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The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End of Life

Caplan, Arthur L.

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ISBN 10: 159102398X / ISBN 13: 9781591023982
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End...

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: PAP

Book Condition: New

About this title


After the Nancy Cruzan case was decided by the Supreme Court in 1990, and ultimately resolved by the Courts of the State of Missouri, the decision to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging nutrition and hydration appeared to many to be as noncontroversial as decisions to refuse respirators or dialysis. Even the Catholic Church held that, although there should be a presumption in favor of providing nutrition and hydration, the patient or the patient’s surrogate could overrule this presumption, if either believed the treatment was disproportionate or burdensome.
The Schiavo case changed all that. Although the decision to remove Terri Schiavo’s nutrition and hydration was made by her husband — her legal surrogate — based on his wife’s belief that such treatment was disproportionate, Schiavo’s immediate family protested so much that the case took years to resolve. It eventually involved all branches of government at both the state and federal levels.
The ethical dilemmas that such cases pose continue to stir great controversy. This in-depth examination of these dilemmas provides information and documentation from many perspectives. The editors have included a foreword by Dr. Jay Wolfson, Terri Schiavo’s court-appointed guardian ad litem, as well as Dr. Wolfson’s report to Gov. Jeb Bush on the case and Gov. Bush’s reply; public statements by President George Bush and Senators David Weldon, Rick Santorum, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, and Barney Frank; statements by the pope and other representatives of the Catholic Church on this issue; plus much medical and legal background material on both precedents to the Schiavo case and its aftermath, including the results of the autopsy report.
For anyone wishing an in-depth understanding of these complex ethical issues, issues many of us will have to confront in our own families, this volume is indispensable.

From the Publisher:

The Case of Terri Schiavo: News and Reviews

"The case of Teresa Marie Schiavo will long stand as an iconic moment (albeit a "moment" that lasted 15 years) in the history of the "right to die" in this country. The media's feeding frenzy is largely responsible for the notoriety, but theirs was a curiously fact-free frenzy, especially light on legal perspective, ethical context and expert medical opinion. This book - assembled by three bioethicists at the University of Pennsylvania, including the ubiquitous Art Caplan - gives us what thousands of pages and hours of pathos-soaked reporting largely ignored: key documents, judicial opinions, state and federal laws, timeline, and representative commentary that explain and clarify exactly what the Schiavo case was and wasn't about. Scholars, politicians, academics and citizens will debate the lessons learned from the Schiavo case for many years to come. That debate will be thin stuff, indeed, if the participants ignore the material in this important and definitive treatment of Terri Schiavo's case." - Tom Mayo, The Dallas Morning News, August 9, 2006.

"With The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End of Life, bioethicists Arthur Caplan, James McCartney and Dominic Sisti make a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate by allowing readers to digest the various source documents for themselves." - Nancy Frazier O'Brien, Catholic News Service. July 31, 2006.

"Decision making at the end of life is an extraordinarily complex endeavor. Those who wish to fully learn from the life and death of Terri Schiavo and who seek to deepen their understanding of how various individuals confront these difficult decisions will find ample resources in this remarkable collection of documents."- Paul Bascom, MD, JAMA. 2006. 296:339-340.

"At first glance it would seem that The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End of Life is another focus on her case alone - but actually its focus on end-of-life ethical questions holds far more meaning for the living than for the dead of the past. The ethical dilemmas surrounding end of life are many - and are surveyed in depth in a coverage which uses not just Terri's case but similar cases to expose issues, struggles and obstacles to quality of life and survival. Essays cover everything from legal issues and points to ethical concerns." - California Bookwatch, May 2006.

"The only book I'm interested in reading about the Terri Schiavo case - if and when I'll ever have the stomach to revisit it - will be the new one co-edited by Penn medical ethicist Art Caplan. The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End of Life breaks down the issues of Terri's death in a way that's enlightening to the national debate about who gets the final say about how we die. Unlike the other books, it exudes dignity. Now there's a legacy for Terri Schiavo." - Ronnie Polaneczky Philadelphia Daily News, Tue, Mar. 28, 2006.

"The case had a searing impact in many ways on Americans in terms of the battle, and the plight of the young woman, and the family fight was certainly dramatic and commanded everyone's attention ..." said Arthur Caplan, co-editor of The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End of Life." March 28, 2006, The Guardian

"[This] book is a dossier that includes court documents, the autopsy report, the text of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's March 17 statement that questioned Terri Schiavo's diagnosis and various statements by the Catholic Church on artificial nutrition and other end-of-life issues." The Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 19, 2006.

"...this book is an objective scholarly anthology of documents, reports, and opinion pieces highlighting the complexities of an emotional case...Highly recommended for academic, health, and larger public libraries." --Tina Neville, University of South Florida, Library Journal Reviews, Feb. 1, 2006.

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