Imagine yourself the proud parent of an adult daughter. You have spent many years nurturing your precious child so that she may excel in the world. Just as all of your dreams for her are coming true, the news no parent wants to hear was delivered. Your daughter lost control of her car, the vehicle overturned and she was found lying face down in a ditch. You gasped. You expected the worst. A tragic end to a life yet lived. Then, the good news was delivered. You breathed a sigh of relief. You learned she survived. She was in a coma, but nonetheless, she survived. Although she remained in a coma for three weeks, her condition eventually progressed to an unconscious state where she was able to orally ingest nutrition. In order to further recovery, a gastrostomy feeding and hydration tube was implanted by surgeons. Despite hopes for a recovery, these rehabilitative efforts proved unavailing and she currently remains in a persistent vegetative state. Now the good news of her survival seems bittersweet. An end-of-life decision, for your daughter, your flesh and blood, is now in your hands. What should be done? Who should decide?
Alisa L. Geller,
In the Aftermath of the Terri Schiavo Case: Resolving End-of-Life Disputes Through Alternative Dispute Resolution,
6 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj/vol6/iss1/2