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  1. #1
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    High Court Weighs in on Assisted Suicide

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    WASHINGTON - The Bush administration pressed the Supreme Court on Wednesday to block doctors from helping terminally ill patients end their lives, arguing that Oregon's law allowing physician-assisted suicide violates federal drug laws.

    Justice Sandra Day O'Connor immediately challenged Clement, asking if federal drug laws also prevented doctors from participating in the execution of murderers.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy said he found it "odd" that the attorney general determined physician-assisted suicide to be an abuse of drug laws, when the state of Oregon strictly limited how the drugs could be administered and in what cases.

    The case before the Supreme Court is Gonzales v. Oregon, 04-623.
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  2. #2
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    More at link

    Top court seems closely divided on suicide law

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court seemed closely split on Wednesday on whether the Bush administration can stop doctors from helping terminally ill patients take their own lives under the nation's only physician-assisted suicide law.
    During arguments, the justices sharply questioned both sides on whether then-Attorney General John Ashcroft had the power under federal law in 2001 to bar distribution of controlled drugs to assist suicides, regardless of state law.

    The Oregon law, called the Death with Dignity Act, was twice approved by the state's voters. The only state law in the country allowing physician-assisted suicide, it has been used by 208 people since it took effect in 1997.


    t was the first major case that new Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative jurist named by President George W. Bush, has heard since his confirmation late last week.

    Several justices appeared sympathetic to Oregon's arguments that regulation of doctors and medicine has traditionally been left to the states rather than the federal government.
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