Terri Schiavo, 2005 News
brain-damaged Florida woman, was at the center of a highly publicized and politically sensitive right-to-die case that started in state court and became a national issue after Congress—in a very unusual move—voted in March to send the case to a federal court. After a protracted legal battle, the feeding tube that had kept Schiavo alive for 15 years was removed. Her husband, Michael, said that Terri had indicated when she was well that she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means. Her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, disagreed, and believed she could recover from the persistent vegetative state. President Bush signed emergency legislation allowing a federal court to decide if the tube should be reinserted, saying it conformed to his idea of a culture of life. The court refused to order that the feeding tube be reinserted. She died 13 days after the tube was removed. Schiavo's autopsy, released in June, found that her brain had deteriorated to half normal size and no treatment could have helped her.