We have previously drawn notice to an important law review article [North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 97 Addendum, pp. 1–20 (2019)], in which noted attorney Kathryn Tucker, Director and Founder of the End of Life Liberty Project, posited that even today, in the absence of any statutory language sanctioning Medical Aid in Dying, NC physicians can legally write end of life prescriptions for their terminally ill, mentally competent patients, provided they adhere to the prevailing medical standard of care. Tucker’s article has the potential to change the understanding of what NC doctors can and cannot do today and will likely therefore shape the debate in the General Assembly when it considers legislation on point.
In a recent commentary in the online journal eMerit, “Can NC Physicians Legally Prescribe Meds to Suffering Terminally Ill Patients to Precipitate a Peaceful Death?”, Dr Jeffrey Segal, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Medical Justice, ( who has also a JD degree) reviewed the analysis behind Tucker’s article and concluded that she makes a compelling case that North Carolina physicians can legally prescribe medications to hasten end of life in competent adults with terminal illnesses.
Ed Tiryakian, J.D., MBA, founded Dying Right NC in 2015 and is its Executive Director. He previously worked in international banking in Asia before retiring to his native NC.He believes End of Life issues are one of society’s most pressing challenges as we all live longer and the medicalization of the dying process continues to conflict with the individual’s right to choose his or her end.