Tuesdays With Morrie Essay Research Paper The

  • Просмотров 162
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 16
    Кб

Tuesdays With Morrie Essay, Research Paper The Fourteenth Amendment in the Constitution states: No state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. One specific case shows the extreme debate over this Amendment and the countless ethical questions that arise from this Amendment. On January 11, 1983 Nancy Cruzan was in a serious car accident and was found face down on the ground. She had suffered significant oxygen deprivation, which severely damaged her brain. Brain damage of this severity is irreversible. This left her life in a persistent vegetative condition in a Missouri state hospital. This condition allows a person to show motor reflexes but evinces no indications of other significant cognitive function (Supreme Court Collection

.) Mr. And Mrs. Lester Cruzan then made the difficult decision to cut off the artificial nutrition and hydration of their daughter Nancy, and allow her death to occur. Both the hospital and the state refused, using the Fourteenth Amendment as the reason for the decision along w/ assisted suicide policies. So the question presented now is: Do hospitals or medical persons have the authority to break the constitutional “right to live” without the patient’s consent? Two answers can be provided for this question. One being that the hospital and medical persons could have authority to break the constitutional right to live without the patient s consent. And the second being that the hospital and medical persons could not have the authority to break the same right to live without

the patient s consent. Both answers will be researched and explored and applied to the reading of From Cruelty to Goodness by Phillip Hallie. Before these two answers are analyzed, the message of Phillip Hallie s essay will be defined and explained. In the essay From Cruelty to Goodness , author Phillip Hallie discusses the positive and negative ethics of goodness. To follow the negative ethic is to be decent, to have clean hands. But to follow the positive ethic, to be one s brother s keeper, is to be more than decent-is to be active, even aggressive (Hallie 59). He describes that the negative ethic is to refrain from certain actions and the positive ethic is to go above and beyond in other actions. The constitutional right to live and whether medical persons should break this

right without the patient s consent can be looked at in both the positive and negative ethics of goodness. In the case of Nancy Cruzan, the state denied her parents the right to end their daughter s artificial nutrition and hydration with the reasoning that it would violate the constitution. The conflict of assisted suicide policies also arose and added to the state s decision to not allow the Cruzan s to terminate their daughter s life. The state, in refusing to allow the hospital end all lifelines to Nancy, was acting as the negative ethic of goodness. The state and the hospital only wanted to keep Nancy alive so that they were abiding by the constitution, not because they were concerned with the well being of the woman. The state argued that Nancy did not give any evidence

that she did not want to live life as a vegetable and did not prove that she wished for the withdrawal of medical treatment or of hydration and nutrition (Supreme Court Collection .) Using this, the state claimed that taking away all medical assistance would be violating her constitutional right to live. The courts and the hospitals were only showing decent hands that are associated with the negative ethic of goodness. This shows that hospitals and medical persons do not have the authority to break the constitutional right to live without the patient s consent with only abiding by the negative ethics of goodness. The hospitals had to obey the laws of the constitution and therefore could not terminate the medical treatments being used to keep Nancy Cruzan alive. The state was