Physician Assisted Suicide Case Study

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First, Oregon was the front-runner in the world of physician-assisted suicide in the United States. In 1994, the state of Oregon passed the bill of a terminally ill individual’s right to die by lethal injection. Shortly after the passage of the bill, Oregon received their first challenge in the courts. In the case of Lee v. Oregon State, doctors and patients challenged Oregon, stating that the law violated the Constitution’s 1st and 14th amendments, as well as many other federal laws (Devlin, 1996). Due to this challenge in the courts, there was a temporary hold on the law. A year later, the judge in the Lee v. Oregon State dismissed the case. The dismissing of the case allowed physician-assisted to continue in Oregon (Devlin, 1996). Years…show more content…
The name of this case was Ashcroft v. Oregon, which eventually was renamed Gonzales v. Oregon after Ashcroft retired from the Department of Justice (Gonzales v. Oregon, n.d.). The case, that took place from 2001-2004, was based on the argument made by Attorney General John Ashcroft. His argument was that physician-assisted suicide violated the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (Gonzales v. Oregon, n.d.). Ashcroft threatened to delicense doctors their right to practice if they took part of physician-assisted suicide. The Supreme Court ruled that Ashcroft had overstepped his authority, in trying to revoke the medical license of doctors and that the Controlled Substance Act’s main purpose is to prohibit illegal drug dealing by doctors, and not to control their practices (Gonzales v. Oregon, n.d.). Following Oregon’s legalization, it took 15 years for the 2nd state to legalize the act. The passage of physician-assisted suicide in Washington was not an easy task. The
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