Right to Die Essay

789 Words4 Pages
Eight years after the auto crash that left her in a vegetative state, six months after the United States Supreme Court's ruling on her right to die and 12 days after her parents won their fight to remove the feeding tube that was keeping her alive, Nancy Beth Cruzan died early at the age of 33 in Mount Vernon, Mo., with her family at her bedside. Miss Cruzan's case became the centerpiece of a bitter debate about how and when families can decide to withdraw nourishment or medical treatment to bring about the death of an incapacitated loved one. That debate continued yesterday, even as the final chapter of the Cruzan case had been written. "The Cruzan case has focused national attention on this issue in an unprecedented way," said Doron Weber, a spokesman for the Society for the Right to Die. "While it's been a horrible agony for the Cruzans, having intimate private details on the public stage, and having to defend themselves, we owe them a debt for educating us and giving so much impetus to living wills and legislation that helps people plan ahead." In a 5-to-4 decision in the Cruzan case in June, its first ruling on the right to die, the Supreme Court recognized such a right, but said Missouri could stop the Cruzans from withholding food and water from their daughter unless there was "clear and convincing" evidence that she would have wanted to die.The ruling spurred enormous interest in living wills and other advance directives that allow people to spell out, in advance, what treatment they want, and who should make decisions for them if they become incapacitated. In the month after the ruling, the Society for the Right to Die answered nearly 300,000 requests for advance-directive forms. The ruling spurred enormous interest in living wills and other advance directives that allow people to spell out, in advance, what treatment they want, and who should

More about Right to Die Essay

Open Document