Right to Die: Cruzan v. Missouri

This forum discussed the implications of the 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health. The case… read more

This forum discussed the implications of the 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health. The case centered on Nancy Cruzan’s tragic 1983 car crash and ensuing coma, and her family’s wish to discontinue her treatment, given her dismal prognosis. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Missouri Supreme Court ruling that “clear and convincing” evidence of what Cruzan would have wanted would be necessary to discontinue her care. The Court did not decide that such a strict level of evidence was constitutionally necessitated, thus leaving open the door for other states to have less restrictive “right to die” laws. The panelists also considered how the Cruzan decision will effect new emphasis on “advance directives", or living wills. The panelists agreed that the demand of "clear and convincing” evidence is too restrictive, and that “advance directives” offer a greater chance of protecting the interests of the victim. Consensus wasn’t reached as to whether “advance directives” are an absolute solution to the question of the “right to die” issue, as unequal access to the legal process required by such directives was contested as prohibitive. close

People in this video

  • Martha L. Minow Professor Harvard University->Law School
  • Donald Murphy Assistant Professor George Washington University->Health Care Science
More People

Hosting Organization

More information about

Right to Die: Cruzan v. Missouri

826 Views
Program ID:
16024-1
Category:
Interview
Format:
Roundtable
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
First Aired:
Jan 26, 1991
Last Aired:
Jan 27, 1991

Airing Details

  • Jan 26, 1991 | 7:00pm EST | C-SPAN 1
  • Jan 26, 1991 | 10:15pm EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Jan 27, 1991 | 7:20am EST | C-SPAN 2
Purchase a DVD or Download

Right to Die: Cruzan v. Missouri

  • DVD
    Length:
    01:45:00
    Price:
    $29.95
    Add to Cart
  • MP3 audio
    Length:
    01:45:00
    Price:
    $0.99
    Add to Cart

Clips from This Video