Right To Die

In John A. Robertson\'s essay, "Cruzan: No Rights Violated," he argues that the decision made by the Missouri Supreme Court to deny Nancy Beth Cruzan\'s parents\' request to have their daughter\'s artificial nutrition and hydration tube removed was not a violation of Nancy Beth Cruzan\'s right to refuse treatment because she had not personally refused treatment. Robertson also claims that keeping Cruzan alive with this particular medical treatment does not alienate her constitutional rights, or her parents\'. Robertson states that, " A permanently vegetative patient does not have interests that can be harmed," simply because he/she cannot feel pain and doesn\'t know his/her present condition.
Robertson then goes on to say that simply assuming that one would decline treatment in that situation because of his/her prior beliefs is not enough evidence to maintain that the directive was, in fact, released by the said person, and to relieve their self from a state law that orders such a treatment, the person must have released a directive against that particular treatment. If one were to argue that an incompetent patient has the right to have their medical treatment decided by another person on the presumption that it follows with the patient\'s previous beliefs, Robertson would declare that the patient is much different than they were before and does not reserve a constitutional right to be managed in the same way they would have been.
In placing the right to decide Nancy\'s treatment in her parents\' hands, her parents would be acting in their own interests according to Robertson, and in choosing to stop medical treatment of their daughter, they would be denying their child medical care deemed necessary by the state, which is illegal. With this in mind, Robertson says that the Supreme Court should not extend a family\'s privacy to include the refusal of necessary treatment when the [above] treatment is not causing harm to the child.
Next Robertson says that if a person wants to refuse treatment while incompetent, it is their obligation to make a directive before becoming incompetent in order to refuse treatment on the principle of that particular directive, and that requiring this is "not an undue burden on persons who wish to issue directives against medical care when incompetent." If "clear evidence" does not exist in a past directive, Robertson says that providing the treatment does not alienate a person\'s right to regulate his/her own care because of the lack of evidence.
Robertson says that people who criticize the rulings of the Cruzan case tend to find the Missouri Supreme Court\'s decision to not allow Nancy\'s parents to have their daughter\'s nutrition and hydration line removed unconstitutional because they overlook the distinctions that he makes in this essay. By looking at these distinctions, Robertson believes that people will see that treating Nancy Cruzan despite her parents\' dissent does not violate anyone\'s constitutional rights.
Lastly, Robertson states "Missouri, like most other states, should permit the family to stop Nancy\'s treatment and end their own ordeal. But Missouri violates no constitutional rights in choosing otherwise."
The part about Robertson\'s argument that I disagree with the most is when he says that keeping Nancy connected to the feeding tube does not violate her parents\' constitutional rights. According to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, "one has the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances" and the Fourteenth Amendment states that, " The stated cannot deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." With these in mind, it is clear that leaving Nancy connected to the tube is violating her parents\' rights. Her parents are going through plenty of grievances watching their daughter lay there and waste away to nothing because she did not specifically say in writing that she did not want to be attached to a feeding and hydrating line if she ever becomes brain dead. That is inflicting pain and sorrow on her parents and is violating their pursuit of happiness. According to the First Amendment, the Cruzan family has the right to petition the government to have those grievances removed. Robertson says that this is not right because the family