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Physician-Assisted Suicide

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

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Federal Government Information

An Ethical Analysis of Withdrawal from Life-Sustaining Technologies and Assisted Death

This tells about some of the ethical problems and conclusions that can be drawn from assisted suicide. 1985.
Y3. T22/2: 2L62/v.3/Ethical/fiche MICROFICHE

Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in the Netherlands

Gives examples of how assisted suicide has changed in the Netherlands. It also implies what will happen if the U.S. legalizes physician-assisted suicide. 1996.
Y4. J89/1: P56

Pain Management and Improving End-of-Life Care

A proposal to amend the Controlled Substances Act to advocate pain management without the use of assisted suicide and euthanasia. 1999
Y 4.L 11/4:S. HRG. 106-222

Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 1998

A bill offered to clarify the federal position that intentionally providing a controlled substance with the intent to cause the suicide or the euthanasia of any individual is not a legitimate medical purpose and that doing so invites the revocation or suspension of drug dispensation licensing. 1998
Y 4.J89/1:105/123

Euthanasia Practice in Holland

This report reviews physician-assisted suicide as legally practiced in the Netherlands and argues that the Dutch program results in lessening of medical options and often reduces a patient's involvement in the decision to terminate life. 1993
Current Issues Source File (Library CD-ROM Network) A136-3

I'm Not Dead Yet

This article opposes the current trend toward euthanasia of certain terminally ill patients. Author describes her personal experiences with her father's terminal illness to illustrate the medical profession's eagerness to withhold life-sustaining treatments in certain cases, even in cases where the patient expresses a strong desire to live. 1995
Current Issues Source File (Library CD-ROM Network) A252-7

Easing the Passing

This article discusses recent events relating to physician-assisted suicide, including a ruling by a District Court judge in Washington State. The author criticizes the judge for attempting to rewrite a state statute, a responsibility reserved for legislators, and implies that legalization might foster increased pressure by doctors or family members to end life. 1994
Current Issues Source File (Library CD-ROM Network) R128-4

Professional Integrity and Physician-Assisted Death

This article talks about the concept of integrity as it applies to physicians, then asks whether it is a violation of professional integrity for a physician to assist in the suicide of a terminally ill patient. The authors argue that, as a general rule, the practice of assisting suicide does violate an established norm of professional integrity, but can be justified in certain cases as a "last resort." 1995
Current Issues Source File (Library CD-ROM Network) R128-13

Legal Information

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

Speeches and articles sparked by the recent Supreme Court rulings against physician-assisted suicide, including a speech from Dr. Quill (of Vacco v. Quill).
University of Detroit Mercy Law Review. Vol. 75 No. 3--Entire Issue--Spring 1998.

"Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: The Cases are in the Pipeline"

Gives judges' rulings about assisted suicide and also tells the differences between assisted death and euthanasia.
Trial. Vol. 30. No. 12. pp. 30-35. December 1994.

"Doctor-Assisted Suicide Appeals Too Hard to Call: Some Hot-Button Issues Defy the Traditional Legal Analysis, Specialists Say"

This is a brief article that talks about certain suicide appeals and other top issues that go against the legal norms.
The National Law Journal. Vol. 18. No. 34. p. A6. April 22, 1996.

"Lethal Compassion: Conflicting Federal Court Rulings Bring Assisted-Suicide Issue to the Forefront"

Gives explanations of specific court cases dealing with physician-assisted suicide.
ABA Journal. Vol. 82. pp. 42-44. May 1996.

"Elder Choice: Right to Decline Medical Treatment"

A look at the problems elders face when they get very sick, including the obstacles in choosing to die because of severe pain and suffering.
American Journal of Law and Medicine. Vol. 19. No. 3. pp. 233-283. Fall 1993.

Death on Demand

A research guide featuring useful legal and non-legal material available on the topic of physician-assisted suicide.
Legal Reference KF 241. T67 D47 1996

Vacco v. Quill.

This unanimous Supreme Court decision reversed a 2nd Circuit decision that allowed physicians to prescribe medications to be self-administered by terminally ill, mentally competent patients. The Court disagreed with the lower court's opinion that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was violated by the state statute. The Court makes the distinction between "allowing someone to die" and "causing someone to die."

Washington v. Glucksberg

This Supreme Court decision reversed a 9nd Circuit decision that found the right to commit assisted suicide was protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court held that "not any and all important, intimate, and personal decisions" are fundamental liberty interests protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, and that the State has an interest in preserving and protecting human life.

"Three Strikes: Is An Assisted Suicide Right Out"?

This article analyzes landmark assisted suicide cases and contends that there is no constitutional right, federal or state, to assisted suicide.
Issues In Law and Medicine. Vol. 15, No. 1 Summer 1999 pp. 3-86

"Assisted Dying"

Oregon is the only state currently allowing physician assisted suicide. This article looks at recent federal and state cases and their differing outcomes.
Trial. Vol. 35, No. 7 July 1999 pp. 44-50

"Assisted Suicide and Disability: Another Perspective"

This article asserts that society, the legal system, and a profit-driven health care system discriminate against persons with disabilities and that legalized assisted suicide invites the idea that it is acceptable to kill those who are not perfect without an examination of other options.
Human Rights.Vol. 27, No. 1 Winter 2000 pp. 6-8

"Physician-Assisted Suicide and Public Virtue: A Reply to the Liberty Thesis of 'The Philosophers' Brief'"

The 'Philosophers' Brief', submitted to the Supreme Court in its consideration of Washington v. Glucksburg and Vacco v. Quill, stipulates that individuals have a constitutional right to arrange the intimate details of their life. The author of this reply argues to the contrary.
Issues in Law and Medicine. Vol. 15, No. 2 Fall 1999 pp. 159-179

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