The Supreme Court has held that state bans on physician-assisted suicide did not violate either the Equal Protection Clause or the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The simple, practical implication is that the decision to either ban or legalize physician-assisted suicide is left up to the states. There are several mechanisms by which this can occur: via the state legislatures, voter initiatives or the state courts (for example, a state court could find that a ban on assisted suicide violates it’s own constitution.)

WORLDLawDirect is constantly monitoring this complicated debate and we appreciate hearing your thoughts on the issues involved.

[Equal Protection Clause: The provision in the Fourteenth Amendment that prohibits a State from denying to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Persons under like circumstances must be given equal protection in their enjoyment of personal rights and the prevention and redress of wrongs.

Due Process Clause: The provision in the Fourteenth Amendment that guarantees that no person shall be arbitrarily deprived of life, liberty or property. Liberties that the Court have found to be specially protected by the Due Process Clause include the right to marry, to have children, to use contraception and to abortion.]

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Healthcare Law and Malpractice