Rutgers College of Nursing hosts end-of-life conference

Julia Duane Quinlan, mother of Karen Ann Quinlan, whose legal battle to remove her daughter from a respirator changed the use of life-support for the dying, will speak at the first annual conference of the New Jersey End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium hosted by the College of Nursing Center for Professional Development at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

The conference will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J., March 23-24.

In 1975 Karen Ann was in a coma and virtually vegetative state when her parents wanted permission to remove her from the respirator which was keeping their daughter alive. After a long court battle, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Quinlans, declaring the Quinlan's right to decide their daughter's medical treatment exceeds that of the state. The Karen Quinlan case led to New Jersey and other states to enact the "living will" legislation.

Quinlan has spoken across the country on ethics, end-of-life care, hospice and the historic importance of the landmark decision. She received the New Jersey Hospice Community Leader Award for her efforts in establishing local community health initiatives in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Quinlan, author of "My Joy My Sorrow: Karen Ann's Mother Remembers" (Anthony Messenger Press, 2005) and co-author of "Karen Ann: The Quinlans Tell Their Story" (Doubleday, 1977), is chairman of the board of governors of the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice in Sussex County, N.J.

The conference will feature other speakers including Marianne Matzo, professor, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Nursing; Anita L. Allen, professor of law and philosophy, University of Pennsylvania; Megan Cole, the actress who originated the leading role in Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize play, "Wit,"; Ted Taylor, spiritual support manager at Samaritan Hospice; and Joel Weintraub, a "humorous educator."


To register or for more information, call the College of Nursing Center for Professional Development at 973-353-5895 or register online at

The End of Life Nursing Education Consortium is a national education program to improve end-of-life care by nurses and is funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant. The primary goals are to develop a core of expert nursing educators and to coordinate national nursing education efforts in end-of-life care.

Rutgers College of Nursing, with its home on the Rutgers-Newark campus, offers a broad range of academic programs on all three Rutgers campuses. The college offers a master's program with unique practitioner clinical specialties, and the only doctoral (Ph.D) nursing degree in New Jersey.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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