In Oregon, assisted suicide is legal, and has been since 1997.
Under the state’s so-called Death with Dignity Act, a terminally ill patient may take the lethal drugs if two doctors agree the person has less than six months to live and is mentally competent to make the decision to end his or her life.. However, on November 6th, John Ashcroft unilaterally overrode this law that was voted in by the residents of Oregon. Now, I don’t know much about the powers of the attourney general vis à vis the laws of an individual state, but this seems to me that it should be unconstitutional that Doctors who are not breaking the law in their own state could be arrested and have their licenses revoked because of a ruling made by the federal attourney general. This doesn’t even get into the issue of assisted suicide (which, for the record, I think should be legal).
Predictably, lawsuits are ensuing. First, the state of Oregon is sueing the US government. Now, 4 terminally ill patients are sueing for their right to die..
Of course, none of these 4 will live long enough to see their case through, as to have qualified for the assisted suicide program they cannot have a life expectancy longer than 6 months, but I hope that this suit is carried on in their absence.