Document Type



Criminal Law | Health Law and Policy


This essay, a revised version of the United States report on Euthanasia to be presented at the XVII International Congress of Comparative Law, surveys the state of the law, both decisional and statutory, on the permissibility of compassionately motivated actions to terminate human life. It deals with a range of legal categories: suicide, attempted suicide, euthanasia, assisted suicide and the termination of life-sustaining treatment. It highlights the deeply ambivalent attitudes held toward these actions in contemporary America and how this ambivalence has resulted in obscure and artificial distinctions.