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North East Rep Second Ser. 1990 Jul 9;558:1194-208.

In re Estate of Greenspan.



The public guardian for Sidney Greenspan, who had been in a chronic vegetative state for five years, petitioned for removal of Greenspan's artificial feeding and hydration tubes. The Illinois Supreme Court held that an incompetent patient's right to refuse medical treatment, including artificial nutrition and hydration, may be exercised by his guardian. Further, though a guardian's duty is to act in his ward's best interest, the ward's previously expressed wish to exercise his rights may sometimes influence or even override the guardian's perception of what is best. Applying substituted judgment, the guardian would not be prevented from seeking to terminate his ward's life support systems if it were clearly and convincingly shown that the ward wished those systems withdrawn. Accordingly, the court remanded the case to determine if those wishes had been clearly and convincingly expressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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