Trump’s SCOTUS pick and ‘death with dignity’ legislation

Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the vacant Supreme Court position, knows more about euthanasia and assisted suicide than most judges. The 49-year-old federal appeals court judge from Colorado even wrote the de facto research book on the legal and ethical issues, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, in 2006.

In his book, Gorsuch makes no bones about his views: “All human beings are intrinsically valuable, and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong,” he wrote. “We have all witnessed, as well, family, friends, or medical workers who have chosen to provide years of loving care to persons who may suffer from Alzheimer’s or other debilitating illnesses precisely because they are human persons, not because doing so instrumentally advances some other hidden objective.”

But the subject person-directed death for those with terminal illnesses has gained traction in recent years. Five states have legalized some form of death with dignity legislation, including Gorsuch’s home state of Colorado. This increases the probability that the Supreme Court will see more requests for hearings and perhaps even decisions that are national in scope, notes a Washington Post article.

“Far from definitively resolving the assisted suicide issue,” he wrote in his book, “the court’s decisions seem to assure that the debate over assisted suicide and euthanasia is not yet over—and may have only begun.”

Gorsuch has been nominated to fill the seat once held by Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate confirmation hearings are expected to take place in the next six to eight weeks.

Topics: Advocacy , Alzheimer's/Dementia , Executive Leadership