Suicide is a Property Right; Assisted Suicide is a Contract Right
Robert W. McGee
Fayetteville State University
Commentaries on Law & Public Policy, 1997
The Supreme Court decisions in Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill on the constitutionality of physician-assisted suicide leave much to be desired. Although this topic has been beaten to death in the literature, the vast majority of commentators have either missed the main point entirely or touched on it only briefly. Thus, the need to point out the real issue in these cases.
Basically, suicide is a property rights issue and physician-assisted suicide is a contract rights issue. Both contract rights and property rights have been disparaged during the twentieth century to the point where they seem to be less than absolute rights that are granted by government rather than inherent rights. Thus, this paper takes what I hope will be an interestingly refreshing and different perspective on what is in fact a very simple issue.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: suicide, property right, contract right, Washington, Glucksberg, Vacco, Quill
JEL Classification: D46, D63, I18, K11, K12, K14, K42Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 14, 2005
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