Standard of Care in NC: IS MAID Legal Today?

In a pathbreaking law review article published Jan 17, 2019 in the UNC Law Review, Attorney and Hastings School of Law professor Kathryn Tucker, who has brought any number of MAID cases to the US Supreme Court and various State supreme courts, argues that because there is no NC law prohibiting the writing of MAID prescriptions, NC doctors should be able now to write scrips for terminal, competent adult patients, provided they adhere to a prevailing medical standard of care.

Tucker’s article follows the logic prevailing in Montana, where in 2009 the Montana Supreme Court agreed that in the absence of a law proscribing MAID, it would be illegal to prosecute a doctor who, in conformity with the appropriate medical standard of care, wrote prescriptions for terminally ill, mentally competent patients. In the last ten years, many Montana doctors have been writing MAID prescriptions to help terminal Montanans end their life on their own terms at the time and place of their choosing.

Tucker makes the compelling case that NC doctors can apply the relevant standard of care in treating their terminal patients because the legislature has chosen not to intrude in an area where medical professionals are best equipped to develop an appropriate standard of care, as they do in almost every other type of procedure. Additionally, Tucker notes, given that there are 8 US jurisdictions and several foreign countries where doctors for some time have been helping terminal patients in choosing the optimal end of life option, NC doctors should be able to develop and adhere to a binding standard of care.

DRNC congratulates Tucker on this landmark article which makes a compelling case hopefully providing imminent access to the terminally ill in North Carolina of another End of Life Option.

This article is republished with the kind permission the North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 97 Addendum, pp. 1–20 (2019).

2 Replies to “Standard of Care in NC: IS MAID Legal Today?”

  1. I am very pleased with this result. As a retired Geriatrician and Hospice and Palliative Care Physician. I hope there will be a day when even mentally incompetent patients, who before they became incompetent, documented clearly, maybe even with taped video, their desire not to be kept alive when they become totally dependent and incapacitated. If there is any way I could help advance this goal, I would be happy to try.

    1. Hello David

      thanks for your comments and support. I think as a nation we are faced with an epidemic of dementia and Alzheimers and our legal system does not allow for people’s wishes with regard to their End of Life to be respected or honored.
      May I ask if you are located in NC? There is indeed a way of helping, but it would ask a lot of you.
      If you are in NC, it is worth a sit-down to discuss

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