Ruling opens door for voluntary euthanasia

"Today's Supreme Court ruling, which rejects a federal attempt to override Oregon's assisted-suicide law, shows the urgent need for a national prohibition against this form of killing," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. "The taking of an innocent human being's life, no matter what a person's physical or mental state may be, is always wrong."

In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government's authority to regulate doctors does not supersede an Oregon law permitting assisted suicide for "seriously ill people." Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia all dissented on the ruling.

"Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons," said Sedlak. "Assisting a person to kill himself is, in fact, euthanasia. It is morally unacceptable."

"At its core, this ruling removes all protections for the lives of all persons in Oregon whose doctors predict they have less than six months to live," said Sedlak. "While the current case involves voluntary euthanasia, it is just another step toward forced euthanasia."

Sedlak contends that this decision will have a major impact on the euthanasia debate in the United States. "Unfortunately, today's ruling will likely be used as another vehicle to further the culture of death."

Release issued: 17 Jan 06