This Article will examine the Ninth Circuit's appeal to personal dignity and autonomy to justify a constitutional right of assisted suicide in the face of pluralist opposition, that is, a law duly enacted by a majority of elected representatives in a state or by the people directly. Scrutiny of the Ninth Circuit's decision will reveal the formidable jurisprudential obstacles to basing a right to assisted suicide on dignity and autonomy, obstacles the Supreme Court refused to overcome in revoking Compassion in Dying. This examination is divided into three parts: the first analyzes attempts to justify rights on the principle of liberty, to which autonomy and dignity reduce; the second focuses specifically on the Ninth Circuit's attempt to ground a right to assisted suicide on this principle; and the third examines three responses to the challenge that pluralism presents to the Ninth Circuit's decision.
John P. Safranek and Stephen J. Safranek, Assisted Suicide: The State versus The People, 21 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 261 (1997).