The Application of Critical Thinking to the Terri Schiavo Case

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The fifteen year battle over the life of Terri Schiavo dominated popular culture in the early 1990’s until her death in 2005. The heated court cases that were to decide this woman’s fate caused a deep fissure to form between her husband Michael Schiavo and her family, the Schindler’s. This decade and a half crusade was propagated by intuitive Christian mind set of the Schindler’s and their supporters as they presented no evidence to support their claim that Terri was living in a broken body besides anecdotal information. They fell victim to confirmation bias as they grasped for any glimmer of hope that their daughter was still alive, buried beneath her own shell of a body, screaming to get out. In the following pages, the anecdotal …show more content…
Terri was taken to Humana Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. While at the Northside Hospital, she was “given a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy [PEG]” (Cerminara 1) and her much disputed feeding was put in place. On May 12, 1990 she was discharged from Northside and transferred to College Park Skilled Care and Rehabilitation Center where she began 6 months of intensive physical and speech therapy. In November of the same year Michael, frustrated with the lack of improvement from convention therapy, flies Terri, a nurse, and himself out to Berkley, California for an experimental treatment designed to implant a stimulator into Terri’s brain and attempt to excite the thalamic region of her brain. Upon returning to Florida and a lucrative lawsuit against Terri’s primary physicians for not treating her potassium imbalance, Michael is awarded over a million dollars in 1992. Of that amount he receives approximately $300,000 and $750,000 is put into a trust dedicated to the treatment of Terri. A few months after receiving the award, the Schindlers attempt to have Michael’s custodial rights revoked but the case is dismissed in July 1993.
Since Michael’s return to Florida in January 1991 Terri was being treated and monitored Sable Palms Skilled Care Facility. Here Terri was receiving neurological testing as well as aggressive speech and occupational therapy until the end of 1994. In May of 1998 Mr. Schiavo

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