A medicolegal case in 1975–1976 that tested US law regarding the rights of a person in a persistent vegetative state or that person's next of kin to decline treatment to prolong life. This was the first of several cases to challenge a hospital's right to continue treatment when the patient's next of kin do not wish treatment to be prolonged. In 1975, Karen Ann Quinlan lost consciousness after ingesting alcohol and tranquilizers. After she had spent nearly a year in a persistent vegetative state, her parents obtained the New Jersey Supreme Court's permission to turn off her respirator.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.