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The Sad Truth Essay

1090 words - 5 pages

Imagine you or one of your family members being in a persistent vegetative state, a conduction in which a medical patient is completely unresponsive to physical and psychological stimuli and shows no sign of high brain function, being kept alive only by medical intervention. That would be more than difficult to imagine, but for the Cruzan’s family it was a reality. Nancy Cruzan was in a car accident, which resulted in massive injuries. Nancy was in an unconscious state and very unresponsive in daily activities. She was in a vegetable state with an implanted feeding tube in her stomach. As years passed by the family decided they wanted the feeding tube to be removed in order for Nancy to get ...view middle of the document...

After a while of observing and seeing his daughter’s condition through time Joe Cruzan believed that she might be breathing, but that doesn’t mean she is truly living. Her parents remained her legal guardians. “Under Missouri law, guardians are required to provide for the ward’s care, treatment support and maintenance including insuring that the ward receives medical care and promoting and protecting the care, comfort, safety, health, and welfare of the ward.” (Cruzan right to die debate). This provided Joe Cruzan, Nancy’s father, with the right to decide what Nancy’s future could be like either suffering in a bed for several more years or at ease by the removal from the ventilator. Nancy was then taken off the ventilator with hope of her to die, but was still breathing. Joe then decided the ultimate step should be removing her feeding tube, which required the state of Missouri’s approval. Unfortunately there was no evidence, which showed Nancy no longer wanted to live because she had no will neither could she currently in anyways prove her of her not wanting to live.
The Supreme Court ruined Joe Cruzan’s hopes for removing the feeding and letting Nancy die. The court held a 5-4 decision denied the removal of the tube and based the main argument that life itself mattered, not the quality of it. Many people started bashing the Cruzan family. "I sympathize with the hardship of caring for a helpless woman, but I have no sympathy for a family who solves their problems by starving their daughter to death when there were hundreds of bona fide offers to care for her regardless of her condition," (Nancy Cruzan Dies). The court said that the only way for her feeding tube to be removed was if there was clear and convincing evidence of the Nancy’s wishes. The majority’s problem was trusting that the family knew what was best for Nancy. Chief Justice Rehnquist noted that "Close family members may have a strong feeling—a feeling not at all ignoble or unworthy, but not entirely disinterested, either—that they do not wish to...

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