Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Part 2: Commemorating Nancy Cruzan

Rosemary Flanigan
March 16, 2010

As we talk about the 20th anniversary of Nancy Cruzan some of us are saying that the case points to a social, not an individual, ethic; that it’s NOT all about autonomy but it explores character ethic—and character ethics is tied to the relationships that formed us.

What ought to be the character of a populace facing the inevitability of dying in a technologically driven age? Cruzan can be used as a narrative, as a bit of history, to illustrate the issue (I have never conducted a “Caring Conversation” that I have not used Quinlan and Cruzan as stories pointing to the need for a “conversation” with our loved ones).

No one, so far, has lauded the forms, the documents—maybe one of you sees the worth of Cruzan in states’ and federal responses; certainly, the Patient Self Determination Act, for example, is a significant social response.

So, please, you can’t plead ignorance and I don’t think you can plead non-influence. So what does “Cruzan” mean to you?



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