Nancy Cruzan Case Study

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Nancy Cruzan was described as extremely outgoing, fun-loving, and active. She worked at a cheese processing plant in Missouri since 1982 and was employed there when the accident occurred. It was a bitterly cold night, Nancy Cruzan left a country music bar after having an argument with her husband, Paul Davis. She drove her lack-of-seat-belt 1963 green and white Rambler off the side of the road, hitting some trees and an icy patch. The car flipped over and threw Nancy thirty-five feet to land face down in a ditch. Her body was twisted and appeared lifeless when the state trooper found her, who did not know how long she had been there. The paramedics later testified at least fourteen minutes that Nancy was not breathing and without a pulse. That…show more content…
A month after the accident, a feeding tube was inserted into Nancy Cruzan’s stomach to provide necessary liquids and nourishment under the permission of her parents. They had become her legal guardians, who made decisions for her because she was not able to. Nancy could not move, speak, communicate, or show any indication of thinking abilities, but she was able to breathe on her own. During the weeks that Nancy Cruzan was in a coma, he eyes were closed; she was in a state of "reduced alertness and lessened responsiveness... a deep sleeplike state from while the patient cannot be aroused." Even though the neurosurgeon at Freeman Hospital expressed some concern about the long period Nancy Cruzan had been without oxygen, her parents did not give up hope. Gradually, over a period of many weeks, Nancy Cruzan slipped from her coma into a different stage. She was labeled a persistent vegetarian state (PVS) by doctors, which "gave the appearance of wakefulness, like yawn and random limb movements, but there is no response to commands and an inability to communicate". Her face bloated due to specially prepared liquid foods pumped into her

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