1. Pleasegive a brief description of the important facts of Terri’s case. · Terri Schiavo had cardiac arrest which wascaused by hypokalemia as a result of her eating disorder. Her cardiac arrestdeprived her brain of oxygen therefore leading to ischemia.
Her brain waswithout oxygen for 10minutes. Terri was pronounced brain dead and now in avegetative state. · Michael Schiavo, her husband was made her legalguardian according to Florida law which stated that the spouse automatically becomesthe decision maker above any family member. · For 3 years Michael tried many therapies ineffort to save Terri from her vegetative state, although none worked; he cameto the conclusion that her vegetative state was irreversible. In fact, bringingup statements that Terri said she would not want to be kept on a machine ifanything would ever happen to her. So Michael fought to remove her feeding tubeand honor her wishes. · Terri’s family on the other hand, also fought tokeep her alive, believing that her condition could improve with othertreatments. · The on-going battle went to court; case reviewedby the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.
· During this period, Michael was accused of beingfinancially greedy, even questioning the loyalty to his wife as by now he hadalready moved on with another woman and having kids with her. · The legal battle went on for years and by nowTerri’s parents had exhausted all resources they had to keep Terri alive; evenappealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. · In 2005 Terri’s tube was removed, this for thethird time. Although congress passed an emergency request, signed by PresidentBush in efforts to review the case and have her tube inserted back.
The requestwas once again denied by the U.S. District Court in Florida. Terri died 13 days later. What doyou think was the PRIMARY ETHICAL issue in the case of Terri Schiavo? Whatother important ethical issues do you think were raised by the case?The biggest ethical issue was the right to live versus theright to choose to die. In America, you are given the right to choose to end medicaltreatment even if it means death.
That’s probably the hardest ethical battle ofall. But this case was a little complicated in the fact that Terri never reallywrote down her wishes if something were really to happen to her. And so, it allcame down to the handlings of her husband against whatever her parents wanted. What non-ethicalissues or concerns do you think were raised by the case? (Note – these are issues that, while they may have some ethicalimplications, focus on other sorts of concerns. For example, religious beliefs, cultural values, political issues, andso on.
) Terri practiced Catholicism. Her parents are Catholics andeven during their public appearances were surrounded by priests for support.According to the Catholic Church, the teachings say that food and water can begiven as long as it is not “hurting” the patient and provides nourishment.
The Catholic Church teachesthat every human life has a value and that value is not a measure of howcompetent you are, or how productive you are or even what state your physicalhealth may be in. Somewhatdigressing topic, I think it’s interesting how medicine mixes in with religion.On one hand there people who believe that God (or their God) will cure theperson while on the other hand, for example, people are saying you can’t takethe feeding tube away (in other words they’re relying on technology to keep heralive)…..just thought that was interesting. 4. Didyou feel that the video’s presentation of the case was biased in any way? If so, how? Forthe most part I didn’t think it was biased in any way shape or form.
The twosides (Terri’s husband and Terri’s family members) were presented equally. Onething I did notice was the credibility of Michael, Terri’s husband. He didn’treally speak much to the public, the press; his attorney did most of thespeaking.
To me, it seems like he was trying to protect her privacy (and thatof the family) rather than outpouring the situation to the press. He wasportrayed rather as someone who wanted to take advantage of the situation andwanted the financial benefits. Who do you think was the appropriate decision maker in this case andwhy? Do you think it was appropriate for the governor of the state of Floridaand the U.S. Congress to become involved in the case? I think the makers should have been bothspouse and relatives. Answer combined in the next question. I don’t think the congress, president,state needed to be involved.
What began as a private matter moved from Florida courtsto district courts to state courts to federal courts, to Congress, to the U.S.Supreme Court.Even the President almost created a crisisbetween the courts in trying to override the Florida courts decision (favoring Michael’sdecision to end Terri’s life). Also the Florida governor Jeb Bush triedfighting against the Florida courts to override Michael’s decision to let herdie.
This was just too much. Everyone that could be involved in the case, thathad nothing to do with it in the first place, was involved. 6. In your opinion, what wouldhave been the best outcome of this case? I think that the best outcome would have been for Florida(and other future states) to change their laws which will allow for conflictsbetween loved ones to be handled differently. By so I mean, granting “guardianship”to not only the spouse but to first degree relatives. This would have prevented(and will help in the future) having to choose between travesty and tragedy.