EOL - EUTHANASIA & PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE...

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Unformatted text preview: EUTHANASIA & PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE Three end-of-life practices Passive euthanasia : withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment. Active euthanasia : intentional administration of a lethal substance to bring about death. Physician-assisted suicide : suicide by ingesting a substance provided by a physician. Passive Active Voluntary: patient is competent & willing. VPE : widely practiced & legal in U.S. under the right to refuse treatment. VAE : illegal in the U.S. Practiced? (Yes.) Emmanuel et al. 1998. Non-voluntary: patient is incompetent & cannot will at all. NPE : legal in the U.S. & practiced, especially given advance directives & surrogate decision-makers. NAE : illegal in the U.S. Practiced? (Dont know.) Involuntary: patient is competent & unwilling. IPE : illegal & morally wrong . IAE : illegal & morally wrong . Law Patient Self-Determination Act (1991) Outcome of a line of cases in the 1970s & 1980s concerning the removal of life support from patients in PVS. See: In re Karen Quinlan , 70 N.J. 10 1976; Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health , 497 U.S. 261, 1990. Requires that patients be notified of their rights, including the right to refuse treatment and the right to have an advance directive. Law, cont. Oregon Death With Dignity Act (1997) Passed into law after a referendum (60% to 40% in favor). 1. Patient must be 18 or older; an Oregon resident; diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within 6 months. 2. Patient must make 2 oral & 1 written (witnessed) request(s). 3. Prescribing physician and consulting physician must agree that the patient is competent. 4. Patient must be informed of alternatives. Law, cont. Washington Death with Dignity Act Also the outcome of a public initiative; voters supported the measure by approx. 60% to 40% in the November 2008 elections. Enacted into law, March 5 2009. Both the Oregon and Washington Acts concern physician- assisted suicide NOT active euthanasia. Law, cont. On December 31, 2009, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that a doctor who prescribed lethal drugs to a terminally ill patient who wanted to hasten her death did not run afoul of either public policy or state law in Montana. In February 2011, Montana state legislators tabled discussion of two bills, one that would have banned PAD outright, and one which would have required the articulation of regulations governing PAD. Law, cont. The U.S. Supreme Court addressed bans on Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) in two cases: Washington v. Glucksberg , 521 U.S. 702, 1997 Vacco v. Quill , 521 U.S. 793, 1997 Court rules that there is no constitutional right to die, and rules that both Washington and New Yorks bans on PAS do not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Law, cont....
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EOL - EUTHANASIA & PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE...

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