Indiana Institute of Technology Healthcare Law Discussion

Discussion Questions:

In 1990, 26-year-old Terri Schiavo fell into a persistent vegetative state after suffering cardiac arrest. A fierce highly public battle took place between her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, and her husband, Michael Schiavo, who wanted to disconnect her feeding tube. Terri’s husband argued that his wife would not have wanted her life artificially prolonged, with no hope of recovery. Terri Schiavo’s case spurred an emotional nationwide and international heated debate over quality of life, right-to-die and end-of-life issues. Though the courts sided with Michael Schaivo, the state legislature passed a bill, known as Terri’s law, giving Florida Gov. Jeb Bush authority to prevent the removal of the feeding tube. After much back and forth involving state and federal courts, Terri’s feeding tube was removed, ending the long legal struggle over her fate when she died on March 31, 2005 at the age of 41. What were the legal and ethical issues in this case? Using what you have learned in previous chapters and weeks how could this scenario have been avoided?

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