A response to Teri Schiavo and the life support issue

Essay by jmr135University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2006

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For months now, the Schindler and Schiavo families, who are the parents and husband of Terri, have been fighting over how to handle Terri's care. She has been on life support for over a decade. However, without a living will, Terri's fate is undecided. Her husband, Mark, states that her dying wish was not have any external means of continuing life, such as a feeding tube or respirator. Her parents argue that is not the case.

Wednesday, the Schindlers lost what their lawyer stated as their "last meaningful legal appeal" in their desperate battle to have their brain-damaged daughter's feeding tube reinserted (CNN). The U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday refused once again to hear an emergency appeal from the Schindlers. This will likely mean Terri's death as she continues to struggle to live without any means of subsistence.

Terri's case has brought to the attention of the nation the necessity for a living will.

Her impact on the national stage was unprecedented. The legal battle went as far up as the Congress, and President Bush rushed through an emergency bill to send the case back to the federal courts soon after the feeding tube was disconnected.

But the US courts at every level supported Terri's husband Michael Schiavo's case and rejected requests by the Schindler family to have her feeding tube reinserted. The passive use of euthanasia to kill a clinically brain damaged person, such as Terri, is what has been the topic of arguments about this case. As we have discussed in class, this form of euthanasia is the only acceptable and legal form in most states.

It is difficult to form an opinion about this case and others like it. Being a practicing catholic, the official stance of the church is that Terri should live in whatever state...