In Terri Schiavo’s Shoes
IN THE SOCIETAL DISCUSSION about our dying, the phrase “quality of life” has taken on a fascinating life of its own. With Quinlan in 1976 and Cruzan in 1990, the quality of life for each of the young adult women was often discussed as not only an appropriate factor for the parents to weigh in making decisions, but their main concern. As the discussion about Terri Schiavo spread through the country in the spring of 2005, the meaning of the phrase “quality of life” had shifted fairly significantly.
Advocates who argued that her feeding tube should remain in place would make statements like, “Michael Schiavo needs to respect Terri Schiavo’s life, not make judgments about her quality of life.” The reporter and others seated around the coffee table on the TV studio