Case Study Of Cruzan V. Missouri Department Of Health

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Cruzan v. Missouri Department of Health
What is the value of a life? Do family members always have the patients’ best interest in mind when making medical decisions? Who should ultimately make the decision of life or death for patients that will never leave a permanent vegetative state?
Lester and Joyce Cruzan faced an issue no parent ever wants to face after their daughter, Nancy was in a horrific car accident that left her in a persistent vegetative state. On January 11, 1983 Nancy Cruzan lost control of her vehicle and was ejected from the car. She was found face down in a ditch with no pulse or breathing, paramedics were able to resuscitate her. “The Missouri trial court in this case found that permanent brain damage generally results …show more content…

She was brought back to life but remained in a vegetative state only kept alive by artificial measures. Her only life experiences were that of pain. Nancy’s parents believed that Nancy would not want to live this way. They wanted to have her feeding tubes removed. They were faced with people who believed that life in any condition is of absolute value. These opponents believed that removing this feeding tube would be “morally wrong.” They saw this as opening the door to killing people who are of “no use.” The author added few people take advantage of the options the case made available to them: only 10 percent have living wills to reflect their wishes regarding end-of-life care, should they become incapacitated …show more content…

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DeBenedictis, Don J “Cruzan’s Death Doesn’t Still Debate. Euthanasia Opponents Prevented from Appealing Decision Allowing Tube Remoal.” ABA Journal, Vol. 77. No 3, 1991., pp. 26-27. JSTor. JSTOR.
Forte, David F. "The role of the clear and convincing standard of proof in right to die cases." Issues in Law & Medicine, Fall 1992, pp. 183-203. Student Edition, Accessed 6 May 2018.
Gaudin, Anne Marie. Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health: To Die or Not to Die: That is the Question - But Who Decides?, 51 La. L. Rev. (1991) Available at:
Lewin, Tamar. “Nancy Cruzan Dies, Outlived by a Debate Over the Right to Die.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Dec. 1990,

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