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03/31/2016

Today – 40th Anniversary of Karen Ann Quinlan Case

Forty years ago, today, on March 31, 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its decision in In re Quinlan.  


The court held that Quinlan’s interest in having her life-support disconnected exceeded the state’s interest in preserving life, so long as clinicians saw ”no reasonable possibility” that she would recover.  Because she was in a coma, the court ruled that her father – and not her doctors or a court – was the authority for deciding on her behalf. 

The court also ruled that no one could be held criminally liable for removing life-support, because the Quinlan’s death ”would not be homicide, but rather expiration from existing natural causes.”

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

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