|01-17-2006, 12:13 PM||#1|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
SC Rules Against Bush, Affirms Death with Dignity Act
Well, they got this one right at least.
By James Vicini
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration cannot stop doctors from helping terminally ill patients end their lives under the nation's only physician-assisted suicide law, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.
In a stinging defeat for the administration, the high court ruled on a 6-3 vote that then-Attorney General
John Ashcroft in 2001 impermissibly interpreted federal law to bar distribution of controlled drugs to assist suicides, regardless of the Oregon law authorizing it.
The justices upheld a U.S. appeals court ruling that Ashcroft's directive was unlawful and unenforceable, and that he had overstepped his authority.
The Oregon law, called the Death with Dignity Act, was twice approved by the state's voters. The only state law in the nation allowing physician-assisted suicide, it has been used by more than 200 people since it took effect in 1997.
Under Oregon law, terminally ill patients must get a certification from two doctors stating they are of sound mind and have less than six months to live. A prescription for lethal drugs is then written by the doctor, and the patients administer the drugs themselves.
Ashcroft's directive declared that assisting suicide was not a legitimate medical purpose under the Controlled Substances Act and that prescribing federally controlled drugs for that purpose was against the federal law.
The directive threatened to revoke prescription-writing licenses for physicians and pharmacists who filled orders for life-ending drugs.
Writing the majority opinion, Justice
Anthony Kennedy said the federal drug law does not allow the attorney general to prohibit doctors from prescribing regulated drugs for use in physician-assisted suicide under state law permitting the procedure.
COURT'S CONSERVATIVES DISSENTED
|01-18-2006, 12:05 AM||#2|
Mo' holla fo' yo' dolla!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a bunker in an undisclosed location
Looks like Roberts, a.k.a., BushCo's judicial rubber stamp, got smacked down first time out of the gate.
|01-18-2006, 03:20 AM||#3|
Join Date: Jan 2006
This ruling seems to strongly contradict the logic that the Court used when upholding the federal government's power to restrict medical marijuana--even when use of medical marijuana is condoned and regulated by a state government.