Life and Death Choices After Cruzan
Law, Medicine and Health Care. 1991 Spring-Summer; 19(1-2): 9-12.
...The Cruzan decision almost abandons any federal constitutional protection for incompetent patients. The Court held that a state is entitled, but not required, to insist that relatives prove by "clear and convincing" evidence that the patient, if competent, would have refused to be treated. The Court reasoned that the requirement of a clear and convincing standard of proof effectuated the state interests in preserving life and personal choice, preventing abuse by the surrogate, and ensuring accurate fact finding and reducing the risk of error....Life and death choices across the country could sink to such a low level that people would be required to deliberatively marshall their legal evidence in the fear that their government will fail to respect their wishes and privacy with regard to medical treatments. Alternatively, states can enact creative laws to encourage meaningful dialogue with family and physicians on final care, assist people in making clear and simple statements of their preferences, and adopt legal presumptions about the closeness of family life which best reflect the value systems and behavior of most Americans.
Advance Directives; Allowing to Die; Artificial Feeding; Autonomy; Competence; Constitutional Law; Consent; Death; Decision Making; Due Process; Federal Government; Freedom; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Law; Legal Aspects; Legal Rights; Legislation; Life; Laws; Patients; Persistent Vegetative State; Physicians; Privacy; Regulation; Right to Die; Rights; Risk; Relatives; Standards; State Government; State Interest; Third Party Consent; Treatment Refusal; Value of Life; Withholding Treatment;
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Gostin, Larry and Weir, Robert F. (1991)
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