Ronald B. Standler Essays
U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Physician Assisted Suicide Cases
In 1996, two Federal Circuit
of Appeal struck down laws prohibiting assisted suicide. The appeals
rulings were heard by the U.S.
Supreme Court January 8, 1997. The court unanimously overturned both
Circuit Court rulings on June 26, 1997. The
Washington Post summary and related articles are available on-line.
The decisions are available
Legal Information Institute (Cornell
Post On-line articles
On November 8, 1994, Oregon voters approved
Measure 16, the "Death with Dignity Act". Judge Michael Hogan issued
against the measure on December 27, 1994, and a
injunction on August 3, 1995.
On February 27, 1997, A three-judge panel of the
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the challenge to the law.
On October 14 the Supreme Court declined to hear the challange to the law
(Lee v. Harcleroad, #96-1824).
In Oregon, the legislature asked voters to reconsider
"Measure 16" in
a new vote (ballot measure 51). This measure has been endorsed by the
Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems and is the focus of
a conference at USC:
Physician Assistance in Bringing about Death: Can Regulation Work?
Measure 51 was defeated by voters on November 4, 1997 so the law will not
Death with Dignity Act requires that the Oregon
Division (OHD) monitor compliance with the law, collect information about
the patients and physicians who participate in legal physician-assisted
suicide, and publish an annual
On January 25, 1994, Compassion in
Dying initiated a legal challenge of Washington State's prohibition
On May 3, 1994, Federal Judge Barbara J. Rothstein rendered a decision
declaring the law unconstitutional.
On March 9, 1995, a 3-Judge Panel of the Ninth District Court of Appeals
overturned the District Court (2-1).
On March 6, 1996 the Ninth District Court (en banc) reinstated the
District Court ruling.
available via Deathnet.
On July 20, 1994, Compassion in Dying filed a
complaint for declaratory judgment on behalf of 3 New York physicians
terminally ill patients. On Dec 15, 1994, US District Court
Chief Judge Thomas P, Griesa
upheld New York law prohibiting assisted
suicide (penal law sections
125.15. On April 2, 1996, a 3-judge panel of the
2nd Circuit Court of Appeals struck down those laws as relates to
physicians and terminally ill patients (Quill v.
concurrence are available from
Touro Law Center and Pace University School of Law.
Supreme Court Briefs
NYS Task Force on Life and the Law: 1997
When Death is
Sought; Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in the Medical Context
This supplement addresses the issues raised in the 2nd and 9th Circuit
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