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Michigan Euthanasia Laws

Mercy killing is the intentional taking of a life for the purpose of ending that person's suffering. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of mercy killing and whether or not it should be legal. The debate involves many aspects of law, religion, medical and social sciences.

Helping someone who no longer wants to live end their life is called "euthanasia," or mercy killing, and is illegal in most states. Oregon, for example, explicitly allows physician-assisted suicide under certain conditions.

Jack Kevorkian And Euthanasia

Physician-assisted suicide and active euthanasia are topics of contentious debate in Michigan. After Dr. Jack Kevorkian assisted in a number of highly publicized suicides, the state legislature established the Michigan Commission on Death and Dying to study the issue and recommend legislation.

Recall, Kevorkian was a retired pathologist from Michigan, made international headlines when he undertook a well publicized assisted-suicide campaign between 1990 and 1998 that reportedly ended the lives of approximately 130 people.

Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court has determined that no right exists for physician-assisted suicide. However, states are free to enact laws to permit it.

Michigan Euthanasia Laws

Michigan euthanasia law is now limited to the designation of a patient advocate who -- in accordance with a living will -- may request that the patient be removed from artificial life support.

Can The Federal Government Fund Euthanasia?

No, In 1997 President William Jefferson Clinton signed the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997. The act banned the funding of assisted suicide through Medicaid, Medicare, military and federal employee health plans, veterans' health care systems and other federally funded programs.

It also prohibited the use of taxpayer funds to subsidize legal assistance or other advocacy in support of legal protection for assisted suicide.

Learn more about Michigan euthanasia laws (or the lack thereof) and related matters below. See FindLaw's Patient Rights Basics section for more related materials.

Code Section 333.5660
Euthanasia Condoned in Statutes? Designation of a patient advocate shall not be construed to condone, allow, permit, authorize, or approve suicide or homicide.
Effect of Withholding of Life-Sustaining Procedures -

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Michigan health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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