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Landmark Cases

Case Name: WASHINGTON et al. v. GLUCKSBERG

Date, Location, Cite: 1997 WA
117 S Ct. 2258
US SUPREME COURT

Assisted suicide is a crime in the State of Washington. Four WA MDs sued the State seeking a declaration that the ban is, on its face, unconstitutional, based on the 14th Amendment. The Federal District
Court agreed, concluding that Washington's assisted suicide ban is unconstitutional. The en banc Ninth Circuit affirmed. (see Cruzan)
As in Quill (q.v.) the Supreme Court said "Anglo American common law has punished or otherwise disapproved of assisting suicide for over 700 years," and WA's law does NOT violate the Due Process Clause. Also cited that the "President [had] recently signed the Federal Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997," prohibiting the use of federal funds in support of physician assisted suicide.