A request by two doctors seeking to
prescribe lethal medication to mentally competent terminal patients who asked
for help to die has been rejected by a Connecticut Superior Court judge.
Judge Julia Aurigemma declared that a state
law prohibiting assisting suicide applied to physicians helping dying patients
to end their lives. The issue should be solved by the legislature not the
The doctors’ contention was that helping
terminally ill patients end their lives was “aid in dying” rather than suicide.
Suicide was a choice of whether or not to die, whereas aid in dying involved a
choice of when a patient should die, and how much pain and suffering the
patient should experience first.
Kathryn Tucker, legal director for US
end-of-life care advocacy group Compassion & Choices, said it was “a bit
perplexing” that Aurigemma’s ruling addressed the merits of the case, despite
the fact that the plaintiffs had not been able to fully argue on those merits.
~ Hartford Courant,