Euth: Persistent Vegetative State and Karen Ann Quinlan Essays

Submitted By jennifernieto2
Words: 721
Pages: 3

Euthanasia is illegal in all states of the United States. Physician aid in dying (PAD), or assisted suicide, is legal in the states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Vermont.

Facts about cases:

Sue Rodriguez, a mother in her early thirties, died slowly of Lou Gehrig's disease. She lived for several years with the knowledge that her muscles would, one by one, waste away until the day came when, fully conscious, she would choke to death. She begged the Courts to reassure her that a doctor would be allowed to assist her in choosing the moment of death. They refused.

In 1992 Dr Cox openly defied the law and assented to 70 year old Mrs Boyes' persistent request for voluntary active euthanasia. Mrs Boyes' was so ill that she "screamed like a dog" if anyone touched her. Conventional medicine did not relieve her agony. In her last days, when she repeatedly requested to die, Dr Cox finally gave her an injection of potassium chloride, bestowing on her the boon of a peaceful death so many of us feel we are entitled to.

Karen Ann Quinlan collapsed on April 15th, 1975. She was twenty-one years old. Within hours, she entered a coma from which she could never recover. Her parents, staunch Roman Catholics, knew their daughter would not want to be kept alive by extraordinary means. A year later, as Karen lay in a "persistent vegetative state," the courts finally allowed her treatment to be stopped; but artificial feeding was continued and she was maintained as a living corpse until June 1985, when she eventually died of pneumonia. Her case spurred thousands of letters of sympathy and fuelled the "right to die" movement. How many people need to die degrading deaths before society learns a little humanity? Exit is committed to research and teaching in these difficult areas. Help us to help you, and all those who would seek die with dignity and give you their heartfelt thanks.
The very first U.S. court case to deal with the issue of end-of-life care was the matter of In re Quinlan, a 1976 New Jersey state court case. Quinlan became the first icon of the modern “right to die” movement, although her Catholic family remained true to their church’s teachings, and did not engage is actual euthanasia or mercy killing. Nevertheless, euthanasia and “right to die” advocates used this opportunity to advance the idea of Living Wills, by which citizens could authorize their own end-of-life wishes. such as the removal of artificial life support or food and water.
After months with no progress, Karen Ann’s family saw no hope for their adopted daughter’s recovery and they did not want to keep her alive artificially. Her father, who had been appointed guardian, asked the doctors to remove Karen’s ventilator, but the hospital refused after being warned that prosecutors could bring homicide charges against them. Karen Ann’s doctors…