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Assisted Suicide

NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | May 27, 2004
A federal appeals court rejected yesterday an effort by the Justice Department to block the only law in the nation authorizing doctors to help their terminally ill patients commit suicide. The decision, by a divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, upheld Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. The majority used pointed language to rebuke Attorney General John Ashcroft, saying he had overstepped authority. "The attorney general's unilateral attempt to regulate general medical practices historically entrusted to state lawmakers interferes with the democratic debate about physician-assisted suicide and far exceeds the scope of his authority under federal law," Judge Richard C. Tallman wrote for the majority.
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NEWS
April 24, 2002
WHEN FEDERAL Judge Robert Jones blocked the U.S. Justice Department's effort to overturn an Oregon law allowing physician-assisted suicide last week, he not only protected the ability of terminally ill Oregonians to make a careful decision to hasten their deaths but blocked a remarkable and troubling power grab by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Arguing that physician-assisted suicide is not a "legitimate medical purpose," Mr. Ashcroft decreed on Nov. 6 that doctors who prescribed drugs for that purpose under Oregon's Death With Dignity Act would be punished under the federal Controlled Substances Act. But the language, legislative history and enforcement of that law focus on regulating the trade in and use of illegal drugs, not medical practices.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Paul McHugh and Paul McHugh,Special to the Sun | March 17, 2002
In 1991, Mary Ann Glendon, the Learned Hand Professor of Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School, wrote a discerning book, Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse (The Free Press, 218 pages, $22.95) in which she noted that contemporary American discourse over such issues as property, sexual activity, abortion, social welfare and the like was deteriorating into sound bites, slogans and the strident language of "my rights." In this process our opinions were becoming hyperpolarized, exaggeratedly absolute, coarsely self-centered and remarkably silent about personal, civic and collective responsibilities.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | September 16, 2000
In the first application of the state's assisted suicide ban, an Anne Arundel County judge found yesterday that the Crofton teen-ager who had a suicide pact with his girlfriend violated that law, but suffered from such severe depression that he is not responsible for his actions. Circuit Judge Pamela L. North rejected defense arguments that the law, sparked by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, applied only to health care workers helping terminally ill patients die. She said that if the General Assembly wanted to cover only assisted suicides of terminally ill people, legislators could have narrowed the law this spring.
NEWS
By Laura Cadiz and Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF | August 31, 2000
The 16-year-old Crofton boy charged with assisted suicide in the death of his girlfriend pleaded "not involved" yesterday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, and his attorney asked the judge to dismiss the case, arguing that the law was never meant to apply in the case of a failed suicide pact between lovers. The request came during a two-hour hearing on charges that the boy helped Jennifer Garvey, 15, shoot herself in the head Oct. 18. He is the first person charged with violating Maryland's 1999 assisted suicide law and is also charged with possession of a handgun and reckless endangerment, all as a juvenile.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | July 11, 2000
The Crofton teen-ager awaiting trial on charges of helping his girlfriend kill herself in a failed suicide pact was granted a little more freedom yesterday. Judge Pamela L. North agreed to let the 16-year-old, who is on home detention, leave his mother's house from 9 a.m. to noon to job-hunt. "He is doing an excellent job, abiding by all the rules," said Kimber Davis, one of the youth's two public defenders. The youth is the first person accused of violating Maryland's ban on assisted suicide.
NEWS
March 11, 2000
MARYLAND legislators may have been spooked by the haunting demonstration of Jack Kevorkian's death machine on "60 Minutes" when they passed a law banning assisted suicides. But reckless doctors weren't the only people lawmakers wanted to stop. The state law clearly seeks to prevent anyone from aiding a suicide. So the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's office was right to bring Maryland's first assisted suicide charge against a teen-ager who is accused of taking an active part in the death of his 15-year-old girlfriend.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | March 9, 2000
Opponents of a bill that would narrow Maryland's law banning assisted suicide told a House committee yesterday that proposed changes would make the law too weak. In a Judiciary Committee hearing, opponents said the proposed changes offered a way around the year-old law, and didn't limit it to the intended target of health professionals, such as Dr. Jack Kevorkian of Michigan and his suicide machine. Del. William H. Cole IV, a Baltimore Democrat, and two other delegates are sponsoring a bill to make the law apply only to adults.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | March 2, 2000
A Baltimore delegate annoyed with the move by Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee to charge a 16-year-old Crofton youth with violating Maryland's ban on assisted suicide is hoping to change the law to prevent prosecutors from using it against other juveniles. On Tuesday, the teen-ager, who police believe entered into a suicide pact with his girlfriend, became the first person charged with breaking the new law. The measure took effect Oct. 1. That has worried some delegates and senators, who had Michigan doctor Jack Kevorkian in mind a year ago when they made assisted suicide a felony punishable by up to a year in jail.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | October 28, 1999
WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation yesterday that would in effect overturn an Oregon law permitting physician-assisted suicides while giving doctors more leeway to prescribe narcotics to reduce suffering in seriously ill patients.The bill, which passed 271-156, sets national standards for easing pain in the seriously ill and effectively prevents states from adopting their own versions of the 5-year-old Oregon law, which enables terminally ill patients in pain to end their lives with the aid of a doctor.
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