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Massachusetts Medical Society




For the first time in the history of the United States, Congress met in a special emergency session on Sunday, March 20, to pass legislation aimed at the medical care of one patient — Terri Schiavo. President George W. Bush encouraged the legislation and flew back to Washington, D.C., from his vacation in Crawford, Texas, so that he could be on hand to sign it immediately. In a statement issued three days earlier, he said: “The case of Terri Schiavo raises complex issues. . . . Those who live at the mercy of others deserve our special care and concern. It should be our goal as a nation to build a culture of life, where all Americans are valued, welcomed, and protected — and that culture of life must extend to individuals with disabilities.


From The New England Journal of Medicine, George J. Annas, “Culture of Life” Politics at the Bedside: The Case of Terri Schiavo, Volume 352, Page 1710 Copyright ©(2005) Massachusetts Medical Society. Reprinted with permission.

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