The Long Dying of Nancy Cruzan
Annas, George J.
Law, Medicine and Health Care. 1991 Spring-Summer; 19(1-2): 52-59.
With the Nancy Cruzan decision, the post-Reagan Supreme Court continued recreating America's legal landscape by transferring traditional rights from its citizens to state legislatures and state officials....Our challenge is to effectively resist the state's inherent normalization program by striving to give meaningful content to our stated goals for forming our country: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." We cannot, of course, have liberty or happiness without life. But life without liberty or happiness, in the sense of self-realization, translates into mere existence: into life reduced to the biology of cell division. The case of Nancy Cruzan provides us with a public warning as to how much control we have already ceded the state over our lives, and how far the state has already gone in redefining the "life" it seeks to "normalize" and control. It is past time to reclaim at least some of that control for ourselves and our families.
Advance Directives; Allowing to Die; Artificial Feeding; Autonomy; Biology; Competence; Constitutional Law; Consent; Decision Making; Family Members; Freedom; Goals; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Law; Legal Aspects; Legal Rights; Life; Physicians; Privacy; Prolongation of Life; Quality of Life; Regulation; Rights; Standards; State Interest; Supreme Court Decisions; Third Party Consent; Treatment Refusal; Value of Life; Withholding Treatment;
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