Cruzan: Facing the Inevitable
Marzen, Thomas J.
Law, Medicine and Health Care. 1991 Spring-Summer; 19(1-2): 37-51.
...The issues in Cruzan and cases like it implicate the most profound and fundamental values, rights, and interests of the individual and the state. The right to live is a precondition to all other rights. The state fails in its most crucial function if it fails to protect adequately the lives of its citizens. For the U.S. Supreme Court to have rushed headlong into recognition of some abstract, generalized "right to die" in Cruzan would not only have had little basis in our tradition or law, it would have risked perverting that tradition and law for the sake of finding some way to efficiently dispatch people like Ms. Cruzan. The legal and social consequences of such a decision were sufficient in themselves to render the result practically inevitable to an objective observer of the present Court. From this perspective, that the Court refused to overturn the Missouri decision should be celebrated, though perhaps for different reasons, by both liberal and strict constructionists of the Constitution alike.
Advance Directives; Allowing to Die; Artificial Feeding; Autonomy; Competence; Constitutional Law; Consent; Decision Making; Due Process; Family Members; Federal Government; Freedom; Government; Guardians; Health; Law; Legal Aspects; Legal Guardians; Legal Rights; Legislation; Life; Living Wills; Persistent Vegetative State; Privacy; Quality of Life; Regulation; Right to Die; Rights; Standards; State Government; State Interest; Supreme Court Decisions; Third Party Consent; Treatment Refusal; Value of Life; Values; Wills;