US Supreme Court - Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law Legal
Category: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Miscellaneous Musings
From Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog - the United States Supreme Court Upholds Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law:
"The United States Supreme Court has upheld Oregon's assisted suicide law in a 6-3 opinion released today (January 17, 2006).
In 2001, United States Attorney General John Ashcroft determined that assisted suicide was not a legitimate medical practice and thus doctors who prescribe the deadly drugs would be in violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)...
In today's opinion, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court recognized that the federal government has the authority to punish drug dealers and pass rules for health and safety but that in the case of Oregon's"
See also: Supreme Court Upholds Oregon Suicide Law, AP, Jan. 17, 2006.
"The Supreme Court upheld Oregon's law on physician-assisted suicide yesterday, ruling that the Justice Department may not punish doctors who help terminally ill patients end their lives.
By a vote of 6 to 3, the court ruled that Attorney General John D. Ashcroft exceeded his legal authority in 2001 when he threatened to prohibit doctors from prescribing federally controlled drugs if they authorized lethal doses of the medications under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act....
A Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll released Jan. 5 found that 46 percent of Americans support a right to assisted suicide while 45 percent oppose it. Assisting suicide is a crime in 44 states, including Maryland, as well as the District. It is a civil offense in Virginia. In three states -- North Carolina, Utah and Wyoming -- the law neither prohibits nor permits assisted suicide. Ohio's Supreme Court has decriminalized assisted suicide, but state regulations do not condone it.
State referendums supporting assisted suicide have failed in California, Maine, Michigan and Washington. A bill failed in Maryland in 1995 and 1996."