Saturday, December 26, 2015

25 years ago: The death of Nancy Cruzan

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19

On December 26, 1990, Nancy Cruzan, who had suffered permanent brain damage in a car accident in Missouri in 1983, and had been fed through a tube while being hospitalized in a "permanent vegetative state," died after 12 days of court-ordered starvation.

On June 25, 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, voted 5-4 to reject an appeal from Miss Cruzan's parents to remove the tube and allow her to die, but a probate court judge in Jasper County, Missouri ruled on December 14 that they had a right to remove the tube because three of Miss Cruzan's co-workers had testified in November that she had once said that she would never want to live under such circumstances. The tube was removed two hours after the court ruling, and it took 12 days for Miss Cruzan to finally be starved to death.

See also my posts:

30 years ago: The death of Karen Ann Quinlan (June 11, 2015)

10 years ago: The execution of Terri Schiavo (March 31, 2015)

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