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Mark Fulks Comments on Legality of Assisted Suicide in Tennessean


Tennessee lawmakers are discussing changing state law so that some terminally ill patients believed to have less than six months to live could legally participate in assisted suicide. In this Tennessean article, Mark Fulks, who worked for the Tennessee Attorney General for more than 12 years, notes that, while patients are already allowed to have a "living will" that outlines their desires to refuse treatment, medical assistance is a step too far under current law, where he said it's clearly defined as a crime.

"It comes down to what many may consider a quibbling over semantics: Doctors can give a patient medicine at a therapeutic dose right up to the point that the medicine becomes lethal," Mr. Fulks said. "But once the prescribed dose or the medicine's intended use becomes lethal, it becomes a crime."

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