The Supreme Court on
PETITIONERS v. TIMOTHY E. QUILL ET AL.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
1997 U.S. LEXIS 4038
January 8, 1997, Argued
June 26, 1997, Decided
PRIOR HISTORY: ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT.
DISPOSITION: 80 F.3d 716, reversed.
In New York, as in most States, it is a crime to aid another to commit or attempt suicide, but patients may refuse even lifesaving medical treatment. Respondent New York physicians assert that, although it would be consistent with the standards of their medical practices to prescribe lethal medication for mentally competent, terminally ill patients who are suffering great pain and desire a doctor's help in taking their own lives, they are deterred from doing so by New York's assisted-suicide ban. They, and three gravely ill patients who have since died, sued the State's Attorney General, claiming that the ban violates the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. The Federal District Court