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Beyond Roe: Implications for End-of-Life Decision-Making During Pregnancy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 December 2023

Joan H. Krause*
Affiliation:
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA CHAPEL HILL, NC, USA

Abstract

The end of Roe v. Wade has significant implications for the autonomy of pregnant patients at the end of life. At least thirty states restrict the choice to withhold/withdraw life-sustaining treatments from pregnant patients without decisional capacity, invalidating prior advance directives and prohibiting others from choosing these options for the patient. Many restrictions are based on the Roe framework, applying after “viability” or similar considerations of fetal development or prospect for live birth. Scholars have also relied on the abortion framework, arguing that the restrictions impose an undue burden. The end of Roe will free states from having to craft limited restrictions designed to work around prior abortion jurisprudence. Similarly, advocates will no longer be able to draw support from the abortion framework, forcing them to rely instead on cases supporting rights to autonomy/bodily integrity in medical decision-making.

Type
Symposium Articles
Copyright
© 2023 The Author(s)

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