FC: Supreme Court Case Project CRUZAN v. MISSOURI By: Todd Wharton & Kyle Hasek
1: Table of Contents | Page 2-5 Background Information 6-9 The "Path" of the Case 10-13 Case at the Supreme Court 14-17 Aftermath 18 Citations
2: In 1983, Nancy Cruzan was involved in a terrible car accident which left her in a coma. She was fed and given water through tubes connected to her stomach.
4: For three years Cruzan's parents kept hope that Nancy would snap out of it. When Cruzan's parents requested the treatment to be terminated, hospital officials refused to do so without court approval first.
6: The "Path" | -January 11, 1983 = Nancy Cruzan drives of the road in Jasper County and is found unconscious -February 7, 1983 = Doctors put a feeding tube in her stomach -October 19, 1983 = She is enrolled in the Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mount Vernon
7: -January 25 = Nancy’s parents, Joe and Joyce Cruzan, are appointed guardians -October 23, 1987 = Her parents file a petition to Jasper County Probate Court asking to remove the life support -July 27, 1988 = Judge Charles Teel, Jr. grants the petition request to stop life support and orders the state of Missouri to stop the support -September 29, 1988 = Missouri Attorney General William Webster appeals Teel’s ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court
8: -November 16, 1989 = Missouri Supreme Court overrules Teel, life support can stay on -December 6, 1989 = U.S. Supreme Court hears family’s appeal of Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling -June 25, 1990 = U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Missouri ruling -September 18, 1990 = State of Missouri asks to withdraw from the Cruzan case
9: -November 1, 1990 = The Cruzan family returns to the court with three new witnesses -December 14, 1990 = Teel rules that the life support can be removed -December 26, 1990 = Nancy Cruzan dies
10: Supreme Court Decision | U.S. Supreme Court Building
11: - When Nancy Cruzan's parents wanted to remove their daughter from life support, the hospital would not agree to it until they had court approval. - They petitioned to a local court and the judge ruled that the hospital must remove the life support
12: - However, Missouri appealed the decision because state law says no one should be removed from life support. - The Missouri Supreme Court overruled the local court decision and life support had to be given. - The Cruzans felt they had the right to choose whether or not to keep their own daughter on life support or not. | - Did the 14th Amendment protect the Cruzans right to Due Process and stop life support on their daughter's behalf???
13: - Chief Justice William Rehnquist and the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 in favor of Missouri. - They said individuals did have the right to choose whether or not they want life support, but incompetent people did not have that right. There must be "clear" evidence that the incompetent person wants to remove the support. - The Court officially upheld the Missouri Supreme Court's decision | Chief Justice William Rehnquist
14: Options for the Cruzans: - Move Nancy to a state that would accept their evidence - Find new evidence or witnesses that could testify that Nancy would not wish to continue living as vegetable
15: - William Webster, Missouri’s attorney withdrew from the Cruzan case. - Case is handed down to a lower Jasper Circuit Court - It was decided that the ruling is up to the lawmakers | William Webster
16: Cruzan's gravestone | December 14, 1990, Judge Teel ruled she had the right to die | -By 1990, 48 states made laws that would permit the removal of life support from patients that held no hope of recovery
17: Missouri Supreme Court Building
18: Citations n.pag. Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. Web. 24 May 2012.