Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 24 (3):233-236 (1996)

As I write, I hear that Dr. Jack Kevorluan has delivered another victim to the emergency room of his local Michigan hospital. Why do physicians and terminally ill patients feel we need to change the law with respect to assisted suicide when a rogue pathologist, who has been stripped of his medical license, is allowed to pursue his appetite for providing his clients with inhalation treatments of carbon monoxide gas? If no court will convict this outlaw, what makes the physicians and patients who brought Compassion in Dying v. State of Washington and Quill v. Vacco fear that any court would ever convict a licensed physician of assisting in a suicide when he/she writes one of her established patients a prescription for a short-acting barbiturate? Moreover, it is not even clear that laws against assisted suicide in most jurisdictions were ever intended to apply to the actions of licensed physicians. Nonetheless, the plaintiffs in the Second and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals were clearly seeking some kind of redress, some kind of protection from potential legal claims they feared might be made against them.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1748-720x.1996.tb01857.x
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