Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This Day In History: Medical Ethics

On this day in 2005, Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed. Schiavo had been in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for 15 years, following a heart attack that caused brain damange. This resulted in a long legal battle between her husband -- who wanted her removed from life support -- and her parents, who believed she was still conscious and should remain on life support. The case made it through various Florida courts, as well as the Supreme Court of Florida. The U.S. Supreme Court refused four times to hear the case. Schiavo ultimately died on March 31, 2005.

The controversial topics of euthanasia, assisted suicide and the right to die are often assigned for CMTH102 (Speech Communication), and various Philosophy and Ethics classes. The NCC Libraries have many books on these subjects, as well as a variety of helpful online resources such as the Opposing Viewpoints, and CQ Researcher databases.

The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End of Life
by Arthur Caplan
R 726 .C357 2006 Stacks

Death and Dying: End-of-Life Controversies
by Sandra Alters
R 726 .D42 2008 Stacks, Main and Monroe

To Die Well: Your Right to Comfort, Calm and Choice in the Last Days of Life
by Sidney H. Wanzer
R 726.8 .W36 2007 Stacks, Main and Monroe

Health Care Directives
by Margaret C. Jasper
KF 3827 .I5 J3 2007 Stacks

Unplugged: Reclaiming Our Right to Die in America
by William H. Colby
R 726 .C637 2006 Stacks, Main and Monroe

Ending Life: Ethics and the Way We Die
by M. Pabst Battin
R 726 .B329 2005 Stacks

Photo credit:
Jost, K. (2005, May 13). Right to die. CQ Researcher, 15, 421-444. Retrieved March 16, 2009, from CQ Researcher Online,

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