Tuesday, March 9, 2010
March 9, 2010
2010 is the 20th anniversary of Nancy Cruzan's death and of the passage of the Patient Self-Determination Act. At the Center for Practical Bioethics we are thinking about how best to commemorate the two events.
Certainly we don’t honor Nancy’s death—there was nothing “honorable” about it, nor the circumstances of the years leading up to it and the tragic effects of those years on both Joe and Joyce Cruzan (Joe’s suicide and Joyce’s cancer—don’t tell me that stress doesn’t play a part in causing cancer—or tell me, if you think I’m wrong!)
But Cruzan led to the PSDA and that led to a nation’s trying to take some control over dying—and even to the emergence of palliative care. (O.K., hospice and palliative care would have emerged with or without Cruzan, but I see an “influence” of Cruzan there.)
But how best to commemorate the 20th anniversary? So I thought I’d ask you: What does Nancy Cruzan mean to you?