Right to Die: The Terri Schiavo Case

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

Death is the ultimate rejection for human beings and one that must be faced by all at some point. In some countries, such as the Netherlands, death can be a choice over long-term pain and suffering. In the United States, Oregon has a Death with Dignity Act that allows for physician-assisted suicide. With more life-prolonging treatments and life support equipment, decisions about when to let someone die become increasingly complex. Who should be making choices about our death, the government, our family, or ourselves? We would like to think we would make the right decision when the time comes but often emotions became a major factor. In some cases, the person whose life is in question no longer has the ability to choose making a difficult situation even worse.

In the case of Terri Schiavo, a 39 year-old Florida woman in a vegetative state, the decisions about her life is being fought in public.

Terri Schiavo collapsed on February 25, 1990 and took to a hospital where doctors stabilized her condition. She suffered a heart attack from a possible potassium imbalance and deprived her brain of oxygen. She remained in a comatose state for several weeks and recovered to a vegetative state. Terri's condition has not changed in over thirteen years and is on a gastric feeding tube, which supplies nutrition and water. Her other bodily functions perform on their own without assistance and she does open her eyes and appear to have consciousness which is the basis of the argument of her parents for keeping her alive. Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband, claims Terri would not want to be kept alive using extraordinary means with no hope for recovery. The courts are being brought into this battle of life and death and the Florida Legislature even passed...