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Report No. 196

Scalia J then deals with the dissent by Brennan & Stevens JJ and says:

"the State has no such legitimate interest that could outweigh 'the person's choice to put an end to her life" the State must accede to her 'particularized and intense interest in self-determination in her choice whether to continue living or die." For, insofar as balancing the relative interests of the State and the individual is concerned, there is nothing distinctive about accepting death through the refusal of 'medical treatment", as opposed to accepting it through the refusal of food, or through the failure to shut off the engine and get out of the car after parking in one's garage after work. Suppose that Nancy Cruzan were in precisely the condition she is in today, except that she could be fed and digest food and water without artificial assistance, how is the State's interest in keeping her alive thereby increased or her interest in deciding whether she wants to continue living reduced?"

(emphasis supplied)

He stated that he could not agree with Brennan & Stevens that a person could make the choice of death. That view the State has not yet taken. The Constitution does not say anything on the subject.

Medical Treatment to Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Back

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