Washington Vs Glucksberg Case Study

509 Words3 Pages
Brynne DeRosier

Washington v. Glucksberg

The Supreme Court case between the state of Washington and Dr. Harold Glucksberg,

considering the decision to prohibit physician-assisted suicide, took place in 1997. Dr. Harold

Glucksberg and four other physicians decided to challenge the state of Washington 's ban on

physician-assisted suicide. The state of Washington had labeled it a crime to promote suicide

attempts by those who "knowingly cause or aid another person to attempt suicide."

Glucksberg claimed that Washington 's ban was unconstitutional. Following a District Court

ruling in favor of Glucksberg and other petitioners, the Ninth Circuit confirmed and the

Supreme Court granted the state of Washington certiorari.

The Supreme Court Case of
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Washington chose to enforce the ban as it is

rationally related to a state interest, therefore related to the exercise of its police powers.

In my opinion, Washington 's ban on physician assisted-suicide did not violate the

Fourteenth Amendment 's Due Process Clause. Analyzing the guarantees of the Due Process

Clause, the Court focused on two main aspects: the protection of our nation 's objective

fundamental, historically rooted, rights and liberties; and the cautious definition of what

constitutes a due process liberty interest. The Court held that the right to assisted suicide is

not a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause since its practice has

been, and continues to be, offensive to our national traditions and practices. Moreover,

employing a rationality test, the Court held that Washington 's ban was rationally related to the

state 's legitimate interest in protecting medical ethics, shielding disabled and terminally ill

people from prejudice which might encourage them to end their lives, and, above

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