This is a comparison and contrast between Analysis #1 and Analysis #2 of the Terry Schiavo case. The paper will highlight the differences between the two, and discuss any changes that came about in my initial analysis of the Schiavo case as a result of reading both analyses. The issue at the center of the case was about death and dying; Article #2 elaborated on this by noting additional principles of benevolence, social justice, and patient autonomy, while Article #1 was very short and to the point. Careful review of Article #1 showed the format was not APA style, and the fine points were discussed much more concisely; there were no references to cite.
In terms of discussing the case itself, again Article #2 was lengthier, however, Article #1 used more medical terminology. As it pertains to types of brain injuries and their consequences, it is worth mentioning that, “unconscious patients cannot suffer; suffering is an emotive event that requires consciousness” (Fine, 2005, p. 304). It was feared that removal of Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube, allowing her to starve to death, would be cruel treatment- that she would suffer in some way. Indications for Mrs. Schiavo’s condition included the feeding tube itself. It was established that she suffered from bulimia nervosa, and surmised that the subsequent loss of potassium caused heart failure leading to irreversible brain damage. “All patients require 4 hour central or mixed venous blood gases, ABGs, CMP,CBC, DIC follow up, serum lactate, and cardiac output if available even after declaration of brain death unless care is withdrawn” (Dixon & Malinowski, 2009, p. 13). Due to her persistent vegetative state, another indication for Mrs. Schiavo was continued hospice care. Doctors are forced to treat patients even though there is no possibility of cure, enjoyment or in some cases, consciousness as though the patient’s best interests are served by preserving life at all costs (Singer, 1995).
Patient preference was a fighting point in the Schiavo case, although I am not sure it should have been. Mr. Schiavo, in petitioning the courts to have his wife’s feeding tube removed, stated that she had expressed a preference not to be kept alive in a persistent vegetative state. Mrs. Schiavo’s parents discredited that claim and stated that her husband had a conflict of interest, in that he wanted to remarry after eight years. Her parents denied the persistent vegetative state; they claimed that Terry Schiavo was conscious. “The vegetative state, another product of modern technology, was first described in 1972. The vegetative state is best understood as an “eyes-opened unconsciousness”; there is a disassociation between wakefulness and awareness” (Fine, 2005, p. 307). Life-preserving medical technology created this state as well as brain death. Terry’s parents were able to refute the doctor’s diagnosis of brain death and their prognosis that no further treatment was available.
Only Article #2 speaks to the quality of life issue; in Article #1, the author only states what they would want. On the hand, as far as contextual issues are concerned, Article #2 does not name any- it discusses confidentiality as though there is a confusion between the two. In contrast, Article #1 names all the stakeholders involved, including: her parents, her brother, her church, her husband, his mate and their children, the courts, her physicians and nurses, the institutions providing her care, the Republican Governor, the Republican President, the Republican Congress, the mainstream media-especially on the Right, and the Supreme Court.
In conclusion, flaws in both format and information included or left out existed in both Articles # 1 and 2. Article # 2 was by far the lengthier of the two; Article #1 included the contextual concern. There were differences in style and format as well- Article #1 does not conform to APA style at all, and does not cite any outside sources. Both articles came to the same conclusion: the case should not have gone on as long as it did. Mrs. Schiavo had no life.