While we all die eventually, most states do not give us the option to end our lives on our own terms under certain dire circumstances (such as terminal illness). Euthanasia -- intentionally taking someone's life in order to end their suffering, usually associated with terminal illness -- is technically illegal in all states. A few states do allow physician-assisted suicide, however, in which the doctor prescribes lethal drugs that allow the patient to die on their own terms and without pain.
Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: A Divisive Issue
The debate over euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide involves several different aspects of medicine, religion, ethics, and law. Some doctor's groups oppose it because of perceived violations of the Hippocratic Oath, and others oppose it for similar reasons they may object to abortion. If you live in a state such as Kansas that doesn't provide the option of assisted suicide, you may choose to not be kept alive through artificial means by signing a living will.
Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide in Kansas in Brief
It is a felony to assist another with their own suicide, regardless of lack of malicious intent, punishable by up to six months in prison. Withholding artificial respiration upon request of the patient (often through an advance directive) does not violate Kansas law.
Additional details of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia laws in Kansas are listed below.
|Code Sections||65-28,108; 65-28,109; 21-5407|
|Euthanasia Condoned in Statutes?||Nothing in this act shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying.|
|Charge / Penalty for Assisting Suicide||
Assisting someone take their own life (such as providing the means or participating in the act): Felony, severity level 9 (up to 6 months in prison)
|Effect of Withholding of Life-Sustaining Procedures||Acting in accordance with the Natural Death Act shall not for any purpose constitute a suicide or the crime of assisting suicide.|
Note: State laws are not carved in stone and may change at any time, usually through the legislative process but sometimes through the courts (either state or federal). You may want to contact a Kansas health care law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Kansas Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.