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Won U.S. Supreme Court

Vacco v. Quill

We are seeing health care facilities and medical professionals attempt to 'play God' by offering physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia to patients.


The state of New York has prohibited assisted suicide since 1965. But In 1994, three physicians sued the state, claiming that the ban violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

The district court upheld the ban, but the appellate court sided with the physicians and found the ban unconstitutional. Alliance Defending Freedom provided strategic support and funding and coordinated briefs standing against assisted suicide at the Supreme Court.

In 1997, the Supreme Court decided to review this case and a similar case, Washington v. Glucksberg, challenging Washington’s ban on assisted suicide.

Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld both the New York and Washington bans, holding that there is no constitutional “right” to assisted suicide. In the Glucksberg opinion, the Court articulated the importance of protecting the most vulnerable human lives and reinforcing state policy that the terminally ill, disabled, and elderly are “no less valued than the lives of the young and healthy.”

Case Documents

U.S. Supreme Court