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Abstract

This Comment argues that the Washington legislature should amend Washington law to allow the removal of life-support measures, including artificial nutrition and hydration, from an incompetent patient in a persistent vegetative state. The Comment further argues that rather than following the ambiguous Informed Consent Law, the legislature should adopt the procedure outlined in the first, unmodified Grant decision. Part II of this Comment examines the Cruzan decision by the United States Supreme Court, including the facts of the case, holding of the court, aftermath of the decision, and long-term effects of the case. Part II also includes an extensive analysis and critique of Cruzan. Part III examines the status of Washington law both before and after Cruzan, including the Colyer, Hamlin, and Grant cases. In Part IV, this Comment compares Cruzan to the Washington cases, analyzing the two major impacts of Cruzan and pointing out why Washington State needs to clarify its law in light of Cruzan. Finally, this comment proposes that Washington adopt the original Grant procedure.