Court Finds No Constitutional Right to Assisted Suicide in Massachusetts

(Wesley J. Smith / NRO) – The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled 4–2 that the state constitution does not compel allowing physician-assisted suicide. From, Kligler v Attorney General:

Although we recognize the paramount importance and profound significance of all end-of-life decisions, after careful consideration, we conclude that the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights does not reach so far as to protect physician-assisted suicide. We conclude as well that the law of manslaughter may prohibit physician-assisted suicide, and does so, without offending constitutional protections.

The case involved a doctor who wanted to assist the suicide of his terminally ill patient–although the patient’s cancer “has currently been contained.” The patient concomitantly wants the right to be assisted so that if he is ever diagnosed with “six months to live,” he can end it all with the help of a doctor. But since the patient would not qualify for the purported right even if it were ruled to exist, the Court dismissed the patient’s claim. CONTINUE