The PVS Condition: Toward an Intregration of Science, Social Science, and Ethics
The PVS condition of Terri Schiavo manifested multiple interdisciplinary conflicts between science and philosophy (what is the PVS condition, is there a person present, is there a living human being present, is the soul present, is life present); between medicine, bioethics, public policy, and social science (is it an act of killing, allowing to die, or neither to terminate treatment on a PVS patient); and the public clash of social and religious worldviews on what actions are justifiable and unjustifiable. This paper develops an integrated, holistic answer on these issues, being a model for use on how the individual disciplines have limits but interdisciplanary discourse can create enlightenment, if not actual solutions.
Keywords: PVS, Persistent Vegetative State, Person, Soul, Paradigm, Worldview, Ethics, Bioethics, Mind, Life, Pluralism, Religion
Prof. Howard M. Ducharme
Chair & Professor, Department of Philosophy, Chair & Professor, Department of Philosophy