End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

Gonzales v. Oregon

What We Do > In the Courts > Gonzales v. Oregon

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of choice at the end of life. In a 6 to 3 decision, the court ruled the Attorney General’s attempt to intervene in affairs of the state’s aid-in-dying law exceeded his authority.

“This is a watershed decision for freedom and democracy in the U.S.,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of Compassion & Choices. “It reaffirms the liberty, dignity and privacy Americans cherish at the end of life.”

For now Oregon’s aid-in-dying law is safe. But Compassion & Choices’ efforts have just begun. We will defend any Congressional attack on the Oregon law, and will not stop until all Americans can live and die as free people, in dignity and according to their own values.

This case served as a national call to end-of-life care providers around the nation. Thanks to this verdict, facilities now recognize the importance of providing appropriate care. Facilities must share accurate information about what they provide, recognizing the consequences to both patient and provider when misrepresentations are made.

Justice Kennedy’s Opinion
Justice Scalia’s Opinion
Justice Thomas’ Opinion

Barbara Coombs Lee: Role Reversal
New York Times: The Assisted-Suicide Decision
Washington Post: Life-and-Death Decisions
Los Angeles Times: States of Hypocrisy
Boston Globe: Oregon’s Assistants
Belief Net: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Oregon’s Right-to-Die Law

OPB NewsHour VIDEO: Assisted Suicide Upheld
New York Times: Fraught Issue, but Narrow Ruling in Oregon Suicide Case
New York Times: Justices Reject U.S. Bid to Block Assisted Suicide
Los Angeles Times: Is California Next in Line?

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