Is Euthanasia an Ethical Option – Care Example

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"Is Euthanasia an Ethical Option" is a controversial example of a paper on care. Seeming like characters right out of a  fairytale, Micheal and Terri met, married, and promised to live happily ever after. But, life is just not a happily-ever-after story. As it turned out later, Terri Schiavo underwent serious illness concerning her brain, which led to  numerous arguments between her parents, husband, and even the politicians.   (Michael Schiavo; Michael Hirsh, 2006)        Talking about her medical condition, Terri had  obstructive  oxygen supply to her brain, which did not do any good to her brain development, and her way of living.

The doctors and medical experts had clearly stated the minute chances of recovery. However, her misery dragged for fifteen years more.       What I consider to be an open-and-shut  case  was not thought so by others. The only argument was about mercy killing in my opinion. When on one hand, Terri's husband thought that Terri's misery should be ended by not keeping her alive through artificial means, on the other hand, her parents insisted on keeping her alive. Terri herself told her husband that she does not  want to keep living with the help of artificial life-keeping a. k.a torturous devices because they were only prolonging her life and prolonging her pain.       The argument  revolved  around the feeding tube of Terri.

Micheal Schiavo insisted that to be removed. However, Terri's parents did not agree to it. Politicians jumped in to play and ignited a fire which in my opinion wouldn't have been necessary.       Pointing out to the law according to US court, a patient (identical to Terri's medical condition), is to be removed from life support to end his/her misery. This also accounts for the  patient’ s  family's burden of paying the hospital bills all through the sickness of a patient whose recovery signs are almost gone.   (Lois L Shepherd, 2009)        Micheal  Schiavo  himself worked as a respiratory therapist and thus, knew the possible chances of Terri returning from the trauma.

There was no shortage of excellent medical advisors; after all, the case gained popularity all over, but Micheal  -had been on the right track. He did not want her wife to suffer the  pain she was going through.   (Arthur L Caplan; James J McCartney; Dominic A Sisti, 2006)      It doesn't take much of your medical knowledge to realize that the brain makes up of  the most vital organs of the body, and if that only is not working properly, the vital signs are lesser and lesser satisfactory.

This should have been realized in the case of Terri to lessen the pain she continued living in for years. As found out after death, her brain only remained of half the size of the normal adult brain, which compromised her growth and resulted in the amputation of her limbs.   One can hardly imagine the pain and tragedy such a person would face.   (William H Colby, 2006)        Mercy  killing  or euthanasia (as it is medically known) has always been a topic of debate.

One might find it brutal to kill people just because you are tired of watching them sick, like the Schindler’ s in this case. However, a closer look at it shows that no point in keeping a person alive is fighting life and death for every moment of his/her wrecked life.         People might have created a lot of noise in protesting against mercy killing for Terri, but what they failed to realize was the peaceful silence she lay in after her death.

With brain half, the normal size, amputated limbs, nearly gone eyesight, cerebral cortex turning almost liquid; anyone could have preferred dying rather than living a life like this when all you could do is lie on a bed and do nothing. And, Terri was strong enough to do that for years, just because the argument did not reach an end.       A lot of people might say that life is a gift of God.

But, putting yourself in Terri's shoes, you might realize that even death is a gift. With her feeding tube removed, she only lived 13 more days of pain after which she died at peace. You waited for so long, Terri, I hope now you rest in peace.   (Mark Fuhrman, 2005) 


“Schiavo, M., & Hirsh, M. (2006). Terri: The truth. New York: Dutton.”

“Shepherd, L. L. (2009). If that ever happens to me: Making life and death decisions after Terri Schiavo. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press”

“Colby, W. H. (2006). Unplugged: Reclaiming our right to die in America. New York: AMACOM/American Management Association”

“Caplan, A. L., McCartney, J. J., & Sisti, D. A. (2006). The case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the end of life. Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books”

“Fuhrman, M. (2005). Silent witness: The untold story of Terri Schiavo's death. New York: Morrow”

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