On the night of April 15, 1975, Joseph and Julia Quinlan were awakened by a phone call, notifying them that Karen Ann, their oldest daughter, had been rushed to the hospital in a coma. Karen Ann never regained consciousness, nor has the cause of the come ever been determined.
This is the story of one family's devotion and courage in the face of the tragedy which has become a landmark in medical and legal history. The Quinlans tell here, in their own words, of their love for Karen, of the agony which they shared in reaching the decision to instigate the court proceedings which eventually led to the famous New Jersey State Supreme Court ruling, of the brilliant young lawyer who volunteered to fight for Karen Ann's cause, and of the supportive role of friends, doctors, nurses, and the Church.
Karen Ann's case has been sensationalized and often distorted by the press. But the true story behind the publicity is told here with quiet eloquence – and it is a far more profound tragedy than the one told in the headlines.
What happened to Karen is unique, but the situation which the Quinlans faced is becoming all too commonplace in these days of rapid advances in medical technology. Karen's plight touches all of us, as do the courage and faith of her parents – whose honesty in the face of suffering won Karen Ann the right to rest in God's hands.