2016-17 Law Review Symposium: Quinlan at 40 - Keynote

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Fall 11-11-2016


It has been forty years since the Supreme Court of New Jersey decided the landmark case, In Re Quinlan. Quinlan was the first major judicial decision to hold that life-sustaining medical treatments may be discontinued, even if the patient lacks capacity. At this year’s symposium, experts in law, medicine, and bioethics will discuss how law and science have evolved and how those changes affect the decisions of patients, surrogates, healthcare lawyers, and healthcare providers.

Margaret Battin is a Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Ethics, at the University of Utah. She has worked for decades to defend the rights of terminally ill individuals. In 2008, her personal and professional worlds collided when her husband broke his neck in a bicycle accident leaving him a quadriplegic. When he eventually decided to die after years of breathing through a ventilator or diaphragmatic pacer and eating through a feeding tube, Peggy was the one that found herself dragging her feet.

Margaret P. Battin - "A Contemporary Death" - 00:16:50