Living Wills

By: Kelly Sparks
By: Kelly Sparks

It’s been an emotional roller coaster for Terri Schiavo’s family. Terri is the brain-damaged Florida woman at the center of a bitter moral battle.

Her husband, Michael Schiavo says his wife would not want to be kept alive artificially, but her parents argue she had no such death wish and believe she could get better with rehabilitation.

Friday afternoon, doctors removed her feeding tube and Tuesday morning a federal judge denied an emergency request to reinsert it.

This comes after congress and President Bush enacted legislation aimed at allowing federal courts to review Schiavo’s case.

Terri Schiavo did not have a living will, but because of her thousands of others are signing one.

“I’ve already had calls today, from people who have a living will and they want to come in have them reviewed and updated.”

Attorney Mike Reynolds says the tragic circumstances of the Schiavo case highlight the need for everyone, young and old to discuss their wishes about health care with family and loved ones.

Living wills communicate patients’ wishes on medical treatments if they become terminally ill or incapacitated.

Reynolds has seen many cases in his 30 years of practicing law and says it’s disturbing when someone becomes unable to communicate and their wishes are unknown.

Terry Schiavo is unable to discuss her wishes, she left no written will, and her family members disagree as to what care she should receive.

Reynolds says since all adults have the right to control their own care in advance situations like this can be avoided if more people will discuss their feelings with family and loved ones.


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