Terry Schiavo Case Study

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Issues concerning life and death, I believe still remain very controversial; as in the case of Terry Schiavo. Michael, Terry’s husband and legal guardian withdrew Terry’s rehabilitation and sent her to a nursing home. There, her previous improvements disappeared due to therapy discontinuation. Terry was fed through a feeding tube because she cannot swallow but was still apparently able to digest. She was then diagnosed with a persistent vegetative state(PVS)—a “life lived under altered mental or neurological circumstances (Carpenter, 2010).” Considering these circumstances with Terry’s stable vital signs, I would favor not removing Terry’s tube. It naturally sustains her with the right nutrition and hydration. Also, at that point in time, Terry was not yet terminal or brain dead. She remained in a minimally conscious state and responds to stimuli(e.g. her father’s jokes, mother’s presence). These statements all the more so points that the tube must not be…show more content…
I believe that as future nurses we must also think about preserving the patient’s “quality of life” more than the length of it. I think that when the patient is evidently suffering, is in comatose or is brain dead then he/she will have a very low quality of life. Then at this point where the quality of life cannot be sustained anymore by medicine, the patient/s have the right to die with no resuscitation because efforts may be futile and may bring more suffering to the patient. The right to die must only be allowed when the patient consented to it and is to die in peace. Before all of this may be done, the nurse must help the patient’s immediate family understand why dying is a more logical choice than living with a very poor quality of life. The nurse is there to provide the patient’s family with support in terms of decision making and in coping with the ever-changing situations surrounding their critically-ill loved

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