How Does Assisted Suicide Work?

A guide to “Death With Dignity” in Oregon.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 that Attorney General John Ashcroft exceeded his authority in devising sanctions for doctors who abided by Oregon’s assisted-suicide laws. In October, Daniel Engber explained how the state’s assisted-suicide system works: “According to Oregon’s ‘Death With Dignity’ law, only certain people can ask for lethal medication from their doctors. You must be at least 18 years old, an Oregon resident, and the victim of a terminal disease that will kill you within the next six months. You also have to be able to make and communicate a clearheaded decision to your doctor.”