In this Article, I present key practical implications that the attorney and health care providers need to consider. I also present implications for public policy. I do not take a stand in the Article for or against physician-assisted suicide, either morally, ethically, or legally. Other articles in this Review and numerous other professional publications do. Instead, this Article begins the discussion of procedures for health care providers in an environment of legal physician-assisted suicide. An attorney who advises legal review of proposed procedures for handling physician-assisted suicide requests will serve the health care provider well. The procedures must meet the requirements of a number of statutes and regulations including those related to the Natural Death Act, health care information disclosure, and informed consent. The law that legalizes physician-assisted suicide will also impose requirements. The public is split widely on the issue and extreme views are often adamantly held. In advising the client, an attorney should assume that a death by physician-assisted suicide may cause controversy, legal action by relatives of the deceased or others who consider themselves to be parties of interest, and even public comment or demonstration.
Donald E. Spencer, Ed.D., Practical Implications for Health Care Providers in a Physician-Assisted Suicide Environment, 18 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 545 (1995).