In June, 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that a constitutional right to assisted suicide exists in neither the Due Process nor the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. But while a federal right does not exist, the Court made it quite clear that the states had ample leeway in which to fashion law on this issue; moreover, the concurring opinions of five Justices strongly implied that, should the states enact legislation that would severely limit end-of-life choices, the Supreme Court would revisit the issue. Far from slamming the door shut on assisted suicide, the Court left it more than a little ajar.
Melvin I. Urofsky,
Leaving the Door Ajar: The Supreme Court and Assisted Suicide,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol32/iss2/2