Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1994

Abstract

When I first wrote about this subject 36 years ago, the chance that any state would legalize assisted suicide or active voluntary euthanasia seemed minuscule. The possibility that any court would find these activities protected by the Due Process Clause seemed so remote as to be almost inconceivable. Not anymore. Before this decade ends, at least several states probably will decriminalize assisted suicide and/or active voluntary euthanasia. [Editor's note: In November, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide, allowing doctors to prescribe lethal medication for competent, terminally ill adults who request it.] A distinct possibility also exists that the U.S. Supreme Court will announce a constitutional right to assisted suicide. I continue to believe the Court will not discover or recognize such a right, but the possibility that it may do so can no longer be disregarded.


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