The court eventually sided with Schiavo’s husband and the young woman’s feeding tube was removed. She died about two weeks after the tube was removed on March 31, 2005.
Many of the issues stirred up by the Schiavo case still resonate today, said Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center.
“Schiavo was huge landmark in maintaining the rights of spouses to stop any and all medical interventions,” Caplan said. “But it raised all sorts of uncomfortable questions about when it becomes acceptable to remove someone from life support, even when the law makes it clear.”
The line then is the line now, Caplan said. When someone is diagnosed as permanently unconscious, life- saving measures may cease. But all the legal and ethical battles have not made the personal decisions any easier, Caplan said.
“And now we even more technology and experimental drugs to decide about,” he said.
Jahi's mother, Nailah Winkfield, spoke to ABC News exclusively last year, saying her daughter continues to respond to verbal commands. The family filed suit against the hospital earlier this month for negligence.
In her legislative testimony, she said some people suggested that she do palliative sedation where a person is placed in a drug-induced coma and deprived of nutrients and water until death comes on its own. Caplan said this is similar to what Terri Schiavo went through.
Maynard ended her own life last November. Earlier this month her family released a video of her testimony for a right-to-die bill in California that she recorded shortly before her death.
Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when she collapsed with a suspected embolism in November 2013. As a result of her pregnancy, John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth said state law barred it from removing her from life support until Munoz miscarried or a baby was born.
In this case, the family took the opposite tact from Schiavo’s parents, Caplan said, by asking that Munoz be removed from life support so that she could die. After months of legal wrangling the family won the case. She was removed from life support last January and ceased all cardiac function a few minutes later.