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Criminal Law Keyed to Kadish
Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
In January of 1983, Cruzan lost control of her vehicle and was discovered without detectable respiratory or cardiac function. She was placed in a Missouri hospital and remained in a persistent vegetative state in which she exhibited motor reflexes, but no indications of significant cognitive function. The State of Missouri bore the cost of her care. When it became apparent she would not regain use of her mental faculties, Cruzan’s parents asked hospital employees to withdraw life-sustaining procedures. After the hospital refused the request, the state trial court gave authorization for termination finding that a person in Cruzan’s condition had a fundamental right under the State and Federal Constitutions to refuse or direct the withdrawal of death prolonging procedures. The court also found that Cruzan had expressed to a friend that if she were sick or injured she would not wish to continue her life unless she could live at least halfway normally. The Missouri Supreme Court r eversed the lower court’s decision by a divided vote. The court found Cruzan’s statements to her friend unreliable for the purpose of determining her intent and thus insufficient to support her co-guardians’ claim to substitute judgment on her behalf.
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