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In re Jobes

529 A.2d 434 (1987)

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In re Jobes

New Jersey Supreme Court

529 A.2d 434 (1987)

Facts

When she was in her 20s, Nancy Jobes (defendant) made statements to friends and family that she would not want to live with severe disabilities or while in a vegetative state. In some of these statements, Jobes referenced a woman, Karen Quinlan, who had been in the news because of her persistent vegetative state. After hearing a story about someone else’s unfortunate situation, Jobes also told a relative that she would not want to be kept alive by medical machinery after a car accident. Jobes even asked the relative for a card that would express this wish, and the relative sent her one. Several years after most of these statements, Jobes was in a car accident while pregnant. The fetus died in the accident, and Jobes suffered severe brain damage during the operation to remove the fetus. Jobes remained alive, but she was not conscious and needed to be sustained through a feeding tube that went directly to her lower intestine. No one was able to find the card the relative had sent to Jobes years earlier. Jobes’s husband (plaintiff) and parents believed Jobes would not want to live, and her husband sued for the right to have the feeding tube taken out. The trial court ruled that the family could decide to remove the tube. The case was appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Garibaldi, J.)

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