Federal versus State Laws on Euthanasia

The State of Oregon endorsed a ballot measure that authorizes euthanasia under restricted circumstances in 1994 (Death with Dignity National Center, 2005, n. p. ). This was not enacted however because the “Roman Catholic Church” and the “National Right to Life Committee” requested the court to delay its implementation (Death with Dignity National Center, 2005, n. p. ). But in 1997, another public consultation was carried out and this time the ballot measure was enacted (Death with Dignity National Center, 2005, n. p. ).

This led the administrator of the “federal Drug Enforcement Administration” to release a policy technically referred to as “the Controlled Substance Act” which prohibits administration of medicines that assist death in patients who are terminally ill (Death with Dignity National Center, 2005, n. p. ). It’s rather fortunate that “the Controlled Substance Act” has been reversed just a number of weeks after since drug laws as such are intended to obstruct unlawful drug trafficking and not to envelop circumstances like the suicide law of the state of Oregon (Death with Dignity National Center, 2005, n.

p. ). The ruling now holds that physicians who recommend medicines to help the terminally ill end their life will not be brought to court (Death with Dignity National Center, 2005, n. p. ). In 2002, the US Attorney General made an appeal with regards to Judge Jones “barring implementation of Ashcroft order” (Death with Dignity National Center, 2005, n. p. ). However, “the Attorney General of Oregon” declared that what US Attorney General John Ashcroft stated about “assisted suicide not being a legitimate medical practice” is unconstitutional (Death with Dignity National Center, 2005, n.p. ).

This led the president to order that “Oregon’s assisted suicide law” should not be interfered upon (Death with Dignity National Center, 2005, n. p. ). This problem should be resolved by simply considering “Amendment 10” which states that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” (The Lectric Law Library, n. d. ).

This should be able to “pass and implement the Death with Dignity Law” simply because anything that is not included in the federal government should be covered by the state or the people (The Lectric Law Library, n. d. ). “The Death with Dignity Law” should be regulated by the State (in this case the State of Oregon) and not the federal government (The Lectric Law Library, n. d. ). In addition to that, the people of Oregon were consulted here and they have spoken (The Lectric Law Library, n. d. ).

Since “Amendment 10” states that people hold this right then this should be respected; so if the people of Oregon want this law passed then it should be done (The Lectric Law Library, n. d. ).

References

Death with Dignity National Center. (2005). Timeline for Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law. Retrieved November 5, 2008 from http://www. deathwithdignity. org/news/news/aptimeline. 08. 29. 05. asp The Lectric Law Library. (n. d. ). Tenth Amendment. Retrieved November 5, 2008 from http://www. lectlaw. com/def2/t065. htm