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Euthanasia and the Right To Die

A Guide to Selected Government Information Available at WIU's Government Publications Library


Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.


Federal Government Information

Assisted Suicide in the United States

Provides numbers regarding states that have prohibited assisted suicide as well as a look at the medical, legal, and ethical issues that it involves. Statements are given by many physicians, including Dr. Quill of Quill v. Vacco, among others. 1996
Y 4.J89/1:104/78

Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in the Netherlands

Studies legal developments and policy arguments in the Netherlands, while reviewing its history of assisted suicide and euthanasia. 1996
Y 4.J89/1:P56

End of Life Issues & Implementation of Advance Directives Under Health Care Reform

Discusses the ethical and the economical aspects of medical interventions for dying patients. A look at the patient Self-Determination Act to see how it is working and how it might be approved. 1994
Y 4.F49:S.HRG.103-1008

Consumer's Guide for Planning Ahead: The Health Care Power of Attorney and the Living Will

This familiarizes individuals with the living will and the durable power of an attorney for health care, features the advantages and the disadvantages of each, and provides drafting suggestions. Included is a state-by-state analysis of statutes authorizing living wills and durable powers of an attorney. 1992
Y 4.AG 4:S.PRT.102-106

Living Wills:Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Medicare and Long-Term Care

A hearing to discuss how to best educate the public on current State laws regarding advance directives. 1990
Y 4.F 49:S.HRG.101-1168

Assisted Suicide: Legal, Medical, Ethical and Social Issues

Asks and attempts to answer the question "Should assisted suicide be paid for with Federal dollars?" This document includes the testimony of Dr. Henk Jockemsen, an expert on the Dutch experience with assisted suicide, as well as a moving statement submitted by Dr. C Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General. 1997
Y 4.C 73/8:105-7

Illinois Government Information

Living Wills

A bibliography of books and articles on living wills. 1991
ILLINOIS 016.344041 SMIT

Legal Information

"Michigan State Medical Society Mackinac Island Conference on Bioethics: A Deliberation on Ethics in Medicine"

This entire issue is devoted to physician-assisted suicide and includes a speech given by the leading proponent of physician-assisted death, Dr. Timothy Quill. Other speeches deliver the American Medical Perspective on physician-assisted suicide and analyze public policy.
University of Detroit Mercy Law Review Spring 1998 Vol. 75, No. 3

"The Illusion of Autonomy at the End of Life: Unconsented Life Support and the Wrongful Life Analogy"

Provides data about behavior of physicians when a patient refuses life support and concludes that a physician who ignores a patient's refusal of life supporting technology should be held liable for compensatory damages. Reviews law that governs damage actions for unconsented life support and compares decisions involving wrongful life claims.
UCLA Law Review February 1998 Vol. 45, No. 3 pp. 674-732

"Physician-Assisted Suicide: Reflections on Oregon's First Case"

This entire issue is devoted to physician-assisted suicide, including a critique of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, a paper in opposition to physician-assisted suicide from the National Council on Disability, and a thorough examination of the history of assisted suicide and euthanasia in the Netherlands.
Issues in Law and Medicine Winter 1998 Vol. 14, No. 3

"Assisted Suicide and Equal Protection: In Defense of the Distinction Between Killing and Letting Die"

Author argues that, when considering the responsibility or morality of certain acts with the same outcomes, intentions should matter. Since those physicians assisting suicide intend for their patient to die by their administrations, their intention conflicts with the "do not kill" standard. 1997
Issues in Law and Medicine Vol. 13, No. 2 pp. 145-171

"Assisted Suicide and Disabled People"

Addressing the Americans with Disabilities Act, this article examines quality-of-life considerations for people with disabilities and contends that laws legalizing the taking of life "send a false signal that a less than perfect life is not worth living" . 1997
DePaul Law Review Vol. 46, No. 4 pp. 987-1002

"Death on Demand: Physician-Assisted Suicide in the United States - A Legal Research Pathfinder"

An introduction to physician-assisted suicide and a guide to available resources about the topic. 1996
Legal Research Guides Vol. 26
LEGL REF KF 241.T67 D47

Washington v. Glucksberg

This Supreme Court decision reversed a 9th Circuit decision that found the right to commit assisted suicide was protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 1997
138 L.Ed 2d 772

National Survey of State Laws

An overall view of State treatment of euthanasia, right to die, durable power of attorney, and living wills presented in an easy-to-read chart format with statute cites provided.
LEGL REF KF 386 .N38 1997 pp. 441-496 at Gov. Pubs. desk

"Killing and Allowing To Die: Another Look"

Precise definitions of killing and allowing to die are formed, along with descriptions of the traditional view of each, in an effort to make a clear distinction between the two. This author contends that, if this distinction can be made, the real issues regarding physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia involve society's views of morality, intention, and causation. 1998
The Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics Vol. 26, No. 1 Spring 1998 pp.55-64

"Crossing the Decisional Abyss: An Evaluation of Surrogate Decisionmaking Statutes As a Means of Bridging the Gap between Post-Quinlan Red Tape and the Realization of an Incompetent Patient's Right to Refuse Life-Sustaining Treatment"

This article explores an incapacitated patient's use of a preappointed surrogate to make medical decisions, such as the decision to forego life-sustaining treatment. The history of the right to die for incapacitated patients, including In re Quinlan and Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, is examined and current Illinois, New Mexico, and Ohio surrogate decision-making statutes are reviewed.
The Elder Law Journal. Vol. 7, No. 1 1999 pp. 153-183

"The Alleged Distinction Between Euthanasia and the Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Treatment: Conceptually Incoherent and Impossible to Maintain"

This article examines and comments upon arguments made in Richard Epstein's book, Mortal Peril The author of this article agrees with Epstein's assertion that there is no moral difference between euthanasia and treatment withdrawal, but contends that a physician-induced coma and patient-requested food and water withdrawal together is euthanasia. The more appropriate question, then, is whether a right to assisted suicide exists if there is a right to euthanasia by terminal sedation.
University of Illinois Law Review. Vol. 1998, No. 3 pp. 837-860


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