Not since 2006 has the Supreme Court taken up a case involving “death with dignity” legislation — the handful of state laws that allow people to end their lives with the help of a physician. That year, the court handed a victory to death with dignity advocates, ruling that the attorney general could not bar doctors in Oregon — the first state to pass such a law — from giving terminally ill patients drugs to facilitate suicide.
It was only the third time the court had heard a case challenging such statutes, and the six-member majority tread lightly, recognizing the sensitivity of the issue.
“Americans are engaged in an earnest and profound debate,” the majority wrote, quoting from a previous opinion, “about the morality, legality, and practicality of physician-assisted suicide.”
That debate is far from resolved today — and it’s one Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to the high court, will surely be eager to weigh in on, should he win confirmation.
In 2006, the year he was nominated to the federal bench, he released a heavily researched book on the subject titled “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” The front cover looks almost like a Tom Clancy novel, with purple all-caps block text set against a black background. But the book itself is a deep, highly cerebral overview of the ethical and legal debate surrounding the practices.
This article continues at [Washington Post] Neil Gorsuch wrote the book on assisted suicide. Here’s what he said.