Mercifull Killing: a Part of Life

Merciful Killing: A Part of Life

            Terri Schiavo suffered from permanent brain damage at the age of twenty-six, due to a lack of oxygen. This unfortunate and serious mishap was caused by Schiavo’s own selfish personal decisions (Dowbiggin). An accident caused by her bulimia, which left her in a vegetarian state from 1990 to 2005. Doctors gave no optimism in her case, as a feeding tube was the only hope to keep her merely existence. According to her husband Michael, she had previously expressed that she did not wish to be kept alive if she was in such condition (Terri). A wise choice by Terri, due to the circumstances, if kept alive it would only be selfish, costly, and emotionally draining. Michael fought her parents in court for the removal of the feeding tube and it took fifteen years for the courts to favor Michael’s wishes. Terri died on March 18, 2005, thirteen days after her tube was removed (Terri). Results after her autopsy showed that Terri was unable to think, feel, see, or connect in any sort of way with her surroundings (Dowbiggin). Michael’s tough decision to end his wife’s life was proven to be the best one.
      Some might describe this as cruel and an egocentric form of murder. However, the correct term is euthanasia. Euthanasia can be defined as an act “to deprive a person of existence by execution or omission for his or her alleged benefit” (Keelan). The word euthanasia comes from a Greek word in the seventeenth century, eu thanatos (εὐθανασία). Eu meaning good, and thanatos means death, good death (Dunsmuir). Euthanasia can be classified in four different categories, passive, active, voluntary, and involuntary (Walker).
      Passive euthanasia is when medical treatment is a necessary means for human existence, and is removed. The consequences are notably known and expected (Walker). A great example was Terri Schiavo’s case. Her doctors, husband, and immediate family knew if the feeding tube were to be removed, she would...