For over fifteen years the Terri Schiavo debate has gained media and public attention. Terri Schiavo's heart suddenly stopped in 1990 and she suffered severe brain damage before she could be revived. Her husband Michael made the decision to have the feeding tube removed to end Terri's life after a number of attempts to restore her brain functions were unsuccessful. Terri's family and many other supporters have fought the decision to have the feeding tube removed in an ongoing legal battle that has seemingly come to an end because the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has made the decision to remove Terri's feeding tube and let her die.
Supporters for Terri, including Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, continue to voice their calls to action to have the feeding tube reinserted and wait for Terri to die from deterioration rather than starving. In spite of the best efforts by supporters of keeping Terri alive by using life support devices, medical science and the courts have both declared Terri to be devoid of life and agree that the life support should be removed. Medical Science Even if medical science develops a way to restore brain function in Terri Schiavo the chances of her living long enough to see it are very remote.
According to a Fox News report on the 11th Circuit Court's (www. ca11. uscourts. gov) medical basis to make their decision, "Court-appointed doctors say she is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery. "(AP, 2005, para. 25) Michael Schiavo has made every effort he could to find a medical cure for Terri: For years after this happened to Terri, I tried desperately to find a cure for her. I went from one doctor to another. Almost all of them told me there was no possibility she would recover.
Any doctor that gave me a glimmer of hope that some new treatment or therapy would work was given free reign with Terri. I would do anything to make her well. (year? ) There is currently no medical technology that can restore Terri to her former self and there will not be in the foreseeable future. Court Decisions The courts have also declared Terri to be devoid of life. Opponents of the decision to remove Terri's feeding tube have made exhaustive efforts to reverse the courts decisions and have even gone as far as to attempt to sneak cups of water into her hospital room to keep her hydrated.
Governor Jeb Bush of Florida said in a statement that he "could not be more disappointed in the decision announced this morning. " (AP, para. 8) Some opponents have said that Michael remained married to Terri all these years waiting for her to die because of a $700,000 malpractice award in the early 1990's that stemmed from her death. This theory has no merit because fifteen years of hospitalized medical care would well exceed $700,000. There is no legal basis that should stop Terri's life from ending even if some opponents feel that removing her feeding tube is immoral.
Conclusion Michael Schiavo has clearly suffered enough through this ordeal and should be allowed to move on with his life. Both the medical and legal communities have declared Terri to be brain dead for all intensive purposes and therefore her body should be allowed to die along with her brain. Michael has taken every step he could possibly take to restore Terri to her normal self with no success. Exhaustive efforts by opponents of Terri's being allowed to die have done nothing but prolong and multiply the emotional and financial burdens that have been incurred by Michael.