10 years later: Terri Schiavo still puts spotlight on end of life issues

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GULFPORT, Fla. – There are still questions surrounding the government’s role in a person’s life and death.

A case that brought that question to the forefront of the American people’s minds is 10-years-old.

In 1990, Terri Schiavo collapsed after suffering from full cardiac arrest.

The heart attack deprived her brain of oxygen and doctors say it left her in a persistent vegetative state.

Schiavo was kept alive by a feeding tube for 15 years, while her husband and family fought about her right to live and to die.

Her husband, Michael Schiavo, argued that his wife would never have wanted to be kept alive by a feeding tube. He attempted to get the feeding tube removed.

Her parents fought to keep Terri alive.

After courts ordered the feeding tube be taken out, Jeb Bush signed “Terri’s Law” in 2003.

The bill ordered doctors to reinsert Terri’s feeding tube.

President George W. Bush cut a vacation short to sign a bill that would allow Schiavo’s case to be heard in federal courts.

The courts agreed with Schiavo’s husband and allowed her feeding tube to be removed.

Nearly two weeks later, Schiavo died on March 31, 2005.

“One of the American people’s greatest fears is that someone other than themselves will make these decisions. This isn’t political or partisan, it’s persona.l And that was the first time people realized how intrusive government could actually be,” Coombs Lee told TIME. “The lesson is that death is not the worst thing that can happen to you.”

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