Assisted Suicide
November 8, 2001 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Assisted Suicide law in Oregon stuck down by feds. Voters have approved assisted suicide twice. But apparently John Ashcroft knows better than we do. . .
posted by Danf (17 comments total)
Think about it: If this bill wanted to die, the feds just assisted in its suicide.
posted by TacoConsumer at 11:54 AM on November 8, 2001

Editorial by Eugene mainstream rag, which this time reflects my thoughts about this issue.
posted by Danf at 12:01 PM on November 8, 2001

This is a good site about Euthanasia, to be commended for comprehensive links page to opposition opinion.
posted by Catch at 12:02 PM on November 8, 2001

Double Post, which a search on suicide turns up

If you're going to post 'news stories' it's a good idea search by topic as well as the url.
posted by alan at 12:06 PM on November 8, 2001

Oh, and while I'm at it, here is the text of Ashcroft's memo.

Forgive my babbling, this is a topic I feel close to. Reading the arguments for and against, it seems that both sides focus on totally different aspects of the issue: lose/lose situation.

> Just seen alan's comment, thanks, I hadn't read that thread, I'll go there.
posted by Catch at 12:10 PM on November 8, 2001

Why, what, how does it matter to them? What do they care? What's the spin on striking this down? (other than the tiresome American-christian lesson giving)
posted by crasspastor at 12:10 PM on November 8, 2001

Rats. I just realised that my [sarcasm] tags around the comment have disappeared. They were there in preview I swear!
posted by Catch at 12:32 PM on November 8, 2001

(other than the tiresome American-christian lesson giving)

That is the issue. Conservative christians run the country now and no one is stopping them.
posted by fleener at 1:22 PM on November 8, 2001

Danf: pet peeve of mine, misunderstanding American constitutional structure.

The Attorney General of the US has no power to strike down a state (or, for that matter, federal) law. Only the Supreme Court (either of the US, or of that particular state) can do that under judicial review, and then only when a case under that law is appealed to them with an appropriate constitutional objection.

The AG does have the power to selectively enforce laws (usually under recommendations from constitutional experts in the Justice Dept.).

The Attorney General, in this case, is choosing to begin to enforce a federal law which happens to conflict with a state law, where his predecessor Janet Reno chose not to enforce it. This will almost certainly lead to an appeals case on first prosecution, a test case. It remains unknown whether the courts will eventually rule on the terms of the Oregon law, or the terms of the federal law, or somewhere in between.
posted by dhartung at 1:46 PM on November 8, 2001

one of the corniest doctor jokes... what do you call kids in china who want to kill themselves?

Youth in Asia (Euthanasia). get it?

::silence, crickets chirp::

eh, i got nothing.
posted by lotsofno at 2:04 PM on November 8, 2001

how to commit suicide, legally.

tell someone you are INDEED a terrorist.
posted by jcterminal at 3:14 PM on November 8, 2001

Jcterminal, that'll only get you tortured.
posted by alan at 7:04 PM on November 8, 2001

And this is the federal government that gives lip service for giving more power to state and local government.
posted by semmi at 7:13 PM on November 8, 2001

So let's see, Ashcroft is overturning the will of the people in a representative democracy because he wants to use the power of the state to instill his moral beliefs. Gee, who does that sound like?
posted by darren at 5:31 AM on November 9, 2001

Why, what, how does it matter to them? What do they care? What's the spin on striking this down? (other than the tiresome American-christian lesson giving)

As dhartung mentioned, it's not "striking down" but simply enforcing a federal law that Reno ignored.

As for the motive, many people think this is not about "Christian lesson giving" but protecting vulnerable people. Making sure they get appropriate treatment for pain and depression; not making people feel like they should be obligated to kill themselves if they become a "burden". Here's some links that might open your mind a little:

FAQ of organization opposed to assisted suicide
Review of latest report on Assisted Suicide in Oregon
Not Dead Yet, and organization of people with disabilities against assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Note in that 2nd link, in the three years Oregon has had this law, doctors report increasing numbers of people who report their reson for wanting to die is that they "don't want to be a burden." Do we really want a culture in which people who are sick feel some obligation to kill themselves?
posted by straight at 9:10 AM on November 9, 2001 [1 favorite]

Judge Blocks Sanctions Over Assisted Suicide:
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Robert Jones granted the temporary restraining order requested by Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers and blocked Ashcroft and the DEA from pursuing doctors in the state. (Washington Post)
posted by Carol Anne at 9:34 AM on November 9, 2001

I thought that, from the court's view, if a law is not enforced for a long enough period of time it effectively dies even though it might still be on the books. I wonder if the government could win this in court.
posted by ArkIlloid at 10:47 PM on November 9, 2001

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