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BMJ 2005; 330 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7494.795 (Published 31 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:795
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne, medical journalist
  1. New York

    The Terri Schiavo case shows how the internet is becoming a battleground over ethical issues

    There was a revolution in Central Asia, an upheaval in Lebanon, deadly shootings at a high school in Minnesota, and a disastrous explosion at a Texas oil refinery. But day after day the lead story in the august New York Times and the distinguished Washington Post was about one 41 year old woman in Florida who had been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years—Terri Schiavo.

    Should US president George W Bush, a born again Christian who advocates “a culture of life,” decide that she should live, or die after removal of a percutaneous gastrostomy tube providing water and nutrition? Or should Congress, the federal courts, the president's devout Catholic brother, Jeb Bush (who is governor of Florida), the Florida state courts, …

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