To die or Not to die

In your last assignment, you read “Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health: To Die or Not to Die: That is the Question – But Who Decides?”

A link to which you can find here:

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Based upon this article, please answer the following:

1) In the Cruzan case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that nothing in the Constitution prevented the State of Missouri from requiring a higher standard of proof (“clear and convincing evidence”) than that used by the lower trial court, before terminating life-supporting treatment, because parents of an incompetent child may not always make decisions in accordance with that child’s wishes. Did the court make the correct decision, in your view? Why? [Answer in 4-5 paragraphs]

2) Nancy Cruzan’s injuries rendered her insensate, i.e., permanently unconscious. In such a condition, what interests could someone have? Recall that Cruzan’s parents wanted life support for their daughter terminated. Should the stress and anguish caused by the situation to others, such as parents, be a consideration for the court? [Answer in 2-3 paragraphs]

3) When the law confronts awkward moral questions, such as the one presented in the Cruzan case, they are not susceptible to being resolved by slogans such as “right to die”, “autonomy”, “self determination” and “the sanctity of life”. What could this this mean?

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