Physician-assisted suicide and the supreme court: The Washington and Vacco verdicts
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
In June 1997, the Supreme Court decided that statutes proscribing physicians from providing lethal medication for use by competent, terminally ill patients do not violate the Due Process or Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution. The Court returned the question of physician-assisted suicide to the states, but did not foreclose future review of state laws that may be too restrictive of care at the end of life. The conceptual distinctions between assisted suicide, refusal of life-sustaining treatment, and administration of pain medication to terminally ill patients were endorsed as important guideposts for future analyses.
Candilis, P., & Appelbaum, K. (1997). Physician-assisted suicide and the supreme court: The Washington and Vacco verdicts. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 25 (4). Retrieved from https://hsrc.himmelfarb.gwu.edu/smhs_psych_facpubs/1405