Terri Schiavo and the right to death with dignity movement

Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was pulled on March 18, 2005, more than 15 years after her husband found her unresponsive and without a pulse in their St. Petersburg home. The public debacle and series of legal actions between husband and Terri’s family gave many people reason to talk about having the “right to death” with dignity as an option.

Ten years after Terri’s death, three states, Oregon, Washington and Vermont have passed Right to Death with dignity for terminally ill patients. Oregon and Washington States acquired their “dignity laws” through voter initiatives and Vermont passed its right to die by legislative action in 2013. While it is still up to patients and qualified physicians, the issue of dying is as troubling as it is human. We can plan and protect our children and families.

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