The Schiavo Decision: Emotional, But Legally Controversial?

Bond Law Review, 18(1), pp. 132-159, 2006

40 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2016

See all articles by Lindy Willmott

Lindy Willmott

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Ben White

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Donna Cooper

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Although the decision to withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration from Terri Schiavo attracted an enormous amount of international publicity, from a legal perspective the decision was unsurprising. This article explores this view by comparing the law that governs the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining medical treatment in Florida where the Schiavo decision was made, and the equivalent law in Queensland. It concludes that although the legislation is expressed in different terms, the same decision would be reached if a case similar to Terri Schiavo's arose in Queensland. Indeed, it is suggested that this conclusion is also likely to be reached in other common law jurisdictions.

Keywords: Withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment, Adult guardianship law, End of life decision-making

Suggested Citation

Willmott, Lindy and White, Ben and Cooper, Donna, The Schiavo Decision: Emotional, But Legally Controversial? (2006). Bond Law Review, 18(1), pp. 132-159, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2806845

Lindy Willmott

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/willmott/

Ben White (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/whiteb/

Donna Cooper

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

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