The Terri Schiavo Case And Euthanasia

1499 words - 6 pages

The poem “To the Mercy Killers” by Dudley Randall refers to the ongoing debate of the right to live. “If ever mercy move you murder me, I pray you, kindly killers, let me live” (Randall 623). Here he is most likely referring to doctors as “kindly killers” who feel that letting him die would be a mercy to him. Randall clearly believes that life is a treasured gift, and should not be purposely extinguished for any reason. However, terminally ill patients should have the right to decide whether they want to die or not.
In 2003, much of the American public first became aware of a brain damaged woman named Terri Schiavo. On February 25, 1990, Terri Schiavo collapsed in her home from unknown causes. Terri’s husband, Michael Schiavo, told police, “She had been tired lately and not feeling well” (University of Miami). This incident was officially deemed cardiac arrest, and it was stated that the brain damage was due to a lack of oxygen. For years, Terri had an ongoing battle with bulimia, which most likely resulted in the incident. Police reports showed no signs of foul play.
In 1992, Michael Schiavo was awarded one million dollars in a malpractice case against one of Terri’s physicians. Michael later claimed that Terri’s parents, the Schindlers, demanded that he share the money with him. This caused a falling out between the two parties. The Schindlers filed a motion to remove Terri from Michael’s custody, which was denied. Then, in 1998, Michael filed a motion to have Terri’s feeding tube removed, saying she would not want to live like this. The Schindlers opposed this, saying Terri would wish to remain alive. Predictably, the issue goes to a trial.
The trial began in January of 2000. Eventually, Judge George Greer ruled in favor of Michael, saying Terri’s wish would be to die. For years, the Schindlers would appeal to higher courts, until even the federal government and President George W. Bush got involved. Michael Schiavo was appalled by these attempts:
"Right now I am very outraged. This is a sad day for Terri and this is a sad day for everybody in America because the government is going to trample on all of your personal and private matters. This is an outrage, they have no business in this matter. Terri made her wishes, it has been adjudicated in a state court over the last seven years. Eighteen judges have heard this. Appeals have been heard. The Supreme Court justices have heard this, and now the House of Representatives and the Senate are saying that they are wrong. They are thumbing their nose up at the constitution” (Democracy Now).
However, the hastily passed laws both the state of Florida and the federal government are eventually deemed unconstitutional by the courts. The feeding tube is removed on March 18, 2005 despite frantic appeals of the Schindlers and organizations that support them. On March 31, 2005, at 9:05am, Terri Schiavo died a “calm, peaceful, and gentle death” according to Michael’s attorney (China Daily). The...

Find Another Essay On The Terri Schiavo Case and Euthanasia

Euthanasia And The Law Essay

1703 words - 7 pages life had been reduced to such a level that it was no longer worth living. In this particular case the law prevented and discriminated against Michelle and her inherent right to freedom of choice.      When a person decides whether euthanasia is an option for them, in their state of illness, they must consider their quality of life. As a result of their illness, has the quality of their life been reduced to such an extent

Euthanasia and the Law Essay

1839 words - 7 pages Euthanasia and the LawA severely handicapped or terminally ill person should have the right to choose to live or die. The right to live; the right to choose to live or die should not only be a right allocated for bodied individuals of sound mind but for all human beings. Euthanasia is a controversial issue which encompasses the morals, values and beliefs of our society.Euthanasia, literally defined means 'good death'. There are two types of

The Case for Euthanasia, Should Physician-Assisted Suicide be Legalized?

1534 words - 6 pages ' They base these beliefs on the text of the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution. The voluntary choice between life and death is, to them, a basic human right which the government has no right to legislate. They often compare this choice of euthanasia to the right to abortion. Judge Lynn Compton embodies these views in her opinion in the case of Bouvia v. Superior Court , 'If there is a time when we ought to be able to get the

The Pros and Cons of Euthanasia

1640 words - 7 pages many reasons why people would want to go through the act of euthanasia, such as being concerned about their bodily functions and the fear of losing autonomy. There are side effects of euthanasia, such as the effect it will have on family and friends, which must be taken into mind. INTRODUCTIONEuthanasia is "the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person suffering from an incurable, esp

The Controversy and Ethical Debate Surrounding Euthanasia

1436 words - 6 pages ] family.” 85-year old Mary Ormerod was starved of nutrients after she went into a coma. Her doctor and daughter made the decision to end her torment, however the doctor got suspended in doing so (BBC). These and many other cases have occurred in medical history, and many more are bound to occur. This ending of the anguish is called euthanasia. In order for the ethical concerns of the issue to be discussed, euthanasia needs to be defined, and

Euthanasia and Aging: The Right to Die

1961 words - 8 pages Euthanasia: Is it a Right?It is time to take your head out of the sand and look at the subject of euthanasia. Many people are for it when it comes to people of elderly years. Many are against it for anyone. There are still more who look the other way and hope someone will decide the issue for them. It is against the law in most of America. It is legal in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Oregon, USA. Should we head toward a universal law on this

Euthanasia and the Morals Behind It.

604 words - 2 pages There is only one major difference between active and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia is when the patient is having the suicide done for them so as to end their pain or suffering. Whereas the passive euthanasia is when the patients are removed from medication, whether the medication is pills or life support, and are in turn allowed to die as they would normally. An example of active euthanasia would be if a patient had a terminal illness

Euthanasia Essay: The AMA and Assisted Suicide

926 words - 4 pages teaching service for medical students at the University of Virginia. He has authored a book, Regulating Death: Euthanasia and the Case of The Netherlands, and coauthored with Dr Steven Miles, Protocols for the Use of Life-Sustaining Treatments. In addition he has extensive bedside experience treating dying patients.   Gomez and others feel that educating 20,000 doctors in two years is an "ambitious but doable" undertaking. They are convinced

Euthanasia: The cases for and against.

1348 words - 5 pages Euthanasia.Microsoft Encarta describes Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing, as the practice of ending a life so as to release an individual from an incurable disease or intolerable suffering.There are three different types of Euthanasia; Voluntary, Passive (or negative) and Active (or positive)Voluntary euthanasia involves a request by the dying patient or that person's legal representative.Passive or negative euthanasia involves not doing

The Legalization of Euthanasia: The Case of The influence Chantal Sebire

1635 words - 7 pages as the coverage of the case of French citizen Chantal Sebire, who was s suffering from esthesioneuroblastoma( a rare, incurable cancer of the nasal cavity which would progressively damage her brain and eventually kill her) remind us of the topic of euthanasia . Due to her condition Chantal Sebire lost her ability to see, her sense of taste and smell were significantly impacted. After her plea to allow euthanasia was denied by French

Euthanasia and Doctor-Assisted Suicide - The Will to Live

605 words - 2 pages Euthanasia and the Will to Live   The denial of food and fluids to Terri Schindler-Schiavo, the 36 year old Florida woman in a vegetative state since a heart attack, has caused Americans to ponder the fact that any one of them could be in this woman's place for a variety of reasons, like an auto accident, fall, mishap, etc. And most Americans don't want to be treated by their family as Terri is being treated by her husband - being denied

Similar Essays

Euthanasia And The Robert Latimer Case

1013 words - 4 pages to 'put them out of their misery'. One of the strong questions raised in my mind is: Does the killer really want to put the victim out of their misery? Or is it the killer who is under the extreme pressures of living with the victim, and is it their own lifestyle that they are truly fed up with?In the Robert Latimer case, as in many other cases of euthanasia, it can never be proven whether or not Latimer killed his young daughter Tracy to 'save

The Case Against Euthanasia Essay

1184 words - 5 pages . Euthanasia should not be legalized because it is unnatural, it violates the Hippocratic Oath, and laws are to extensive. Protecting life is the ethical view of society today, and legalizing euthanasia offsets that. Religious figures have recently welcomed the idea of getting God back into this debate. Ed Feinstein, senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California states that, “It [prayer] recognizes God as the one who decides ‘Who will

Euthanasia: The Strange Case Of Dr. Kevorkian

704 words - 3 pages Euthanasia: The Strange Case of Dr. Kevorkian Physicians face an ethical dilemma when confronting their patients who are suffering. Many have to choose between abiding by the law or ignoring the law and acting on their own beliefs by assisting in a patient’s suicide. Dr. Jack Kevorkian is certainly one doctor who has taken the illegal route in assisting in many of his patients suicides. In “Killer Doc,” William F. Buckley provides a

The Church And Euthanasia Essay

542 words - 2 pages case, a terminally ill person is asking the physician to assist them in ending their life. Oregon is the only state in the United States who allows this kind of euthanasia. This idea is contradictory to the principles of health care because physicians vow to heal, along with helping the patient feel comfortable and caring for the patient to their best ability.The Church considers these types of euthanasia to be wrong because they involve the