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Landmark Cases

Case Name: Superintendent of BELCHERTOWN state school v. Jos. SAIKOWITZ

Date, Location, Cite: 1977 MA
370 N.E. Reptr 2d 417
MASS Supreme Court

Defendant was 67 year old with IQ 10. Couldn't talk of communicate. Diagnosed with AMM leukemia-100% fatal, chemotherapy 50% chance of partial remission-Probate Court. appointed Guardian, who said let him die -appeal to MA Supreme Court. for definitive policy-affirmed. "Substituted Judgement Doctrine" as the right of the Court (and no one else) to determine what would have been decided by Defendant. Value of life does NOT equal quality. Cited QUINLAN ; she couldn't feel pain-Saikewicz could, needed guardian & hearing.