Karen Ann Quinlan

Karen Ann Quinlan

Birth
Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 11 Jun 1985 (aged 31)
Morris Township, Morris County, New Jersey, USA
Burial East Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey, USA
Memorial ID 6497327 · View Source
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American Legal Figure. Her case was one of the first to call attention to the "right to die" debate nationally. At age 21 she fell into a coma in April 1975 after mixing drugs and alcohol at a party while also on a crash diet. Diagnosed with irreparable brain damage and being a persistent vegetative state, she had been on a respirator and a feeding tube for about a year when her family asked hospital authorities to remove her from life support; believing that the extraordinary measures used to artificially prolong her life was causing her pain. The hospital she was in, Saint Claire’s in Boonton, New Jersey, refused, and the county prosecutor threatened charges of homicide if Karen Ann Quinlan was removed from life support. The Quinlans sue for their daughter’s right to die naturally, and were finally granted permission from the New Jersey Supreme Court to remove Karen from life support in 1976. In May 1976 she was removed from the artificial ventilator, and surprisingly she began breathing on her own. She lived another eight years in the vegetative state until she died in 1985.

Bio by: Joel Manuel


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Joel Manuel
  • Added: 11 Jun 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6497327
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Karen Ann Quinlan (29 Mar 1954–11 Jun 1985), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6497327, citing Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .