Schiavo's death likely to reignite end-of-life debate

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A national debate on end-of-life issues is likely to unfold after the death Thursday of Terri Schiavo. She was at the center of a heated right-to-die controversy. Schiavo died 13 days after being disconnected from a feeding tube at a hospice in Pinellas Park, FL.

Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, filed court appeals until the end to keep their brain-damaged daughter alive, but to no avail. Their battle took the national stage earlier this month when Congress passed legislation that allowed the case to go to a federal court. The federal court refused to give an order to reinsert the feeding tube.

Michael Schiavo, Schiavo's husband, battled with her parents for years in an effort to have her feeding tube removed. While he believed she would not want to be kept alive on a feeding tube, her parents disagreed.

Schiavo did not leave a will so no one knew precisely what her desires would have been. AARP, the seniors' association, advocates people leave living wills and specify their power of attorney.

Schiavo fell into what doctors call a "persistent vegetative state" 15 years ago after suffering a heart attack. She spent the last decade and a half of her life primarily in nursing homes.