Terri Schiavo was a 41-year-old disabled woman in Florida whose plight galvanized
public opinion in North America. She was severely disabled for over 15 years, and been diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state
(by many physicians appointed by various courts) or a minimally
conscious state (as diagnosed by some conservative Christian physicians).
Her husband, Michael Schiavo, wanted to carry out what he believed to be his
wife's stated wish: to be allowed to die if she became disabled in this way. Her
parents wanted to keep their daughter alive and hoped that she could have received therapy
and partly overcome her disability.
Terri's feeding tube was removed on the afternoon of 2005-MAR-18. Her
physical condition slowly degenerated due to dehydration. She probably passed the point of no return;
(i.e. the time when she might not have been able to survive even if nutrition were resumed)
about Easter Sunday, 2005-MAR-27.
She died at 9:05AM, ET, on MAR-31.
An autopsy found:
No evidence that her collapse in 1990 and subsequent brain damage was caused by abuse, as
some commentators had asserted.
That she was blind and thus could not have responded to visual
That she died of dehydration.
Governor Jeb Bush (R) asked a Florida prosecutor to investigate whether there
were any criminal acts performed in 1990 when Terri collapsed. He concluded that
there was no wrongdoing.