Susan Machler


This Comment will focus on the constitutional and common law backgrounds of suicide and the right to refuse medical treatment, the need for well-articulated policies on right-todie issues, and a possible legislative solution that will balance the needs of dying individuals with society's interest in preventing abuse. Until we develop policies regarding physician- assisted suicide, we are leaving the needs and the protection of the dying to "people with pipes." We are leaving policymaking to whomever wins the battle between a doctor who invents suicide machines and a prosecutor who wants to put the doctor in jail for an act that is not a crime. We are leaving the resolution of the euthanasia question to do-it-yourself books and physicians who practice euthanasia underground.