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Sturm College of Law


Physician assisted suicide, Right to die, Dignity in dying, Ninth Amendment


Part I reviews the historical development of physician assisted suicide, describes current medical practices and physicians' attitudes, and outlines the related legal debate over euthanasia. Part II explains the statutory and case law precedent of physician-assisted suicide. This Part also examines the factual and procedural history of the Supreme Court's decisions in Glucksberg and Vacco. Part III explores the Ninth Amendment issues which the Court failed to address in Glucksberg and Vacco, and argues that a right to die exists under existing Ninth Amendment precedent. This part also provides recommendations for a model Dignity in Dying statute that would comply with the Ninth Amendment. The Article concludes by urging courts and lawmakers to recognize the fundamental right of citizens to make the most personal of all decisions, namely the time and manner of their own deaths.

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