Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1465751
 


 



Can Others Exercise an Incapacitated Patient's Right to Die?


Ira Mark Ellman


Arizona State University College of Law; Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology

1990

Hastings Center Report, Vol. 20, p. 47, 1990

Abstract:     
This article addresses the issues raised by the case involving Nancy Cruzan and her family's tragic dilemma. While the article agrees that withdrawal of life support from Nancy Cruzan is appropriate, and that the Missouri court was wrong in finding an important moral and legal difference between the discontinuance of technologically supplied nutrition and other forms of medical treatment, this is not the question before the U.S. Supreme Court. This article argues that in order to overrule Missouri, the Court must transform the question in Cruzan into one of federal law by holding that under the circumstances of this case the Constitution compels Missouri to order physicians to follow the instructions of Nancy Cruzan's family. It concludes, however, that this result would both set back the law of death and dying, and also confuse constitutional doctrine. In short, as the question is necessarily framed in the Supreme Court, the Cruzans' hard case can only be won with bad law.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Right To Die, Nancy Cruzan

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: September 2, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Ellman, Ira Mark, Can Others Exercise an Incapacitated Patient's Right to Die? (1990). Hastings Center Report, Vol. 20, p. 47, 1990. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1465751

Contact Information

Ira Mark Ellman (Contact Author)
Arizona State University College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-2125 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.asu.edu/HomePages/Ellman/
Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology ( email )
Tempe, AZ 85287-1104
United States
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