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Title: Washington v Glucksberg; Vacco v Quill
Contributor(s): Eburn, Michael E (author)
Publication Date: 1997
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Abstract: The plaintiffs had sought declarations that legislation (in Washington and New York, respectively) making it an offence to assist another person to commit suicide was contrary to the Constitution of the United States to the extent that the law prohibited a physician from assisting a mentally competent, terminally ill, suffering patient to voluntarily take his or her own life. The argument in both cases relied on the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution which says that no State shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". The argument in 'Washington' was based on the assertion that the law represented an unreasonable restraint of liberty. The argument in 'Vacco' was that the law unreasonably discriminated between two groups of persons: first, persons who were competent, terminally ill and dependent upon life-sustaining treatment and who had the right to insist that life sustaining treatment be withdrawn, thereby occasioning their own death; and secondly, the competent, terminally ill who were not dependent upon life-support and who could not seek the assistance of a physician to end their life.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Law and Medicine, v.5, p. 120-123
Publisher: Law Book Company
Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia
ISSN: 1320-159X
Field of Research (FOR): 180199 Law not elsewhere classified
180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
HERDC Category Description: C2 Non-Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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