Assisted Suicide: A Tough Pill to Swallow Academic Article uri icon


  • The first part of this Comment will present the historical and theological views towards suicide. This background material will be helpful in understanding present-day society's response to the assisted suicide debate by tracing many of the condemnations back through common law development. The second portion of this Comment will focus on the current status of the assisted suicide debate. Although most courts have passed on the issue" and most legislatures do not have laws addressing assisted suicide, there is a great deal of activity shaping the legal future of this topic. This section emphasizes the importance of key nonlegal players in the assisted suicide debate and comments on two legislative attempts at legalizing euthanasia. Finally, this section closes with observations of a past euthanasia program when physicians were, in essence, "assisting" unwanted suicides. The third section of this Comment attempts to present the existing statutory and case authority analogous to assisted suicide. By focusing on the laws and cases that address the issues analogous to the right to die, the author hopes that this Comment will facilitate the formulation of a hypothesis as to where the courts and legislatures are traveling, and where they might proceed if they continue upon their current path.

published proceedings

  • Pepperdine Law Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Penrose, M. M

complete list of authors

  • Penrose, Mary Margaret

publication date

  • March 1993