This Note will review the major cases dealing with termination of life-support systems for patients in a persistent vegetative state. Although the discussion will focus primarily on these patients, many of the issues discussed are applicable to other patients in similar situations, i.e., those who have terminal cancer. The Note will specifically relate case law from the other states to the facts and holdings of Barber, the most recent California case in this area. Finally, in light of the various legal approaches taken by California and other states regarding termination of life-support systems for these patients, this Note will propose some alternatives to the Barber decision.
The Barber Decision: A Questionable Approach to Termination of Life-Support Systems for the Patient in a Persistent Vegetative State, 15 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.