|Reasoned Arguments: This week you learned how to construct reasoned arguments about moral issues. Your assignment is to read the case study, identify the moral dilemma, and construct a reasoned argument. You will also respond to questions to extend your critical thinking about the case study.|
|Euthanasia Case Study:
Terri Schiavo, a Pinellas County, Florida woman, suffered a heart attack in 1990, which left her in a “persistent vegetative state.” She was 25 years old at the time of the attack, and remained on life support for 15 years.
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Terri’s “persistent vegetative state” was not the equivalent of a coma, but can be defined through the fact that she was unable to eat, speak or control her body in any way. Her eyes were open, but she was not classified as being “conscious” due to the fact that she only seemed to respond to basic stimuli, and was not aware of what was going on around her (it was later determined during her autopsy that she was blind and brain dead). Her prognosis was contentious, as some experts believed her to be unable to recover, while others speculated on the reality of her condition and her potential to improve.
Terri was married in 1985 to a man named Michael Schiavo. Due to the fact that Terri did not have a “living will” it fell upon Michael, as next of kin, to determine the next course of action. He felt as if his wife had “died” 15 years ago as a result of her heart attack. Michael wanted her removed from life support because it was not her wish to have been kept alive through artificial means. However, her parents’ contention was that Terri would want a chance at life and that she was capable of some rehabilitation; it was these opposing viewpoints that led to an ongoing legal battle that lasted for more than 12 years.
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