Massachusetts Medical Society
The debate over physician-assisted suicide has dramatically shifted to a discussion of constitutional issues. This spring, within a month of each other, U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals on both coasts ruled that state prohibitions of assisted suicide are unconstitutional when applied to physicians who prescribe lethal medication for terminally ill, competent adults who wish to end their lives. The Ninth Circuit includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, and the Second Circuit includes New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. Both courts reached the same conclusion but for different legal reasons.
George J. Annas,
The Promised End: Constitutional Aspects of Physician-Assisted Suicide,
New England Journal of Medicine
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/1258