Chapter 11: Deliberate Termination of Life and Physician Assisted Suicide: Aid in Dying

Section 5. Case Study

Name: Samantha Sparta

Case Title: Vacco et al v. Quill et al

Description of the case by student: A complaint was filed on July 20, 1994 against Timothy E. Quill, M.D.; Samuel C. Klagsbrun, M.D.; and Howard A. Grossman, M.D.. The three doctors were sought to aid a Jane Doe who had thyroid cancer, George A. Kingsley and William A. Barth, who both suffered from AIDS. All three were advised and understood that they were in the terminal stage of terminal illness and that there was no chance for survival. Each of them sought to hasten death "in a certain and humane manner" and for that purpose sought "necessary medical assistance in the form of medications prescribed by [her or his] physician to be self-administered. The three doctors admitted that under normal circumstances they would have administered the drugs but New York State law prevented them from doing so.

URL?s for the articles describing case:

Supreme Court ruling

Article from New England Journal of Medicine on success of Oregon law

United States Court of Appeal decision on Vacco v. Quill

Article from Annuals of Internal Medicine

URL?s for articles with ethical position:

Article from Stanford?s Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Article from Christianity Today magazine (Natural Law Theory)

Report by American Psychology Association

Article on Ethics in Medicine from the University of Washington School of Medicine


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Copyright Philip A. Pecorino 2002. All Rights reserved.

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