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Lisa Hensley

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 59: Death, Dying, and Bereavement

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Death, Dying, and Bereavement
Death, dying, and bereavement

On Friday, March 18, 2005, doctors removed the feeding tube that had sustained Ms. Terri Schindler Schiavo, a young woman who had suffered brain damage as a result of cardiac arrest in 1990. Schiavo died two weeks later, ending the case that had captured national attention, pitting experts against one another, legislators against judges, and Schiavo's family of origin against her spouse and his family (“Schiavo's feeding tube removed,” 2005).

The Schiavo case underlined numerous issues that were important in our national consciousness. First, experts disagreed about whether Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state, an irreversible condition in which cortical functioning ceases but brainstem functions, such as heartbeat and respiration, remain intact. Schiavo's state also raised questions about ...

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