Essay by alex1092014College, Undergraduate October 2014

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Terri Schiavo case

- Terri was in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) and had to get a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube inserted inside the wall of her abdomen to receive liquid food and water

- After 7 years of care, testing, and attempts at therapy, Terri's condition remained unchanged

- Her husband wanted PEG to be removed, but Terri would die of dehydration and starvation (insisted that Terri would not want to live under such circumstances)

- Terri was in PVS with no chance of improvement

- Her parents claimed that Terri would want to be kept alive, and argued that Terri was not actually in PVS and could recover with the appropriate therapy

- raised questions about end-of-life care, guardianship, living wills, allocations of med. resources

- brought questions about role of religion in shaping health law and policy

- reverberated into bitter cultural battle over abortion

- provided useful material for those in pro-life movement who view protecting the sanctity of life for the severely ill and handicapped as continuous with protecting fetal life

- led to debate about human embryonic stem cells in research

Bioethics - exploration of ethics in the realm of health, medicine, biology, and environment

Medical ethics - promote and sustain health and well-being for all people, broad respect for human rights, animal welfare, and ecological viability

Health care ethics - broader inquiry into the allied health professions

Clinical ethics - institutional setting

Normative ethics - the branch of moral philosophy that seeks to identify moral standards of right and wrong conduct

- divided into two branches: moral theory and practical ethics

Moral theory seeks to provide a theory of ethics.

Practical ethics concerns the concrete matters of life and attempts to justify a particular way of living and resolutions to moral conflict.