However, Terri’s parents fought in all legal means possible to continue life-prolonging measures for their daughter. Terri’s life ended on March 31, 2005 as the local court’s decision to remove the life-support from Terri was upheld on March 18, 2005.
The first legal issue that happened on the case was when Michael won a malpractice suit against Terri’s obstetrician since the doctor was unable to recognize bulimia in Terri. This was critical since her low potassium level led to her cardiac arrest. Although Terri was personally responsible for being on a liquid diet, her obstetrician could have given her medical advice to warn her of the consequences. By the time Terri suffered from the cardiac arrest, the infusion of fluids to revive her aggravated the potassium level in her blood. However, this is not the bone of contention.
Another legal consideration was the real state of Terri. Her parents argued that she was not terminally ill thus she must not die from dehydration. Later, the conflict grew worse as Michel filed for a petition for the removal of tubes from Terri. He voluntary transferred his authority later to the court which appointed Richard Pearse as second guardian ad litem (GAL). Although Pearse was instrumental in establishing Terri in a PVS State as defined by Florida Statutes (Title XLIV, Chapter 765, §101(12), he also complicated the issue by alleging that Michael’s inheritance from Terri’s death was the reason behind his persistence in his previous petition. Moreover, issues such as Michael’s affair with a woman was used as propaganda by Terri’s parents as well as accusing Michael as physically abusive. Nevertheless, Terri’s life ended after a seven year legal battle that upturned courts that even involved President Bush.
The moral issue in the case is whether it is morally right to decide on discontinuing a life support