Lois Snyder, JD
"Have you ever seen a person in a persistent vegetative state?" Calling his own question "impertinent, " U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun hushed an already tense courtroom as he asked this of Missouri Assistant Attorney General Robert L. Presson at the Cruzan oral argument on 6 December 1989. Not providing the answer Justice Blackmun seemed to expect, Mr. Presson responded that he has seen Nancy Cruzan and others. Nonetheless, Justice Blackmun's question had highlighted the central fact in the first case before the Supreme Court about the refusal of life-sustaining treatment: the persistently vegetative patient.
Nancy Cruzan is
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Snyder L. Life, Death, and the American College of Physicians: The Cruzan Case. Ann Intern Med. 1990;112:802–804. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-112-11-802
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(11):802-804.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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