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At Liberty to DieThe Battle for Death with Dignity in America$
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Howard Ball

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814791042

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814791042.001.0001

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(p.51) 3 Terri Schiavo’s Tragic Odyssey, 1990–2005

(p.51) 3 Terri Schiavo’s Tragic Odyssey, 1990–2005

(p.51) 3 Terri Schiavo’s Tragic Odyssey, 1990–2005
At Liberty to Die

Howard Ball

NYU Press

This chapter examines the controversy surrounding the In Re Schiavo case, which highlighted the ideas of privacy, due process, and the right to die. The debate was the right of Terri Schiavo, who was in a permanent vegetative state (PVS), to end her life. The legal battle was between Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, and her parents over whether her feeding and hydration tube should be removed in order to end her life. This chapter considers the issue of a person's liberty and personal autonomy that came to the fore in Terri Schiavo's case and how the right-to-die debate became politicized when Florida's legislators and governor, Jeb Bush, as well as Congress and President George W. Bush, got involved in the case. It also looks at the clinical death of Terri Schiavo in 2005 and the U.S. Supreme Court denials of certiorari with regards to her case.

Keywords:   right to die, In Re Schiavo, Terri Schiavo, permanent vegetative state, Michael Schiavo, liberty, personal autonomy, Florida, clinical death, U.S. Supreme Court

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