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The 'Right To Die': On Drawing (And Erasing) Lines, Yale Kamisar Jan 1996

The 'Right To Die': On Drawing (And Erasing) Lines, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Until this year, no state or federal appellate court had ever held that there was a right to assisted suicide no matter how narrow the circumstances or stringent the conditions. In 1996, however, within the span of a single month, two federal courts of appeals so held; in an 8-3 majority of the Ninth Circuit (sitting en banc) in Compassion in Dying v. Washington and a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit in Quill v. Vacco. What heartened proponents of a right to physician-assisted suicide even more, and pleased those resistant to the idea even less, was that the two ...


When Is There A Constitutional 'Right To Die'? When Is There No Constitutional 'Right To Live'?, Yale Kamisar Jan 1991

When Is There A Constitutional 'Right To Die'? When Is There No Constitutional 'Right To Live'?, Yale Kamisar

Articles

When I am invited to participate in conferences on the "right to die," I suspect that the organizers of such gatherings expect me to fill what might be called the " 'slippery slope' slot" on the program or, more generally, to articulate the "conservative" position on this controversial matter. These expectations are hardly surprising. The "right to die" is a euphemism for what almost everybody used to call a form of euthanasia-" passive" or "negative" or "indirect" euthanasia-and some thirty years ago, in the course of raising various objections to proposed euthanasia legislation, I advanced the "thin edge of the wedge ...