Besides taxes, the only sure thing in life is death. But the vast majority of states do not permit individuals to take their own lives with the help of a physician when facing a terminal illness. Despite some confusion, the terms euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are not synonymous. While euthanasia refers to actively taking someone's life as an act of mercy, assisted suicide involves the prescribing of lethal drugs for self-administration by the patient.
Euthanasia is illegal in all states, but some allow physician-assisted suicide in certain situations, typically when the patient only has a limited life expectancy. Terminally ill patients may forego life-preserving treatments such as feeding tubes if indicated in a living will.
Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide in New Hampshire at a Glance
Like the majority of U.S. states, New Hampshire prohibits assisted suicide, although health care directives and living wills allow for the natural process of dying. Assisting another person with suicide can result in as much as seven years in prison.
Additional details of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia laws in New Hampshire are listed below.
|Code Section||137-H:10, 13; N.H. Rev. Stat. § 630:4
|Euthanasia Condoned in Statutes?||Euthanasia, mercy killing, or assisted suicide are not condoned or authorized by New Hampshire law. Nor does New Hampshire law permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying of those in a terminal or permanently unconscious condition.|
|Charge and Penalty for Assisting Another's Suicide||Causing or aiding suicide is a class B felony (3.5 - 7 yrs. in prison, fine of up to $2,000) if the actor's conduct causes such suicide or an attempted suicide. Otherwise it is a misdemeanor.|
|Effect of Withholding of Life-Sustaining Procedures||Withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining procedures from a patient according to living will or consistent with 137-H:3 shall not be construed as suicide for any legal purpose.|
Note: State laws may change at any time through the decisions of higher courts, the enactment of newly signed legislation, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you should also contact a New Hampshire health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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New Hampshire Euthanasia Laws: Related Resources
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