Later in the year 1990, Mrs. Shiavo was diagnosed with a “Persistent Vegetative State” (PVS).
Her husband Mr. Schiavo accepted that her condition was very critical, and her recovery was remote since all healthcare means had failed to revive her. He decided to work on what he assumed his wife would wish. He said my wife would not have chosen to continue being kept on an artificial life-supporting machine. Mrs. Shiavo’s parents strongly opposed her husband’s stand and subsequently one of the most popular ethical dilemmas unfolded (Perry,Churchill and Kirshner, 2005).
This case spurred controversy in the legal, medical, ethical, political and social domains. The case threatened to loosen the long-standing legal and ethical positions, which enabled individuals to control medical interventions executed on them. After so many petitions, hearings and numerous appeals, the Florida Supreme Court sanctioned the feeding tube to be removed on 31 of March 2005 in spite of opposition from President George Bush and the Congress but she died on 31 of March 2005. Terri’s case resonated with other cases that obviously influenced the Supreme Court’s decision to have the feeding tube removed, which included, the case of “Karen Quinlan Ann in 1976,” “Paul Brophy in 1986,” and “Nancy Cruzan in 1990” in which the patients who didn’t have written advance directives. In all these cases, the courts viewed the freedom and privacy interest of the patients as supreme and thus, the judge argued that she would not have wished to continue living under life-prolonging measures all her life hence sanctioned the that the feeding tube be remove from her (Perry, Churchill and Kirshner, 2005)
A number of legal considerations were put into perspective in the determination of this case. Firstly, she had not made any healthcare directive other than private conversations with her