“Thirteen years ago, Terri Schiavo was 26 years old and seemingly, in good health. Unfortunately, Terri suffered cardiac failure that subsequently led to massive brain damage, leaving her in a coma-like state, unable to speak.
Like many people, Terri, now 39, did not have a written record of her wishes for care, so when she became ill, the decisions about her care fell to family members, physicians, lawyers, judges and evan a governor. If Terri had created a living will, much of the 13-year court battle over her fate, that ensued, could have been avoided.
If there is one positive outcome of this tragic story, it is that Terri’s story has brought to light the importance of preparing for the future and for the unpredictable. According to a recent survey from the National Council on Aging, 74 percent of people polled believe that creating a living will is very important. In fact, creating a living will tied with building up savings for retirement as the most important factor in preparing for later life.”June 14, 2004