hmmm.... this supreme court decision seems to conter the one that out lawed medical marijuana in california. it said the states, not federal authorities, have the power to regulate the practice of medicine and the licensing of doctors.

Supreme Court backs Ore. physician-assisted suicide

Los Angeles Times Jan. 18, 2006 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court rejected the Bush administration's challenge to the nation's only right-to-die law Tuesday and ruled that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft overstepped his authority when he sought to punish the Oregon doctors who helped terminally ill people end their lives.

The 6-3 decision was a victory for states and independent-minded voters and a defeat for social conservatives.

The case also showed new Chief Justice John Roberts in the camp of the court's most conservative members in his first significant decision. Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were the dissenters. The Supreme Court majority said the states, not federal authorities, have long had the power to regulate the practice of medicine and the licensing of doctors. They said Ashcroft was claiming an "extraordinary authority" to impose his own view on what is proper medical care for those who are near death.

Tuesday's decision clears the way for other states at least to consider adopting similar measures.

"This is a watershed decision (that) reaffirms the liberty, dignity and privacy Americans cherish at the end of life," said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of Compassion in Dying, a group that sponsored the Oregon law.

But the ruling also leaves it open that the GOP-controlled Congress could amend drug laws and forbid physicians from prescribing lethal medications.

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