Washington Vs. The State Of Washington

1168 Words Aug 11th, 2014 5 Pages
Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997)
Petitioners: State of Washington and the State Attorney General
Respondent: Harold Glucksberg, MD et al who practices medicine in the state of Washington and treats terminally ill patients

Facts: The state of Washington passed a law that made it a crime to assist in a suicide that takes place within the state. The crime is listed as “promoting a suicide attempt” and is classified as a felony offense. In order for a person to be convicted of this crime it has to be proven that the defendant knowingly caused or aided another person in an attempt to commit suicide. In January 1994 Dr. Glucksberg along with four other doctors, three terminally ill patients who died before the case reached the Supreme Court and Compassion in Dying, a nonprofit group that aids terminally patients who wish to commit suicide filed a suit in the US District Court against the state of Washington and the State Attorney General on the grounds that the law is unconstitutional. The Respondents argument was that people have a liberty interest which is protected by the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause and it should extend to terminally ill patients who are mentally competent and wish to take part in doctor assisted suicide. The US District Court using the rulings in both Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health determined that the law did violate the Constitution because it “places and undue burden on the exercise…
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