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Book and Media Reviews
July 19, 2006

End-of-Life Ethics

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(3):336-341. doi:10.1001/jama.296.3.339

Elevated from private dispute to public struggle, the sad death of Terri Schiavo seems destined to remain an active issue for years to come. Her death became a potent symbol for a confluence of brewing cultural, political, ethical, and theological controversies that continue.

Released on the anniversary of her death, The Case of Terri Schiavo is a wide-ranging collection of documents relevant to the case. The opening section consists of documents establishing the medical, legal, and theological consensus regarding the right of individuals to refuse life-sustaining treatment, including nutrition and hydration. The second section includes pertinent legal briefs and opinion pieces from the years in which the case was heard and appealed in the state courts of Florida. The third section revisits the conduct of our national political leaders, who brought the dispute to national attention.

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