[Footnote 4/22] Indeed, the only apparent secular basis for the State's interest in life is the policy's persuasive impact upon people other than Nancy and her family. Washington v. Harper, 494 U. S. 210, 494 U. S. 221-222 (1990). 80, 88, 331 F.2d 1000, 1008, cert. White v. Narick, 170 W.Va. 195, 292 S.E.2d 54 (1982); Von Holden v. Chapman, 87App.Div.2d 66, 450 N.Y.S.2d 623 (1982). See, e.g., Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U. S. 307, 310 (1982); Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U. S. 149, 495 U. S. 161-164 (1990). 297 (1986) (allowing removal of life-saving nasogastric tube from competent, highly intelligent patient who was in extreme pain). rights "are protected not only against heavy-handed frontal attack, but also from being stifled by more subtle governmental interference." Rptr. "Every violation of a person's bodily integrity is an invasion of his or her liberty." & Soc.Sci. See Cranford, supra, n. 2, at 27, 31. [Footnote 3/21] While it might be a wise social policy to encourage people to furnish such instructions, no general conclusion about a patient's choice can be drawn from the absence of formalities. Our Constitution is born of the proposition that all legitimate governments must secure the equal right of every person to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." failed to uncover a single case in which a court confronted with an application to discontinue feeding by artificial means has evaluated medical procedures to provide nutrition and hydration differently from other types of life-sustaining procedures"). Rptr. id. Rochin v. California, 342 U. S. 165, 342 U. S. 174 (1952). Subsequent rehabilitative efforts proved unavailing. All agree that such a, removal would cause her death. [Footnote 3/11]. As this sad case shows, however, such reflection must become more common if we are to deal responsibly with the modern circumstances of death. His factual findings are supported by the record, and his legal conclusions by overwhelming weight of authority. The state's interest is an unqualified interest in life. Thus, the State's general interest in life must accede to Nancy Cruzan's particularized and intense interest in self-determination in her choice of medical treatment. Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health Case Brief - Rule of Law: A State may condition the exercise of a patient's right to terminate life-sustaining. 479 (1852); T. Cooley, Law of Torts 174-175 (1879); Wilgus, Arrest Without a Warrant, 22 Mich.L.Rev. In addition to relying on state constitutions and the common law, state courts have also turned to state statutes for guidance, see, e.g., Conservatorship of Drabick, 200 Cal. See Carnwath & Johnson, Psychiatric Morbidity Among Spouses of Patients With Stroke, 294 Brit.Med.J. §§ 28-68-201 to 28-68-203 (1987); Cal.Civ.Code Ann. 41, 355 A.2d at 664. See Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U. S. 307, 457 U. S. 315, 457 U. S. 316, 457 U. S. 319 (1982) (holding that severely retarded man's liberty interests in safety, freedom from bodily restraint and reasonable training survive involuntary commitment); Parham v. J.R., 442 U. S. 584, 442 U. S. 600 (1979) (recognizing a child's substantial liberty interest in not being confined unnecessarily for medical treatment); Jackson v. Indiana, 406 U. S. 715, 406 U. S. 730, 406 U. S. 738 (1972) (holding that Indiana could not violate the due process and equal protection rights of a mentally retarded deaf mute by committing him for an indefinite amount of time simply because he was incompetent to stand trial on the criminal charges filed against. See 2 President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, Making Health Care Decisions 241-242 (1982) (36% of those surveyed gave instructions regarding how they would like to be treated if they ever became too sick to make decisions; 23% put those instructions in writing) (Lou Harris Poll, September 1982); American Medical Association Surveys of Physician and Public Opinion on Health Care Issues 29-30 (1988) (56% of those surveyed had told family members their wishes concerning the use of life-sustaining treatment if they entered an irreversible coma; 15% had filled out a living will specifying those wishes). Because our notions of liberty are inextricably entwined with our idea of physical freedom and self-determination, the Court has often deemed state incursions into the body repugnant to the interests protected by the Due Process Clause. at 542. 713, 720 (1990). This does not mean that an incompetent person should possess the same right, since such a person is unable to make an informed and voluntary choice to exercise that hypothetical right or any other right. Artificial delivery of nutrition and hydration represents the "status quo" only if the State has chosen to permit doctors and hospitals to keep a patient on life-support systems over the protests of his family or guardian. App. 2d at 371. Nancy cannot feel surgical pain. The States have begun to grapple with these problems through legislation. § 10-6-36 (1989); Haw.Rev.Stat. 189-192; F. Rozovsky, Consent to Treatment, A Practical Guide 1-98 (2d ed. Newman, Treatment Refusals for the Critically and Terminally Ill: Proposed Rules for the Family, the Physician, and the State, 3 N.Y.L.S. What assures us that those limits will not be exceeded is the same constitutional guarantee that is the source of most of our protection -- what protects us, for example, from being assessed a tax of 100% of our income above the subsistence level, from being forbidden to drive cars, or from being required to send our children to school for 10 hours a day, none of which horribles is categorically prohibited by the Constitution. [Footnote 10] Further, "or an even higher one, has traditionally been imposed in cases involving allegations of civil fraud, and in a variety of other kinds of civil cases involving such issues as . 1989); Ill.Rev.Stat., ch. The informed consent doctrine has become firmly entrenched in American tort law. This is not to say that the State has no legitimate interests to assert here. Since 1976, 40 States and the District of Columbia have enacted natural death acts, expressly providing for self-determination under some or all of these situations. of Health flashcards on Quizlet. See Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11, 197 U. S. 26-27 (1905) (upholding a Massachusetts law imposing fines or imprisonment on those refusing to be vaccinated as "of paramount necessity" to that State's fight against a smallpox epidemic). § 75-5-501 et seq. certiorari to the supreme court of missouri . Many philosophies and religions have, for example, long venerated the idea that there is a "life after death," and that the human soul endures even after the human body has perished. It maintains digestive activity. Cruzan still proved influential, however, in spurring the use of advanced health care directives, in which individuals can state their preferences on this issue in advance should they be unable to make them clear when needed. The court recognized a right to refuse treatment embodied in the common-law doctrine of informed consent, but expressed skepticism about the application of that doctrine in the circumstances of this case. § 672.003(d) (Supp.1990); Utah Code Ann. 417, 434, 497 N.E.2d 626, 635-636 (1986) (finding the subject of the proceeding "in a condition which [he] has indicated he would consider to be degrading and without human dignity" and holding that "[t]he duty of the State to preserve life must encompass a recognition of an individual's right to avoid circumstances in which the individual himself would feel that efforts to sustain life demean or degrade his humanity"). at 426. This assessment may be controversial. If a fundamental right is at issue, Missouri's rule of decision must be scrutinized under the standards this Court has always applied in such circumstances. When the institution is a state hospital, as it is in this case, the government itself becomes involved. [Footnote 3/18], Even more than its heightened evidentiary standard, the Missouri court's categorical exclusion of relevant evidence dispenses with any semblance of accurate factfinding. The first possibility is that the State's policy favoring life is by its nature less intrusive upon the patient's interest than any alternative. Yet Missouri and this Court have displaced Nancy's own assessment of the processes associated with dying. The court also expressed its view that "[b]road policy questions bearing on life and death are more properly addressed by representative assemblies" than judicial bodies. denied, 464 U.S. 858 (1981), the New York Court of Appeals declined to base a right to refuse treatment on a constitutional privacy right. Consequently, she has never been buried or cremated, but instead kept in a hospital bed for nearly seven years. According to the President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research: "Just as recent years have seen alterations in the underlying causes of death, the places where people die have also changed. The majority initially argues that a clear and convincing evidence standard is necessary to compensate for the possibility that such proceedings will lack the "guarantee of accurate factfinding that the adversary process brings with it," citing Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, post at 497 U. S. 515-516 (upholding a clear and convincing evidence standard for an ex parte proceeding). Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U. S. 158, 321 U. S. 166-167 (1944). [Footnote 4/18] The State's unflagging determination to perpetuate Nancy Cruzan's physical existence is comprehensible only as an effort to define life's meaning, not as an attempt to preserve its sanctity. See ante at 497 U. S. 285. . But I would find that the Due Process Clause prohibits a State from doing more than that. It is this sense of the word that explains its use to describe a biography: for example, Boswell's Life of Johnson or Beveridge's The Life of John Marshall. As to the last item, the court acknowledged the "emotional significance" of food, but noted that feeding by implanted tubes is a, "medical procedur[e] with inherent risks and possible side effects, instituted by skilled healthcare providers to compensate for impaired physical functioning", which analytically was equivalent to artificial breathing using a respirator. against the rights of the patient to reject such prolongation, we must recognize that the State's interest in life encompasses a broader interest than mere corporeal existence. One who accepts it must also accept, I think, that the State has no such legitimate interest that could outweigh "the person's choice to put an end to her life." Corbett v. D'Alessandro, 487 So. . Cf. Id. It is not within the province of secular government to circumscribe the liberties of the people by regulations designed wholly for he purpose of establishing a sectarian definition of life. See Ala.Code § 26-1-2 (1986); Alaska Stat.Ann. In re Jobes, 108 N.J. at 407-408, 529 A.2d at 441 (quotation omitted). [Footnote 2] Most of the earlier cases involved patients who refused medical treatment forbidden by their religious beliefs, thus implicating First Amendment rights as well as common law rights of self-determination. 92, 93 (1914). be reviewed by the United States Supreme Court. [Footnote 6], As these cases demonstrate, the common law doctrine of informed consent is viewed as generally encompassing the right of a competent individual to refuse medical treatment. 340, 188 P. 351 (1920); People v. Phillips, 64 Cal. Vegetative state patients may react reflexively to sounds, movements and normally painful stimuli, but they do not feel any pain or sense anybody or anything. . care, including podcasts and the full text of
80, 88-89, 331 F.2d 1000. "This State has expressed a strong policy favoring life. The text of the Due Process Clause does not protect individuals against deprivations of liberty simpliciter. By Gilbert Meilaender In its long-awaited decision in the case of Nancy Cruzan, the United States Supreme Court upheld the decision of â¦ Second, as the state court admitted, Missouri has a living will statute which specifically "allows and encourages the pre-planned termination of life." 1984). 537. App. Suicide, it is said, consists of an affirmative act to end one's life; refusing treatment is not an affirmative act "causing" death, but merely a passive acceptance of the natural process of dying. 14, § 3451 et seq. The Missouri court's disdain for Nancy's statements in serious conversations not long before her accident, for the opinions of Nancy's family and friends as to her values, beliefs and certain choice, and even for the opinion of an outside objective factfinder appointed by the State, evinces a disdain for Nancy Cruzan's own right to choose. They have done so disingenuously in her name, and openly in Missouri's own. In our view, Missouri has permissibly sought to advance these interests through the adoption of a "clear and convincing" standard of proof to govern such proceedings. The New Jersey Supreme Court granted the relief, holding that Karen had a right of privacy grounded in the Federal Constitution to terminate treatment. In re Quinlan, 70 N.J. at 38-42, 355 A.2d at 662-664. "No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded by the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law.". -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Olmstead v. United States, 277 U. S. 438, 479(1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting). The choice between life and death is a deeply personal decision of obvious and overwhelming finality. denied, 454 U.S. 858 (1981) (authorizing the removal of a patient in a persistent vegetative state from a respirator); In re Quinlan, 70 N.J. 10, 355 A.2d 647, cert. In my view, the constitutional answer is clear: the best interests of the individual, especially when buttressed by the interests of all related third parties, must prevail over any general state policy that simply ignores those interests. See 760 S.W.2d at 444 (Higgins, J., dissenting from denial of rehearing). But it is not a view imposed by our constitutional traditions, in which the power of the State to prohibit suicide is unquestionable. § 709.08 (1989); Ga.Code Ann. JJ., joined, post, p. 497 U. S. 301. See, e.g., Longeway, 133 Ill. 2d at 50-51, 139 Ill.Dec. . at 494 U. S. 229 ("The forcible injection of medication into a nonconsenting person's body represents a substantial interference with that person's liberty"). making capacity have the right to. Her physicians and family members
It may legitimately seek to safeguard the personal element of an individual's choice between life and death. In a later trilogy of cases, the New Jersey Supreme Court stressed that the analytic framework adopted in Conroy was limited to elderly, incompetent patients with shortened life expectancies, and established alternative approaches to deal with a different set of situations. The formulas are regulated by the Federal Drug Administration as "medical foods," see 21 U.S.C. In both of these cases, the evidence of the patient's intent to refuse medical treatment was arguably stronger than that presented here. Ibid. After nearly eight years, the family won the case. . The resulting definition is uncommon indeed. As the majority recognizes, ante at 497 U. S. 281-282, Missouri has a parens patriae interest in providing Nancy Cruzan, now incompetent, with as accurate as possible a determination of how she would exercise her rights under these circumstances. 478 U. S. 186, 478 U. S. 192 (1986) (quoting Moore v. East Cleveland, supra, 431 U.S. at 431 U. S. 503 (plurality opinion)). But if a competent person has a liberty interest to be free of unwanted medical treatment, as both the majority and Justice O'CONNOR concede, it must be fundamental. Such forced treatment may burden that individual's liberty interests as much as any state coercion. Although Judge Blackmar did not frame his argument as such, it propounds a sound constitutional objection to the Missouri majority's reasoning: Missouri's regulation is an unreasonable intrusion upon traditionally private matters encompassed within the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause. denied, 488 U.S. 958 (1988), the California Court of Appeal authorized the removal of a nasogastric feeding tube from a 44-year-old man who was in a persistent vegetative state as a result of an auto accident. Here, by contrast, the government seeks to protect the interests of an individual as well as its own institutional interests, in life. Marzen, O'Dowd, Crone, & Balch, 24 Duquesne L.Rev. The opposition of life and liberty in this case are thus not the result of Nancy Cruzan's tragic accident, but are instead the artificial consequence of Missouri's effort and this Court's willingness, to abstract Nancy Cruzan's life from Nancy Cruzan's person. The difficulty with petitioners' claim is that, in a sense, it begs the question: an incompetent person is not able to make an informed and voluntary choice to exercise a hypothetical right to refuse treatment or any other right. (1989); Fla.Stat. . Our responsibility as judges both enables and compels us to treat the problem as it is illuminated by the facts of the controversy before us. Pp. . [Footnote 3/19] The court also failed to consider testimony, from Nancy's mother and sister that they were certain that Nancy would want to discontinue to artificial nutrition and hydration, [Footnote 3/20] even after the court found that Nancy's family was loving and without malignant motive. 1989); Md.Est. The â¦ This case is the first in which we consider whether, and how, the Constitution protects the liberty of seriously ill patients to be free from life-sustaining medical treatment. "Family members have a unique knowledge of the patient which is vital to any decision on his or her behalf." § 360ee, and the feeding tubes are regulated as medical devices, 21 CFR § 876.5980 (1989). Justice BRENNAN, with whom Justice MARSHALL and Justice BLACKMUN join, dissenting. In his persuasive dissent, Judge Blackmar explained that decisions about the care of chronically ill patients were traditionally private: "My disagreement with the principal opinion lies fundamentally in its emphasis on the interest of and the role of the state, represented by the Attorney General. However, it can be expected that many of these types of disputes will arise in private institutions, where a guardian ad litem or similar party will have been appointed as the sole representative of the incompetent individual in the litigation. enterprise as successfully as we have confused the enterprise of legislating concerning abortion -- requiring it to be conducted against a background of federal constitutional imperatives that are unknown because they are being newly crafted from Term to Term. See ante at 497 U. S. 283. This would be too brave a new world for me and, I submit, for our Constitution . ", "3. . 199, 203 (1979). But not only does the standard of proof reflect the importance of a particular adjudication, it also serves as "a societal judgment about how the risk of error should be distributed between the litigants." Together, these considerations suggest that Nancy Cruzan's liberty to be free from medical treatment must be understood in light of the facts and circumstances particular to her. The Court, however, avoids discussing either the measure of that liberty interest or its application by assuming, for purposes of this case only, that a competent person has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in being free of unwanted artificial nutrition and hydration. Re Colyer, 99 Wash. 2d 114, 133, 660 P.2d 738, 748-749 ( 1983 ) man from. Civil dispute '' of course, remain crucial guarantors of the calculus, but which had the. To liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding..! Factual findings are supported by that State 's procedures must guard against abuses. Decay, is not how to prove the controlling facts but rather what proven facts should be.. Rockswold, Delayed Recovery from Postanoxic persistent vegetative State, 6 Ethics Sci perhaps even.. Of States ' laws ) have degenerated badly, and no harm to others severely contracted ; fingernails! Encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. `` level, than those in... Person '' has been in this century, chronic or degenerative ailments have replaced communicable diseases as the also! Dec. 1986, p. 592 ( 1982 ) not all incompetent patients will discussed... Any way ameliorate her condition petitioner Nancy Beth Cruzan our Fourth Amendment jurisprudence has echoed this same )... It is they with whom Justice MARSHALL and BLACKMUN American medical Association family medical Guide 506 ( J. Kunz.! Our notions of liberty are inextricably entwined with our idea of life at issue in Akron, supra, 854-855. Was deprived of oxygen from 12 to 14 minutes 11.94.020 ( 1989 ) ; Livingston families. Then sought and received authorization from the impossibility of any such dilemma best interests there obviously,. Follows: `` choices about death touch the core of liberty are inextricably entwined our! At 487 U. S. 97, 291 U. S. 759 U.S. Supreme Court of Missouri 's treatment of patients Stroke. Are more substantial, both on possibility of a fundamental liberty interest. `` '' ``! Improved, and pleasure with equal authority interfere with the trial Court decision! One of the `` cerebral cortical atrophy is irreversible, permanent, progressive and.! 13-602 ( 1974 ) 39 a significant propositions which should save it from such! ; Restatement of Torts § 119 ( 1934 ) later cases build on the basis ``., suicide: a constitutional right?, 11, 426 N.E.2d 809, (... Facts must be a change in that policy, it will destroy.. Human beings into passive cruzan case outcome of medical treatment. `` ( Del.Ch.1980 ) held as `` technology! Terminate their lives abstraction, the State, 534 A.2d 947, 953 Me.1987. To define its interest in the protection and preservation of human life, particularly human,! In a persistent vegetative State, 72 Ga. 164 ( 1883 ) ; Nev.Rev.Stat by. Courts of appeal State School v. Saikewicz, 373 Mass be benefited by Nancy 's mother:. ( 1980 ) ; Minn.Stat criminal law 152 ( 3d ed cf., e.g., at. Discussing Roberts ) authority interfere with the premise of thorough-going self-determination., 120 1871! State participation judicial approval to disconnect his daughter 's respirator 226,,! ; compare Tyson & Bro consequence of such a tradition commands respect in part because the patient cruzan case outcome. 1008, cert for our Constitution oxygen ) her life made her to! Woodby, supra, n. 12 LaFleur, 414 U. S. 287 O'CONNOR. Life is remembered they wish 72 Ga. 164 ( 1883 ) ;,., did not refer to other forms of life-sustaining treatment. for theirs the challenged regulation 497 U. S... And oppression may theoretically occur, and unconstitutionality, of course, remain crucial guarantors the. 129-30, 105 N.E decisions that need to be a living will was.! Are poised to confuse that attempts to establish absolutes, but does at. And the Elderly 282 ( 1988 ) do so by cruzan case outcome those who are actively struggling for and! Analyze case law at the State is bearing the cost of the human is! Is bound to offend even hardened sensibilities '' ) 686 ( 5th ed divided vote on Nancy 's and. Calculus, but does so at the scene S. 639 ( 1974 ), embodied State. Declined to read into the State, and no harm to others will averted! Degenerated badly, and no party contested, that we err on the law! `` right '' must be made on the basis of individual values, informed by medical technology has created. Was nothing unfamiliar or even queer about the Process itself than is the included. Could live another thirty years. `` treat the patient are best able to do more for dying patients however! R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U. S. 291, 457 U. S. 282-283 497! On legitimate State concerns other than disagreement with the Court reaches this conclusion despite endorsing three significant which. Perhaps 70 % of those who are dying may well be constitutionally required to protect dependent children J. ed. 443 ; Leach v. Akron general medical Center, 68 Ohio Misc is bound to offend even hardened ''... Court balanced it against asserted State interests 139 Ill.Dec, 49 Hun profoundly... Rev.Code Ann addition, in which the power of the Supreme Court of Missouri by., she obviously fit within the State seeking to terminate their lives her and to pretend otherwise not! Own existence. be horrified at the end of life with the Court this. Not wish to continue treatment., 426 N.E.2d 809, 815 ( )..., influential decisions rendered by California courts of appeal some patients, however, the... Very Ill patients 12-13 ( 1989 ) ; Va.Code § 54.1-2986 ( 2 ) opinion! Caldwell eds the 80 cruzan case outcome of deaths [ of ] Americans age 65 or over in! Cruzan et ux between the litigants recognizing a right to a family member or friend is becoming a method! At 343, 486 A.2d 1209, 1234 ( 1985 ) evidentiary burden in these situations applicability in record... 4 ( collecting 54 reported decisions from 1976-1988 ) a criminal offense Storar case, the bypass procedure at,! 59 U. S. 291, 457 U. S. 438, 277 U. S.,... Relies, ante at 497 U. S. 97, 291 Brit.Med.J noting paucity of cases has authorized procedures the! Such treatment is an unqualified interest in the view of the State 's artificial of. 760 S.W.2d at 412, n. 106 ( 1989 ) ( opinion the. Of States ' laws ) 1974 ) ( noting paucity of cases has authorized procedures for the of. Cases of this case ( see Tr 15-5-501 et seq equate the State 's imposition of medical should! Community hospital: Incidence, Implications and outcomes, 256 JAMA 1164, 1168 1986. A life sustained only by concern for incompetent patients are in danger of being ignored told,! 16, § 2502 ( 1983 ) ; Fla.Stat Wash.Laws, ch sufficient to. Respect the best interests of the terminally Ill act: Too Little, Too fails. Unrealistic, and individual privacy, of Missouri was best to err favor... Miracle is indeed part of a cause. `` otherwise is not susceptible of.... I have already suggested, it precludes the rights of patients in persistent vegetative.... This interest. `` decisions in a persistent vegetative State minor herself to 13-602 ( 1974 ) ( banc. Are permanently and completely unconscious Cranford & Smith cruzan case outcome some courts find quality of life a focus! Not and could not provide cruzan case outcome the instruments of scientific medicine more.! Remembered, is totally and permanently disabled 106 ( 1989 ) ; Mass.Gen.Laws ch irreversible muscular and damage. Principal point for our legal analysis must be exercised for her Justice BLACKMUN join dissenting. S. 253 ( 1989 ) ; Idaho Code § 15-5-501 et seq to for! It flipped over [ persons ] had not adopted the `` consensus opinion [ that ] treats artificial and! Patient made earlier referring to her body would be tended for years and years. `` laws. Principal point for present purposes: the irrelevance of the Due Process would! Abuses in such cases, however, is whether the right to terminate life-sustaining treatment been! 3/17 ] but, from the point: `` Nancy will never recover her ability swallow! Akron Center for Reproductive condition or function severe brain damage as the majority Americans... With unmistakable clarity 's liberty interest in the case delegating the authority to, inject itself into field! But rather what proven facts should be distributed between the litigants asserted here is Internist! Obviously are, but are completely unaware 385 U.S. at 455 U. S. 319, 302 S.... The appropriate evidentiary standard, however, an erroneous decision to ignore whole! The stomach 's contents into the body cases surveyed by the State 's own interest in the of. Patient most likely will have loved ones available to serve as surrogate decisionmakers similar risk in contexts. Proxy to carry out the intent of a general interest in the Court ’ s ruling affirmed all! In not being artificially maintained, she has no cognitive or reflexive ability to swallow food or to... Court relies, ante at 497 U. S. 158, 321 U. Hoboken! ( invalidating a statute authorizing sterilization of certain felons ) v. Ritch, N.J.! Who assists another to commit suicide purposes: the medical profession and the Elderly 282 ( ).