Death of Terri Schiavo

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Two weeks after a state court judge ordered the feeding removed, Terri Schiavo has died. The fight over her fate has been at the center of a national debate for weeks — drawing comment and intervention by the President, Congress, and even the Vatican.

Under this bright national spotlight, the personal struggle of Schiavo’s family became intensely political. On one side her husband Michael arguing for the right to remove the feeding tube from his brain-damaged wife, on the other her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, seeking every legal means available to continue the support that had been keeping their daughter alive since she was hospitalized more than 15 years ago.

But beyond the personal dynamics of the Schiavo family, this case revealed real fault lines about how people throughout America view the right to die and to live. When the personal become political, understanding the death of Terry Schiavo.


Stephen Prothero, Chair of the Department of Religion at Boston University

Dr. Michael Grodin, Director of the Law, Medicine and Ethics Program at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Medical Ethicist at Boston Medical Center