Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Court Hears Case on Suicide Law – Roberts appears skeptical

The Supreme Court held oral arguments Wednesday on Oregon's first-in-the-nation law allowing physician-assisted suicide. To some observers, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., sounded skeptical about the state's claim that it can make its own rules without federal interference. Before the Court is a 2001 directive by then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft that threatens punishment of any Oregon doctor who prescribes a lethal dose of federally controlled drugs to help a terminally ill patient end his or her own life. Oregon enacted its law permitting such prescriptions in 1997, and the state says it falls within its traditional prerogative to regulate the practice of medicine. Source:  Charles Lane, Washington Post, the complete story, click here (last visited October 8, 2005, REO).

The on line merit briefs of this case are available at the following ABA web site (last visited October 8, 2005, REO).

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