Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health
110 S.Ct. 2841 111 L.Ed.2d 224, 58 USLW 4916, 1 NDLR P38 (Cite as: 497 U.S. 261, 110 S.Ct. 2841)
Supreme Court of the United States
Nancy Beth CRUZAN, by her Parents and CoGuardians, Lester L. CRUZAN, et ux.,
DIRECTOR, MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH, et al.
Argued Dec. 6, 1989.
Decided June 25, 1990.
Guardians of patient in persistent vegetative state brought declaratory judgment action seeking judicial sanction of their wish to terminate artificial hydration and nutrition for patient. The Circuit Court, Jasper County, Probate Division, Charles E. Teel, Jr., J., directed state employees to cause request of guardians to be carried out. Appeal was taken. The Missouri Supreme Court, 760 S.W.2d 408, reversed. Certiorari was granted. The Supreme Court, Chief Justice Rehnquist, held that:
(1) the United States Constitution did not forbid Missouri from requiring that clear and convincing evidence of an incompetent's wishes to the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment; (2) state Supreme Court did not commit constitutional error in concluding that evidence adduced at trial did not amount to clear and convincing evidence of patient's desire to cease hydration and nutrition; and (3) due process did not require state to accept substituted judgment of close family members absent substantial proof that their views reflected those of patient.
Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the Catholic Lawyers Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston, Inc., by Calum B. Anderson and Leonard F. Zandrow, Jr.;
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