Physician-Assisted Suicide Case

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Petitioners in this case are the State of Washington and its Attorney General. Respondents Harold Glucksberg, Abigail Halperin, Thomas A. Preston, and Peter Shalit, are medical physicians who practice in the State of Washington, along with three gravely ill, pseudonymous plaintiffs who have since died and the non-profit organization that counsel people considering physician-assisted suicide, Compassion in Dying, sued in the United States District Court, seeking a declaration that Wash Rev. Code 9A.36.060(1) (1994) was unconstitutional. Washington vs. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997). The Washington State statute provided a person was guilty of the felony of promoting a suicide attempt when the person knowingly caused or aided another person…show more content…
S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and began this case as they do in all Due-Process cases by examining the nation's history, legal traditions and practices. (Casey, 505 at U. S. 833; Cruzan at 497 U. S. 261 and Moore vs. East Cleveland, 431 U. S. 494, 503 (1977). Anglo-American common law has punished or disapproved of assisting suicide for seven centuries and rendering such assistance is a crime in almost every state; such prohibitions have never contained exceptions for those who were near death; the prohibitions in recent years were reexamined and, for the most part reaffirmed in a number of states; and the President signed the Federal Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997, which prohibits the use of federal funds in support of physician-assisted suicide. (521 at U. S. 702). It has always been a crime in the State of Washington for an individual to knowingly cause or aide another person to attempt suicide. (§ 9A.26.060(1). The Court held that § 9A.26.060(1) ban on assisted suicide was not a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and did not result in any fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause. (521 at U. S. 702). Although many liberties that are protected by the Due Process Clause revolve around personal autonomy, it does not warrant the sweeping conclusion that any and all important, intimate, and personal decisions are so protected. Id. The Court also held in order for Washington's ban to be constitutional, it had
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