Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide - Archive

Supreme Court Gets Brief Defending Oregon Assisted Suicide (2005)

Members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation on 20July05 filed a brief with the top court asking it not to side with the Bush administration against allowing federally controlled drugs to be used in assisted suicides.

Sen. Ron Wyden and Reps. Wu, Blumenauer, DeFazio and Hooley filed a brief together arguing against the White House’s contention that the Controlled Substances Act allows the federal government to determine that the narcotics should not be used.

“The brief tells the Supreme Court that there’s simply no legal or logical basis for the Justice Department’s continued efforts to thwart the will of Oregon voters on this medical matter traditionally left to the states,” Wyden said.

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft determined that the drugs do not constitute a “legitimate medical purpose” and, therefore, they should be prohibited from being used to kill patients. All of the drugs in the assisted suicides in Oregon have involved such narcotics.

Ashcroft determined that any doctor prescribing the regulated drugs for assisted suicides would lose their medical license as a result.

The lawmakers, however, made similar arguments in a 2002 brief filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided in Oregon’s favor.

[22July05, Washington, DC]