The Changing Legal Climate for Physician Aid in Dying

Posted: 23 May 2014 Last revised: 22 Jul 2014

See all articles by David Orentlicher

David Orentlicher

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

Thaddeus Mason Pope

Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute

Ben A. Rich

University of California, Davis

Date Written: May 1, 2014

Abstract

While once widely rejected as a health care option, physician aid in dying is receiving increased recognition as a response to the suffering of patients at the end of life. With aid in dying, a physician writes a prescription for a life-ending medication for an eligible patient. Following the recommendation of the American Public Health Association, the term aid in dying rather than "assisted suicide" is used to describe the practice. In this Viewpoint, the authors describe the changing legal climate for physician aid in dying occurring in several states.

Keywords: aid in dying, assisted suicide, active euthanasia, death with dignity, life-sustaining, physician aid, dying, death, end-of-life, patient, mentally competent, terminally ill, Quinlan, doctor, death panels, quality of life

JEL Classification: I00, I12, I18, K3, K32

Suggested Citation

Orentlicher, David and Pope, Thaddeus Mason and Rich, Ben A., The Changing Legal Climate for Physician Aid in Dying (May 1, 2014). JAMA, Vol. 311, Number 19, p. 1961-1962 (2014); Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2439427

David Orentlicher

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

Thaddeus Mason Pope (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Avenue
Room 320
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States
651-695-7661 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Saint Georges University ( email )

West Indies
Grenada

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

Alden March Bioethics Institute ( email )

47 New Scotland Ave
MC 153
Albany, NY 12208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

Ben A. Rich

University of California, Davis ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
Davis, CA CA 95616-5201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://bioethics.ucdavis.edu/brich/

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