Vacco v. Quill
A Two-edged Sword, Equal Protection?, Omission And Commission, Impact, States That Allow Assisted Suicide
Dennis C. Vacco, Attorney General of New York, et al.
Timothy E. Quill, Samuel C. Klagsbrun, Howard A. Grossman
That a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit invalidating a New York State statute banning physician-assisted suicide was incorrect.
Chief Lawyer for Petitioners
Barbara Gott Billet, Solicitor General; Daniel Smirlock, assistant Attorney General; Michael S. Popkin, Assistant Attorney General
Chief Lawyer for Respondents
Laurence H. Tribe, David J Burman, Carla A. Kerr, Peter J. Rubin, Kari Anne Smith, Kathryn L. Tucker
Justices for the Court
Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Clarence Thomas
Date of Decision
26 June 1997
Reversed the court of appeals to rule that New York State's ban on physician-assisted suicide did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The ruling provided constitutional sanction to state laws banning physician-assisted suicide. By determining that there was a qualitative legal difference between denying life-prolonging treatment to terminally ill patients and assisting in their death, the Court validated existing statutes in many states, and confirmed that states could draft laws banning assisted suicide that were able to withstand constitutional scrutiny.
- Morissette v. United States, 342 U.S. 246 (1952).
- United States v. Bailey, 444 U.S. 394 (1980).
- Cruzan v. Missouri Department of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990).
- Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996).
Pertman, Adam. "Bills Aim to Disarm Oregon Law on Suicide." Boston Globe, 7 October 1998.
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- Vacco v. Quill - A Two-edged Sword
- Vacco v. Quill - Further Readings
- Vacco v. Quill - Equal Protection?
- Vacco v. Quill - Omission And Commission
- Vacco v. Quill - Impact
- Vacco v. Quill - States That Allow Assisted Suicide
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