Terri Schaivo: Euthanasia or Mercy Killing? Essay

795 Words Mar 28th, 2008 4 Pages
The story of Terri Schiavo is definitely a controversial one, both medically and morally. In 1990, at the age of 26, Terri suffered from mysterious cardio-respiratory arrest. Even today, no cause for this arrest has ever been determined. Following her cardio-respiratory attack, Schiavo was diagnosed with hypoxic encephalopathy, which is a neurological injury caused by lack of oxygen to the brain. Post mortem, Schiavo's brain was discovered to be half the normal weight, thus proving severe neuronal atrophy (Medical Examiner, District 6, Largo, Florida) after her attack, Schiavo was placed on a ventilator. Later, her heart and respiratory systems were able to function normally on their own; however, Schiavo's neurological functions were …show more content…
The type of euthanasia practiced in Terri Schiavo's case is sometimes deemed as "non-aggressive" (Wikipedia), which means taking what is thought to be an incurable patient off life support. However, euthanasia is normally practiced quickly and as painlessly for the individual to be killed. In Terri Schiavo's case, she was not given large amounts of medicine to induce death, but rather her feeding tube, which provided her with hydration and nourishment, was removed, causing Terri to starve/dehydrate to death. If Terri was in a persisting vegetative state (PVS), it would have been deemed that she had been "allowed to die". However, Terri Schiavo was not suffering from any life-threatening illnesses and she had not been clinically determined to be in a PVS, so, in other words, I believe a physically healthy person was killed by dehydration at the hands of another. If I had been involved in the case, I absolutely believe that charge of Terri Schiavo's well-being and health decisions should have been granted to her parents. Since Terri was the biological daughter of the Schindlers, they had been in her life through its entirety. Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, had only known Terri since 1983, and was only married to her for four years. Given the fact that Terri's parents had most likely known her better and were more concerned for her well being, they should have been granted responsibility for their daughter's life. The Schindlers

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