health care ethics 17

On March 31, 2005 Terri Schindler Schiavo died of dehydration and starvation following a Florida judge’s order to remove these “medical treatments” (artificial life support) 14 days prior. Terri Schiavo’s case gained national and international media attention as her family took the case to the Florida Governor’s Office and the U.S. Congress. Terri Shiavo’s case is unique in the following ways:

She was institutionalized for 15 years following cardiac arrest of unknown origin.

She was not terminally ill or in a coma, therefore this was not an end of life case.

There was medical conflict regarding whether or not she was in a permanent vegetative state.

She needed no outside medical equipment to sustain life, except food and hydration. She required a feeding tube.

She had no living will in place.

There was conflict between her husband and her family regarding belief of her wishes to sustain life.

Research the Terri Schiavo case and be prepared to discuss the medical ethics involved. Address the following questions in your discussion and papers:

What ethical principles were violated in this case? Provide examples for each principle.

Was adequate evidence provided to Judge Greer to determine Terri Schiavo’s wishes in the absence of a written living will? Why or why not?

It is argued that there was a conflict of interest in Michael Schiavo’s guardianship of Terri. Was there a conflict of interest in his guardianship from an ethical standpoint? If so, do you believe the potential conflict of interest influenced his decision-making ability? Explain.

Discuss the ethics of involving the state and federal government in a medical case regarding sustaining life. Should this be a political issue, i.e. part of a political platform? Explain.

Do you believe the feeding tube should have been removed in the Terri Schiavo case? Why or why not?

Students are to write a 2-3 page research paper on the topic by answering all the questions stated above. Students are to cite research in answering the above questions for the paper.

The paper should be submitted via Moodle in MS Word. You are expected to cite 2-3 references for this paper utilizing APA format (Refer to APA publication manual and sample paper listed under COURSE RESOURCES on Moodle Course Homepage). The American Psychological Association (APA) now has the 7th edition of APA guidelines for writing and there are substantial changes. Therefore, as long as you use 6th or 7th edition of APA, you will get credit in this course.No title page, table of contents or abstract is needed for this assignment. Simply put your identifying information in the upper right hand corner of the first page. Remember this is a 2-3 page assignment(NOT including references)!

Standard paper size (8 ½ x 11 paper)

12-pt. Times New Roman font

Double spaced

1 inch margins on top, bottom, right, and left

Indent all paragraphs 5-7 spaces or ½ inch

Page numbers in upper right hand corner of page, use Arabic numerals

Reference in text using appropriate APA style and include reference page at the end of the paper. When citing internet resources, only web sites that end in “.edu”, “.org”, or “.gov” will be accepted as references. Also, Wikipedia in any form will NOT be accepted as a reference.

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