First U.S. Statute outlawing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicied
Enacted in New York, this statute lead the way for almost all other states to have laws in place by the ratification of the 14th Amendement.
American Medical Association Opposes Euthanasia
The Journal of the American Medical Association attacks the pro-euthanasia movement saying,"...make the physician don the robes of an exacutioner."
Public support increases during Great Depression
As life started to suck in the 1930s during the Great Depression, Euthanasia support increased in the United States.
Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation Society founded
Society is founded in England
Bill to legalize euthanasia defeated in House of Lords
This defeat combined with the outbreak of WWII and the discovery of Nazi extermination camps quelled the debate for a number of years.
Voluntary Euthanasia Act introduced in the Senate
Nebraska Senator John Comstock introduced legislation called the Voluntary Euthanasia Act, which called for the legalization of active euthanasia. It was never voted on but demonstrates an emerging interest in legislating euthanasia.
National Society for the Legalization of Euthanasia founded
Founded by Charles Francis Potter, the foundation believed in the right for terminally ill patients to voluntarily end their lives.
World Medical Association condems physician assisted suicide
The World Medical Association votes to recommend to all national medical associations that euthanasia be condemned "under any circumstances." In the same year, the American Medical Association issues a statement that the majority of doctors do not believe in euthanasia.
Petition to amend the Declaration of Human Rights
American and British Euthanasia Societies petition the United Nations to amend the Declaration of Human Rights to include euthanasia
Patients rights gains acceptance
The idea of patient rights to defy the authority of doctors and even choose to refuse life-saving care.
US Senate holds first national hearings on euthanasia
The "Death with Dignity" debates raged in the Senate. Mainly between the euthanasia societies and the church
Society for the Right to Die founded
Yup, pretty self explanatory.
Supreme Court Rules on Quinlan Case
21-year-old Karen Ann Quinlan had fallen into an irreversible coma at a party in 1974. After doctors declared that she was in a "persistent vegetative state," her parents went to court to have her respirator removed.
The New Jersey Supreme Court rules in 1976 that Karen Quinlan can be detached from her respirator.
California becomes the first state to legalize euthanasia
California legislature legalizes euthansia for terminally ill patients.
7 more states grant right-to-die
New Mexico, Arkansas, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, North Carolina, and Texas -- signed right-to-die bills into law.
Pope issues statement against mercy killings
In his statement, Pope John Paul II declares that while the practice of euthanasia is wrong, the patient reserves the right to refuse "extra-ordinary" means to sustain life.
California State Bar supports right to die
California State Bar Conference becomes first major public body to support right to die.
Supreme Court rules on patient rights
Supreme Court rules that a patient has the right to refuse life saving/sustaining medicine.
Polls show majority support assisted suicide
Political issue polls show that over 50% of Americans support physician assisted death.
Washington voters defeat a right to die vote
Again, self explanatory.
Death with Dignity act is defeated in California
Death with Dignity Act passed in Oregon
Supreme Court rules that there is no right to die in the Constitution
Kevorkian performs assisted suicide on national TV
Michigan defeats assisted suicide bill
Jack Kevorkian is convicted of murder
A Michigan court convicts Jack Kevorkian, MD, for the murder of Thomas Youk and sentences him to 10-25 years in prison.
Ashcroft challenges Oregon's Death with Dignity Act
US Attorney-General John Ashcroft asks the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the finding of a lower court judge that the Oregon Death With Dignity Act of 1994 does not contravene federal powers.
Supreme Court holds up Oregon's Death with Dignity Act
Washington passed Death with Dignity Act
Washington becomes the second US state to legalize physician assisted suicide
Montana becomes third state to legalize assisted suicide
Vermont becomes 4th state to legalize assisted suicide
Dr. Kavorkian performs first assisted suicide
Named "Dr. Death." Jack Kavorkian assists in first of many mercy killings.
Brittany Maynard makes national news
Brittany Maynard chooses to end her life on the predetermined date of Octorber 31.