APA Format with (3) sources
Step 1 – Locate case United States Supreme Court case of Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990).
The full text of this case, along with numerous case briefs, commentaries, summaries, etc., may be found by simply entering the full name of the case into any major online search engine of your choosing.
Step 2 – Read case. Review the following questions:
• What was the ultimate numerical vote of the court?
• When and how can life support be withdrawn?
• How does death by refusal of treatment differ from suicide?
• How does a living will work and when does it become of legal effect?
• What is a health care directive and how does it work?
Step 3 – After completing your research, summarize your answers, and, along with any other sources, if any, address and support your particular position/view on the following specific issues, and, specifically, how you would apply the Saint Leo University Core Values of Community, Respect, and Integrity into your actions. Be sure to use proper APA format for citations.
1. What are the potential foreseeable financial, psychological, and medical, yet unintended, harmful consequences to one’s family and friends in failing to provide a properly executed will and living will prior to one’s final illness and death?
2. What are the fundamental distinctions between recuperative medical care and palliative care? Who should be included in the decision to modify care from recuperative to palliative? When, if ever, is the right to refuse any and all medical care appropriate when such virtually ensures the death of the patient?
3. What professionals, medical or otherwise, should be involved in advising decisions concerning end-of life wishes? How does euthanasia differ from a simple cessation of treatment? Who should make end of life decisions for those who are without a family member to take on such a role?
4. What measures can be taken to ensure the quality of ongoing family and social relationships, individually and as a group, to end-of-life patients? What pitfalls are to be avoided in ensuring maintenance of these relationships? What actions may be taken to ensure the spiritual and existential dimensions of the process are respected and integrated?
U.S. Supreme Court
Petitioner Nancy Cruzan is incompetent, having sustained severe injuries in an automobile accident, and now lies in a Missouri state hospital in what is referred to as a persistent vegetative state: generally, a condition in which a person exhibits motor reflexes but evinces no indications of significant cognitive function. The State is bearing the cost of her care. Hospital employees refused, without court approval, to honor the request of Cruzan’s parents, petitioners here, to terminate her artificial nutrition and hydration, since that would result in death.
A state trial court authorized the termination, finding that a person in Cruzan’s condition has a fundamental right under the State and Federal Constitutions to direct or refuse the withdrawal of death-prolonging procedures, and that Cruzan’s expression to a former housemate that she would not wish to continue her life if sick or injured unless she could live at least halfway normally suggested that she would not wish to continue on with her nutrition and hydration. The State Supreme Court reversed. While recognizing a right to refuse treatment embodied in the common-law doctrine of informed consent, the court questioned its applicability in this case.
It also declined to read into the State Constitution a broad right to privacy that would support an unrestricted right to refuse treatment and expressed doubt that the Federal Constitution embodied such a right. The court then decided that the State Living Will statute embodied a state policy strongly favoring the preservation of life, and that Cruzan’s statements to her housemate were unreliable for the purpose of determining her intent. It rejected the argument that her parents were entitled to order the termination of her medical treatment, concluding that no person can assume that choice for an incompetent in the absence of the formalities required by the Living Will statute or clear and convincing evidence of the patient’s wishes.