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Landmark Cases

Case Name: VACCO, ATTORNEY GEN.OF NEW YORK v. QUILL

Date, Location, Cite: 1997 NY
117 S. Ct. 2293
US SUPREME COURT

In NY & most States, it is a crime to aid another to commit suicide, but patients may refuse medical treatment. Quill, et al.,said the ban violates the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause,for mentally competent, terminally ill patients who desire a doctor's help in taking their own lives, The the Second Circuit held, on appeal:
(1) that NY accords different treatment to those persons who wish to hasten their deaths than it does to those who wish to do so by directing the removal of life support systems, and
(2) that this supposed unequal treatment is not rationally related to any legitimate state interests.

The Supreme Court, however, held that the NY law did NOT violate the Equal Protection Clause.