Gonzales Vs. Oregon Case Analysis Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

According to Reno congress had not intention "to displace the states as the primary regulators of the medical profession and as not to override a states' determination of that which "constitutes legitimate medical practice in the absence of a prohibitive federal law.

In November of 2001 Attorney-General Ashcroft "issued an interpretive rule, known as the Ashcroft Directive that reversed his predecessor's legal analysis of the conflict between the DWDA and the CSA." (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 2005) The Ashcroft Directive "asserts the authority of the attorney general to identify and establish a uniform national definition of 'legitimate medical purpose' as used in the CSA and its implementing regulations" (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 2005)

That very same year the Supreme Court made a decision in the case United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Coop. (2001) which gives weight to the Directive. Furthermore, the Office of Legal Counsel opinion on which the Directive is based, asserts that "the Oregon law represent a significant departure from the legal and ethical norms governing medical care." Also, the Directive states the intention of the attorney general to "sanction non-complying practitioners and instructs DEA officials to monitor compliance in Oregon" stating that the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon is not a defense to those in violation of the terms of the CSA through prescribing or dispensing drugs for assisting patients in suicide.

The following day after issuance of the Directive the state of Oregon filed a federal district court suit for the purpose of blocking the Directive being enforced. This suit was soon joined by terminally ill patients and health care providers. The district court granted the motion but had no jurisdiction and the case was transferred to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit Court "asserted jurisdiction over the case and continued the injunction." (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 2005)

The case was heard on March 26, 2004 and the Ninth Circuit struck down the Directive stated that the attorney general's rule "violates the plain language of the CSAS, contravenes Congress' express legislative intent and oversteps the bounds of the attorney general's statutory authority." (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 2005)

Arguments in the case of Gonzales v. Oregon are stated to be:

1. No Deference - Federalism and the Clear Statement Rule;

2. Substantial Deference to Agency Interpretations of Agency Regulations; and 3. Intermediate Deference to Agency Interpretations of Statutes (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 2005)

Summary and Conclusion

The case of Gonzales v. Oregon was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court in early October, 2005. Chief Justice John Roberts led the hearing. Lawyers for the state of Oregon argued that the attorney general is not given authority under federal drug law to make decisions such as in the Directive. Also at issue is the authority of the attorney general in issuing such a Directive as was issued in this case. A final ruling is expected before the end of the U.S. Supreme Court's session in June, 2006.

References

Stevens, Kenneth R., Jr. M.D. (2005) Community Conversation Panel: Assisted Suicide v. Death with Dignity. University of Oregon Online available at http:.//wwww.pccef.org/articles/art42UofO.htm.

Supreme Court Considers Challenge to Oregon's Death with Dignity Act: Gonzales v. Oregon and the Right to Die (2005) The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. September 2005.

Hamilton, N. Gregory et al. (2005) Competing Paradigms of Response to Assisted Suicide Requests in Oregon. Physicians for Compassionate Care Educational Foundation Online available at http://www.pccef.org/articles/art39.htm.

New Court Mulling Assisted-Suicide Law (2005) Catholic Sentinel 6 October 2005 Online available at http://www.sentinel.org/articles/2005-40/14227.html.

Christie, Tim (2005) Oregon Suicide Law Comes to High Court. The Register Guard October 2005 Online available at http://www.registerguard.com/news/2005/10/04/al.assistedsu icide.p1.php?section=cityre

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Sources Used in Document:

References

Stevens, Kenneth R., Jr. M.D. (2005) Community Conversation Panel: Assisted Suicide v. Death with Dignity. University of Oregon Online available at http:.//wwww.pccef.org/articles/art42UofO.htm.

Supreme Court Considers Challenge to Oregon's Death with Dignity Act: Gonzales v. Oregon and the Right to Die (2005) The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. September 2005.

Hamilton, N. Gregory et al. (2005) Competing Paradigms of Response to Assisted Suicide Requests in Oregon. Physicians for Compassionate Care Educational Foundation Online available at http://www.pccef.org/articles/art39.htm.

New Court Mulling Assisted-Suicide Law (2005) Catholic Sentinel 6 October 2005 Online available at http://www.sentinel.org/articles/2005-40/14227.html.

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