The end of life is inevitable. For most it is for seen and understood what ones final wishes are. Living wills provide those issues in question with answers. What if an individual does not have a living will? Who would be in charge in making final decisions for someone who cannot physically make those decisions? The story of Terri Schiavo brings about many questions that represents moral, ethical, and legal issues.
Terri Schiavo collapsed in her home on February 25, 1990. She suffered cardiac arrest and anoxic brain damage. The lack of oxygen to the brain caused major brain damage. The cerebral cortex had been completely destroyed and replaced by cerebrospinal fluid. Her upper brain was estimated to be about 80 percent destroyed. However her brainstem, which is responsible for breathing and heartbeat, was still functioning properly. This allowed Schiavo to survive with the assistance of a feeding tube. Terri Schiavo was diagnosed to be in a Persistent Vegetative State (P.V.S).
At the time of Terri Schiavo’s collapse, she was married to Michael Schiavo. Under Florida law, this made Michael Terri’s legal guardian. Terri also had the support of her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. Michael Schiavo believed that his wife Terri would have never wanted to live life as a vegetable. Since Terri never had a living will, wishing to refuse medical treatment. Michael Schiavo is drawing his conclusion on conversations with his wife before the accident. After three years of ineffective therapy. Michael Schiavo petitioned to discontinue the life support for Terri. Her parents did not agree with Schiavo’s wishes. Bob and Mary Schindler have been battling with Michael Schiavo for over 10 years. They do not believe that Terri is in a persistant vegetative state and provide video evidence to back them. They also clam that Terri was a devoted Roman Cathloic who would not violate the Church’s teachings on euthanasia. They also claim that Terri never shared the idea not being kept alive to anyone in her family.