The United State 9th Circuit of Appeals

Topics: Suicide, Death, Supreme Court of the United States Pages: 2 (533 words) Published: December 16, 2012
PROSCONS
The United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated in its 1996 Opinion from Compassion in Dying v. Washington : "While some people refer to the liberty interest implicated in right-to-die cases as a liberty interest in committing suicide, we do not describe it that way. We use the broader and more accurate terms, 'the right to die,' 'determining the time and manner of one's death,' and 'hastening one's death' for an important reason. The liberty interest we examine encompasses a whole range of acts that are generally not considered to constitute 'suicide.' Included within the liberty interest we examine, is for example, the act of refusing or terminating unwanted medical treatment… Casey and Cruzan provide persuasive evidence that the Constitution encompasses a due process liberty interest in controlling the time and manner of one's death -- that there is, in short, a constitutionally recognized 'right to die.'"

The American Civil Liberties Union, in its 1996 amicus brief from Vacco v. Quill, stated: "The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The exercise of this right is as central to personal autonomy and bodily integrity as rights safeguarded by this Court's decisions relating to marriage, family relationships, procreation, contraception, child rearing and the refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment. In particular, this Court's recent decisions concerning the right to refuse medical treatment and the right to abortion instruct that a mentally competent, terminally ill person has a protected liberty interest in choosing to end intolerable suffering by bringing about his or her own death.

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The Supreme Court of the United States, in its 1997 Opinion from Vacco v. Quill, stated:

"...Even as the States move to protect and promote...
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