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The Right to Die

What limitations has the US Supreme Court put on the right to die?

Does government have a legitimate interest in becoming involved in an issue as personal as the right to die?

Solution Preview

This is a summary of a leading case regarding the right to die.

Cruzan, by Her Parents and Guardians v. Director, Missouri Department of Health 497 U.S. 261 (1990) (Seminal Supreme Court case dealing with the right to die issue.)

Facts of the Case:

Nancy Cruzan was a young woman in Missouri who had a car accident. The accident left her in a "permanent vegetative state" (FN1) with no chances of recovery. The surgeons had placed a feeding tube for long-term care. Her family, after four years in this condition, requested that feeding Nancy should stop. Her family and friends had testified during the court proceedings that this was according to her wishes as she had stated several times before the accident that she would not want to be kept alive in a "permanent vegetative state." The Missouri trial court granted request of Cruzan's parents but the Missouri Supreme Court, upon appeal by the Missouri Department of Health reversed the lower court's decision. The Missouri Supreme Court holdings stated that although Missouri recognized an individual's right to refuse medication or life-sustaining medication in a living will or advance medical directive, if there were none of those documents the evidence submitted must meet the "clear and convincing" standard to determine if any constitutional violations existed. The Missouri Supreme Court reversed ...

Solution Summary

This is a 5,309 word document that summarizes a leading case, Cruzan, by Her Parents and Guardians v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, regarding the right to die issue. This document will help the student write an essay regarding whether the U.S. Supreme Court has placed limitations on the right to die and whether the government has a legitimate interest in becoming involved in the right to die issue.