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65 Drake L. Rev. Discourse 1 (2016)

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FROM KAREN ANN QUINLAN TO BRITTANY
     MAYNARD: ADVANCED HEALTH CARE
     DIRECTIVES AND THE ROAD TO AID-IN-
           DYING LEGISLATION IN IOWA


                            ABSTRACT
     In October 2014, the aid-in-dying debate in the United States reignited
following an online video post by Brittany Maynard, age 29, who had terminal
brain cancer and moved to Oregon to utilize Oregon's Death with Dignity law.
The aid-in-dying debate is nothing new to the United States. As medicine has
advanced in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, doctors are able to keep
people alive longer, but at what cost? When is it no longer permissible or good
to keep a person alive, and what rights do individuals have in refusing medical
treatment and choosing to die?
     This Note will address the advances and changes in end-of-life decisions:
first focusing on the right to refuse medical treatment and the use of advance
directives, then moving to the history of aid-in-dying legislation and how states
have implemented this legislation, focusing on Oregon's Death with Dignity
Act. Later, this Note addresses how Iowa law views the right to refuse medical
treatment and aid in dying, briefly looking into the proposed Iowa Death with
Dignity Act that entered the Iowa Legislature in January 2015. The time has
come to have a discussion on death, how each individual wants to die, and what
can be done to ensure the last chapters of life are lived in a way that accords
with individuals' beliefs.
                       TABLE  OF CONTENTS
   I. Introduction                          .................2.......... .............2
   II. The Right to Refuse Medical Treatment and Advance Health
      Care Directives                        ............4........... ...............4
      A. Karen Ann  Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan, and the Right to
         Refuse Medical Treatment                  ...........4..........4
      B. Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990 ..................7
      C. Applied in Iowa: Iowa Code § 144A.3 ........... .............8
 III. Crossing the Line from Right to Refuse Medical Treatment to
      Aid in Dying ..........................................9
      A. An  Introduction to Aid in Dying and Death with Dignity ...........9
      B. Before the Supreme Court: Vacco v. Quill.......................12
      C. Before the Supreme Court: Washington v. Glucksberg.........13
      D. Aid-in-Dying Law in Iowa: Iowa Code § 707A  ..   ............14


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