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Home » Turner Law Offices Blog » Court Rules Against Assisted Suicide in Tennessee

Court Rules Against Assisted Suicide in Tennessee

assisted-suicide-tn-no“Assisted suicide” is a practice in which doctors prescribe lethal doses of painkillers to terminal patients in order to provide a quick death instead of a long, drawn out period of suffering and expenses for both patients and their loved ones.

There are some states that allow for assisted suicide: Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Montana are four of them. But Tennessee is not — much to the despair of former Democratic candidate John Jay Hooker, who is dying of terminal cancer. According to Chancellor Carol McCoy, doctors who aid patients wishing to end their own lives are engaging in “criminal conduct.”

Aid-in-Dying Legislation in Tennessee

Although assisted suicide is illegal in the state of Tennessee, there are provisions for terminal patients who wish to stop receiving life support in order to facilitate a quicker death. Patients have the option of “refusing end-of-life care.”

But this brings a kind of eery question out of the shadows: does the government “own” us?

Hooker said of the ruling against his assisted suicide, “… the judge has claimed that I and others who have a terminal illness don’t have legal standing to raise the question about the right of the state to determine whether or not you can take your own life. The fact is, that’s an error.”

So what’s the state’s deal? Why is this a criminal offense to the government? These questions are hard to answer. But we do know how others feel about the whole issue.

Hooker is backed up by several doctors in Tennessee have made it clear that they are willing to administer drugs to aid his death… but only if they can do it with the certainty that they won’t be prosecuted for it.

Hooker also approached the Davidson County Grand Jury to ask that they help him convince the state legislature to permit assisted suicide. And here’s what the report said:

“The Grand Jury overwhelmingly supports Mr. Hooker’s desire to have the laws of Tennessee amended to permit a severely ill patient to have OPTION to end his or her life, thus ending all the pain and suffering for the patient and his or her family.”

That kind of says it all. The state seems to be the one party who thinks government exclusively holds the right to say whether individuals can live or die. Pretty fishy, and creepy, if you ask me.

Probate Law in Tennessee

The discussion of legalities regarding assisted suicide brings to the surface another legal topic: that of probate. This is the process in which a deceased person’s affairs are resolved: allocation of assets, closing the estate, settling debts, and all that stuff.

This tends to be a super complicated and often heated procedure. It’s crucial that a person’s will is followed to the letter, in order to assure that his or her dying wishes are respected. But interpreting a will and testament is not always black and white. People get sensitive about who gets what, who gets nothing, and it’s up to the executor of the deceased’s estate to assure that everybody is satisfied while also ensuring that the stipulations of the will are properly met.

Hire Nashville Probate Lawyers

When going through the probate process, it’s absolutely crucial that legal representation is acquired in order to assure that everything goes smoothly. Executors can end up tripping over legal technicalities and get into a lot of trouble if they try to handle things without the help of a professional trained in probate law.

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys have years of experience working with clients across a wide variety of cases related to probate. Call today, or go online to set up your Free Initial Consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who is ready and waiting to help you get on track towards a satisfactory resolution.

(615) 259-2660

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