Last updated on: 7/23/2013 | Author:

Mar. 31, 1976 – Supreme Court Rules in Quinlan Case that Respirator Can Be Removed from Coma Patient

21-year-old Karen Ann Quinlan had fallen into an irreversible coma at a party in 1974. After doctors declared that she was in a “persistent vegetative state,” her parents went to court to have her respirator removed.

The New Jersey Supreme Court rules in 1976 that Karen Quinlan can be detached from her respirator.

The case becomes a legal landmark, drawing national and international attention to end-of-life issues.