"Because in Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
(REUTERS) The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it would decide whether the Bush administration can stop Oregon doctors from helping terminally ill patients commit suicide, despite a state law allowing such assistance.
The high court agreed to hear a Bush administration appeal arguing that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft correctly construed federal law to prohibit distribution of controlled drugs to assist suicides, regardless of state law.
Although Terri's case faces a different scenario (see Terri's website for more info) this case (if decided quickly enough) could set precedent for all assisted suicide. If the Court rules in favor of Bush, then Michael's claim that his wife wants to die would not matter anymore because it would be illegal.
Oregon is only U.S. state to allow physician-assisted suicide. Since the state law took effect in 1997, more than 170 people have ended their lives.
Under the Oregon law, called the Death with Dignity Act and twice approved by the state's voters, terminally ill patients must get a certification from two doctors stating they are of sound mind and have less than six months to live.
Ashcroft's directive declared that assisting suicide was not a legitimate medical purpose under the Controlled Substances Act and that prescribing federally controlled drugs for that purpose was against the law.
I'm glad he did. This may be hope for Terri. Selah!
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