In re Martin

450 Mich. 204, 538 N.W.2d 399 (1995)

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In re Martin

Michigan Supreme Court
450 Mich. 204, 538 N.W.2d 399 (1995)

Facts

Mary Martin (plaintiff) and Michael Martin were married. In 1987, Michael suffered a serious injury to his brain in a car accident. After the accident, Michael had the ability to answer yes or no to simple questions by moving his head. Michael could recognize faces but appeared unable to understand complex questions and had lost the ability to walk, talk, and eat. Michael was sometimes unresponsive, but experts agreed that he was not in a persistent vegetative state or terminally ill. When asked if he wished to end his life, Michael answered no. Michael’s life was sustained by a gastronomy tube. As Michael’s guardian, Mary petitioned for the removal of the tube. Mary reported that before his injuries, Michael had said that he would not want his life to be artificially sustained if he could not eat, walk, or talk or if he depended on machines for his needs. The trial court held that Mary had demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that Michael had expressed a desire to decline life-sustaining medical treatment. The court of appeals found that the trial court’s findings were not clearly erroneous.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mallett, J.)

Dissent (Levin, J.)

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