This Note considers the current framework of states’ death with dignity laws and analyzes physicians’ views of the legal standards to determine whether the current procedures in death with dignity states adequately protect the patient’s interests. Aid in Dying (AID) legislation attempts to balance individual privacy interests with state interests: obtaining an ideal balance is the state legislature’s goal and is the topic of much advocacy. This Note examines the current laws from a medical perspective and considers how physicians, as the ones implementing the laws, view their role and the legislative safeguards.
Part I reviews the history of AID through Supreme Court cases and concludes that AID is not a recognized constitutional right, and so legislation prohibiting or regulating AID is within the discretion of state legislators. Part II examines the state interests that are implicated by AID and physician concerns with legislation meant to protect those interests. Part III provides suggestions that states could implement to address physician concerns, including increased physician training, increased physician reporting requirements, and increased government oversight.
A Delicate Balance: Rethinking the Physician’s Role in Physician Aid-in-Dying,
U.C. Irvine L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.uci.edu/ucilr/vol12/iss4/11