President Trump has chosen Neil Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee. Gorsuch is a strong critic of assisted suicide. The Supreme Court is the highest federal court of the United States. In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law, although it may only act within the context of a case in which it has jurisdiction. Gorsuch is well-known for his opposition against all forms of assisted suicide. In 2009 he authored a book “The future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia”, in which he argues against the practice from both a moral and legal standpoint. “All human beings are intrinsically valuable,” he wrote, “and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
In November, Colorado – where Mr. Gorsuch lives – became the sixth in the nation to make it legal for doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients. Oregon became the first in 1994, and proponents of such measures, dubbed “aid in dying” or “death with dignity,” already have campaigns underway in several other states, ensuring the debate will continue for years to come.
Supporters and opponents both agree that courts will likely weigh in at some point. The last case to make it to the Supreme Court was in 2006, when justices ruled that doctors in Oregon could not be barred from carrying out the practice. But even if Mr. Gorsuch is confirmed, they are not sure the court will be taking up similar cases anytime soon.
It is likely that legalization of assisted suicide will continue to be implemented state by state.