physician-assisted suicide

noun

: suicide by a patient facilitated by means (such as a drug prescription) or by information (such as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician aware of the patient's intent

Word History

First Known Use

1987, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of physician-assisted suicide was in 1987

Dictionary Entries Near physician-assisted suicide

Cite this Entry

“Physician-assisted suicide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physician-assisted%20suicide. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

physician-assisted suicide

noun
: suicide by a patient facilitated by means or information (as a drug prescription or indication of the lethal dosage) provided by a physician aware of the patient's intent
Proponents of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide claim that the principle of respect for autonomy requires that patients be allowed to choose the manner of their death.Robert I. Misbin, The New England Journal of Medicine

Legal Definition

physician-assisted suicide

noun
: suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician who is aware of the patient's intent

Note: In 2007, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. A few states have followed.

More from Merriam-Webster on physician-assisted suicide

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