Theresa Marie Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years before her artificial hydration and nutrition were stopped and she died. A dispute between her husband and her parents produced what is the most important end-of-life case since those of Karen Quinlan in the 1970's and Nancy Cruzan in the 1980's.
Other noteworthy international PVS cases
Eluana Englaro, Italy -- Background report prepared by Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law
Tony Bland, United Kingdom -- House of Lords decisionAruna Shanbaug, India -- Times of India timeline