Retro Report: The Enduring Legacy of Terri Schiavo

The controversy over Terri Schiavo’s case elevated a family matter into a political battle that continues to frame end-of-life issues today.

Terri Schiavo’s case started long before the cameras appeared.  In February 1990, the 26-year-old suffered cardiac arrest and was left in a persistent vegetative state. Initially, Schiavo’s husband and parents cared for her together, exploring potential treatments and rehabilitation. But over time, Schiavo’s husband and parents became locked in a very public battle over whether or not to remove the feeding tube that sustained her.

Michael Schiavo petitioned to have his wife’s feeding tube removed, saying she had told him she would not want to live in this condition. But Terri Schiavo had no living will, and so it was up to the state courts to decide her fate. As the legal struggle played out, the case divided the country. Before the 15-year battle was over, the Florida legislature, the Florida governor, the U.S. Congress, the President of the United States and even the Pope were involved.

Terri Schiavo’s case also raised an issue that has long plagued the medical community: how to determine the degree of brain function in a nonresponsive patient.  Today, nine years after Schiavo’s death, new scientific research is underway to try to answer that question.

Click here to watch the documentary on The New York Times

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Retro Report: Baby M and the Question of Surrogacy

The custody battle over Baby M was the first time a court considered surrogacy. Today’s families are created in many different ways. But have we resolved the question of surrogacy?

Click here to watch Baby M and the Question of Surrogacy

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Retro Report: Stealing J. Edgar Hoover’s Secrets

In 1971, a group of eight Vietnam War protestors broke into an FBI office and stole hundreds of government documents that shocked the nation. They have stayed silent for nearly 43 years, until now.

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Click here to watch Retro Report: The Heist that Changed History. 

Click here to read the corresponding article in The New York Times.

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Retro Report: The Sleeper Cell That Wasn’t

Six days after 9/11, the FBI’s raid on a Detroit sleeper cell signaled America’s resolve to fight terrorism. But, despite a celebrated conviction, there was one problem — they’d gotten it wrong.

Click here to watch The Sleeper Cell That Wasn’t, about the first major terrorism trial after 9/11.

Click here to read the corresponding article in The New York Times.

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Retro Report: Hopeful Glimmers in Long War on Cancer

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Forty-two years ago when President Richard Nixon vowed to make curing cancer a national crusade, many anticipated quick results. Since then, the United States government has spent over $100 billion on cancer research. But how far have we come in the War on Cancer? Find out by watching the latest Retro Report.

Click here to read the write up on The New York Times.

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Retro Report: Freeing Willy

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In the wake of the 1993 hit movie Free Willy, activists and fans campaigned to release the movie’s star – a captive killer whale named Keiko — and launched a story Hollywood couldn’t invent.

Click here to watch Retro Report: Freeing Willy

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Exploring the Fjords of Norway

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To visit the Norwegian fjords, long arms of the sea formed by glacial erosion, begin in Bergen, a cheerful port city surrounded by seven mountains. The city’s historic center wraps around a bay crowded with sailboats. Old wooden houses in reds and yellows line the water. At the market, local fishermen offer a smorgasbord of smoked salmon, herring, spiced whale meat, moose and reindeer sausage, and the city’s best fast food: salmon curry. Steep cobblestone streets are lined with bars, cafes and souvenir shops selling antlers and thick Norwegian sweaters.

Click here to read the full story on the Huffington Post.

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