Mathes, 2005) In 1990 Terri Schiavo suffered cardiac arrest at age 27, due to hypokalemia secondary to an eating disorder. Terri suffered severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen into her brain. Terri fell into coma and was placed on a feeding tube to provide hydration and nutrition. Terri was diagnosed to be in a Persistent Vegetative State (P.V.S), which is “a permanent and irreversible state of unconsciousness in which there is an absence of voluntary or cognitive behavior and an inability to interact purposefully with one’s environment” (reallove.net). Michael Schiavo, Terri’s husband, was appointed as her legal guardian. Four years after Terri’s cardiac arrest, Michael Schiavo informed Terri’s physician that Terri would not have wanted to live like this, with that in mind he decided the best thing for Terri would be to remove the feeding tube. When Terri’s parents found out, they were upset and disagreed with Michael’s decision. Michael Schiavo and Terri’s parents fought in court extensively and hard; suffering a great deal of emotional pain and distress. They were battling in court for over 10 years. Eventually in 2003 the court ordered the tubes be removed. They were indeed removed, but not for long. The
Governor Jeb Bush intervened and passed “Terri’s Law” requiring reinsertion of the feeding tube while the case was being looked at more thoroughly. After...
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