This paper will first review the development of Ohio case law prior to the Supreme Court's decision in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health along with the Cruzan decision and Ohio's Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care statute. Next, the constitutionality of the limitations in the Durable Power of Attorney Health Care statute will be discussed. The standard of evidence which must be met in Ohio in order to implement an incompetent's wishes regarding medical treatment in the absence of a durable power will be analyzed. Recommendations will be presented regarding what Ohioans should do in order to increase the likelihood that their choices regarding all forms of medical treatment, including nutrition and hydration, are carried out. Ohio's proposed living will legislation will be examined along with representative legislation from other jurisdictions. Finally, a legislative solution to the multifaceted issues regarding the right to refuse treatment in Ohio will be suggested.
Thomas J. Onusko & Patricia Casey Cuthbertson, The Right to Refuse Medical Treatment in Ohio after Cruzan: The Need for A Comprehensive Legislative Solution, 5 J.L. & Health 35 (1990-1991)