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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 141375 Find in a Library
Title: On the Right to Be Sheltered From the Right to Die
Journal: Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy  Volume:14  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:131-136
Author(s): H Arkes
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A distinction is made between having the freedom to commit suicide and legally establishing the right to die.
Abstract: In recent years, courts have moved from a willingness to cut off food and water to comatose patients to a willingness to stop treatment for conscious patients who are able to respond to direction. Courts generally believe they are honoring a claim of autonomy or privacy, a claim that had its sharpest expression in Roe v. Wade. Because the author contends that the right to die does not exist, then permitting substitute judgment by others to withdraw treatment in the name of autonomy is not legal. In the case of Roe v. Wade, the so-called right to an abortion is placed on the same plane as other rights, such as the right to marry or the right to procreation, where it may be subject to restrictions. Roe v. Wade will probably not have to be struck down in cases involving the restriction of abortion; the need to strike it down will likely arise in cases where Roe supplies the necessary grounds for euthanasia. The idea of government rights versus individual rights is discussed. 10 footnotes
Main Term(s): Euthanasia; Suicide
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties
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