Four years after the accident, with no hope of recovery in sight, Nancy's parents and co-guardians requested that the hospital terminate her artificial hydration and nutrition. The hospital refused to honor their request without court approval.
Consequently, on October 23, 1987, the Cruzans petitioned Jasper County Probate Judge Charles E. Teel, Jr., for a declaratory judgment allowing them to remove her feeding tube.
While Judge Teel granted that judgment, it was later reversed by the Missouri Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.
(Side note: It was a pleasure to meet Cruzan family attorney Bill Colby this weekend in Kansas City.)