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How Do You Want to Die? Write It Down.

By Joann Mar, KALW/Crosscurrents

Most Americans are unprepared for the worst to happen — an accident or an unexpected illness that leaves them brain dead, but still alive. That's what happened to Terri Schiavo, a young woman who became comatose after suffering a heart attack in 1990.

Schiavo was kept alive by a feeding tube for 15 years. During that time, her husband tried to withdraw the feeding tube, but was adamantly opposed by Schiavo's parents, Congress and President George W. Bush. After a highly publicized legal battle, the feeding tube was finally removed and Schiavo died two weeks later. This protracted battle might have been avoided, if Schiavo had completed a document known as an advance directive.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.