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."