Remembering Terry Shiavo: How Two Simple Documents Can Protect You From Unwanted Medical Intrusions in Texas


Last week, the nation stopped to remember Terry Shiavo, a 41-year-old woman who was removed from her feeding tube and tragically left to die against the wishes of her family and friends.

Shiavo, who was in a permanent vegetative state after suffering heart failure in 1990, did not have advanced health care directives allowing her parents to intervene medically on her behalf.

Sadly, her estranged husband and the U.S. Court system made the final decision to remove Shiavo from her tube in which she ultimately starved to death over a two-week period.

Sadly, very few lessons were learned by Shiavo’s high profile death, as many Texans are still without necessary medical directives which state their end-of-life wishes and who can legally intervene on their behalf.

As a Houston estate planning lawyer specializing in medical directives and living wills, I deal with the unfortunate consequences of this every day in my practice.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Kim Hegwood, Hegwood Law | Attorney Advertising

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