Terri Schiavo dies

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo died this morning in St. Petersburg, Florida, moments after 9 a.m. EST. Thirteen days ago, her feeding tube was removed after courts repeatedly ruled Schiavo would not want to be kept alive in her current state. Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 after a mysterious cardiac arrest.

Many news sources allege the cardiac arrest was caused by an eating disorder, while her family maintains she had no eating disorder at all. During the attack, her brain was starved of oxygen for 14 minutes, leading to the death of many of the neurons in her brain and possibly leaving her in a persistent vegetative state (PVS).

Michael Schiavo argued before the courts that his wife would not want to live for a prolonged period on a feeding tube. In 2001, the tube was removed, but was reinserted two days later after an appeal by Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. After the Schindler family had all of their appeals rejected, the tube was removed once again in 2003, but reinserted six days later when Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida legislature collaborated on a bill, allowing Bush to order the tube reinserted. After the law was overturned in May of 2004, and the Schindler family's numerous appeals were again rejected, the tube was removed on March 18th.

President George W. Bush held a press conference, in part to offer his condolences to the friends and family of Schiavo. The president commended those on both sides of the issue.

An autopsy is planned to be performed in the coming days, which both the Schindler family and Michael Schiavo hope will shed some light on the cause of her brain damage.

Schiavo is survived by her husband, parents and her younger siblings Robert Jr. and Suzanne; she had no children. Schiavo was 41 years old.