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Vacco vs. Quill - Research Paper Example

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Prior to the case, the New York state did not allow physician assisted suicide so as to save guard life and such an incident was regarded as a murder case which was punishable in a court of law and that meant that it could attract even a death sentence…
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Vacco vs. Quill
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The United States Constitution allowed the states the democratic space to pass state laws that were for the benefit of the state citizens. The doctors felt that the law was interfering with the medical standards that allowed them to assist terminally ill patients to end their lives so as to relieve them the pain associated with the disease.
The District Court upheld the state law since it was the state that was allowed to make laws that govern the state so long as they don’t contradict the United States Constitution. The Court of Appeal reversed the ruling on the basis that the prohibition led to violation of Fourteenth Amendment clause that called for Equal Protection. The case proceeded to the Supreme Court finally for further clarification. The New York state had passed a law in 1965 that barred physicians from assisting terminally patients end their life although it allowed patients to refuse treatment even if it is life saving to them. According to Enotes, the respondents Samuel C. Klagsbrun, Timothy E. Quill and Howard A. Grossman who were physicians in New York backed by three terminally ill patients who wanted to be allowed to terminate their lives. They presented their case in the United States District Court accusing the New York State Attorney, Dennis Vacco, of the state barring them from prescribing lethal medicine to mentally stable but very ill patients who are under unendurable pain and desire to end their suffering through the doctor’s assistance to end their lives although the medical standards allow them. ...
The court based its argument on the fact that the United states Constitution allowed the states normal democratic processes and that meant that New York had a legitimate right to protect vulnerable citizens and generally preserve life. The second circuit was reversed by the Court of Appeal; it determined that despite the general application of the ban on the assisted suicide, the New York state law did not exercise equality for not treating equally all the mentally competent people who are in their last stages of their sickness and are opting to end their suffering by prematurely terminating their lives (Tannsjo 90). Those in the their final stages of their illness and in the life support machines could direct the removal of those machines thus terminating their life in the process as opposed to those who are in a similar situation except the use of life support machines on them, who could not be allowed to order for the hastening of their life end through drug administration. The Court viewed the ending of one’s life through the withdrawal of the life support machines as similar to assisted suicide. The court was to determine whether the unequal treatment of the patients related in any way legitimately to the state interests, the conclusion of the court was that the New York statutes that prohibited a terminally ill patient with sound mind on the final stages from assisted suicide were not rationally in any way legitimately related to the state interests. The Court Of Appeal therefore reversed the District Court’s ruling. The State Attorney, Dennis Vacco, appealed in the Supreme Court and it gave a landmark ruling regarding the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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