On April 15, 1989, British 17-year-old Anthony Bland had likely hoped for just another day of cheering on his favorite soccer team, Liverpool. Instead, he became the most famous victim of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 95 fans were crushed to death in a stadium's overcrowded stands. It is the deadliest such incident in British history. Bland suffered severe brain damage that left him in a persistent vegetative state; as in the Terry Schiavo case in the U.S., the decision of whether or not to prolong his life became a fraught legal issue. Following petitioning by his doctors and family, a High Court judgment decreed, in a legal first for the U.K., that the feeding tube that had been keeping Bland alive constituted medical treatment and could thus be withdrawn. Bland died on March 3, 1993.
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