Running head: 301 ESSAYS
Essay 1: Cruzan v. Missouri Department of Health
Cruzan had a motor accident that left her in a "poor state" and needed to be sustained for weeks
using artificial feeding using gastronomy tube. When it was clear that Cruzan could not improve,
the parents requested the removal of the life-support processes the state facility was offering.
However, both the facility and the state court declined to comply with the request. After trial, the
Supreme Court refused the termination of life support since the parents could not provide
evidence that Cruzan would have selected to decline treatment.
The issue at hand was whether the due process provision in the 14th Amendment allowed
Cruzan’s parents to decline life-support intervention on their child in her interest and behalf.
Further, the court sought to determine if Missouri’s procedural need for clear and convincing
evidence of an incompetent person’s wish to end life support before its termination violated the
Holding & Reasoning
In a majority ruling, the judges ruled that while persons have the liberty to decline
treatment as prescribed in the due process provision, individuals who are not competent could
not exercise these rights. The court found that clear and convincing evidence was absent from the
parents that Cruzan wished to have the treatment withdrawn (Oyez, n.d). Therefore, the court
opined that Missouri's actions aimed at preserving human life were within the constitution. The
court was categorical that the family did not offer any guarantees that it was acting in the best
interests of the incompetent patients. Decisions to withdraw treatment from the patient were
irreversible, and therefore, the court reasoned that the state had present enough...
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