North Carolina Law Review

University of North Carolina School of Law

160 Ridge Road

Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Aid in Dying in North Carolina

January 17, 2019

97 N.C. L. Rev. Addendum 1 (2019)


Modern medicine can extend the dying process so long that a patient dying of a terminal illness may feel trapped in a tortuously slow, lingering decline. Some patients will want to achieve a swifter, gentler end by ingesting medications prescribed to precipitate a peaceful death. This option is known as aid in dying (“AID”). For a complex array of reasons, the practice of AID did not evolve organically within the practice of medicine. This Article will discuss why this is so and what it has meant for the medical practice of AID, both in terms of physicians’ willingness to provide it and patients’ ability to access it. Further, this Article suggests that in states without a prohibition of the practice, such as North Carolina, it is both possible and desirable for the practice to develop subject to the standard of care.




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