Herma Hill Kay, JD, Law Professor at U.C. Berkeley was quoted in a Mar. 29, 2005 article titled "Spouse As Next of Kin Law Has Many Roots" published by the Associated Press:

“The practice of giving the spouse decision-making authority stretches back to English common law, when a woman basically became a non-person when she married… Of course the laws giving one spouse direction over the other’s affairs are now gender-neutral.”

Mar. 29, 2005