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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

New York’s Highest Court Rules Against Physician-Assisted Suicide

Jacob Gershman
The Wall Street Journal
Originally posted September 7, 2017

New York’s highest court on Thursday ruled that physician-assisted suicide isn’t a fundamental right, rejecting a legal effort by terminally ill patients to decriminalize doctor-assisted suicide through the courts.

The state Court of Appeals, though, said it wouldn’t stand in the way if New York’s legislature were to decide that assisted suicide could be “effectively regulated” and pass legislation allowing terminally ill and suffering patients to kill themselves.

Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in most of the country. But advocates who support loosening the laws have been making gains. Doctor-assisted dying has been legalized in several states, most recently in California and Colorado, the former by legislation and the latter by a ballot measure approved by voters in November. Oregon, Vermont and Washington have enacted similar “end-of-life” measures. Washington, D.C., also passed an “assisted-dying” law last year.

Montana’s highest court in 2009 ruled that physicians who provide “aid in dying” are shielded from liability.

No state court has recognized “aid in dying” as a fundamental right.

The article is here.