Kligler v. Healy

Filed: February 14, 2022

Court: Supreme Court of Massachusetts

Overview: The brief argues that whether a constitutional right to assisted suicide exists must be addressed from the perspective of people with disabilities, the class of people who will be most adversely impacted if such a right is found. Amici discuss how assisted suicide is part of a long history of discrimination and bias against people with disabilities in medical settings. Amici also discuss how legalized assisted suicide amplifies ableist beliefs about the quality and value of disabled lives and how supposed safeguards are inadequate to protect people with disabilities.

Excerpt: “Legalizing assisted suicide in Massachusetts would add to the…history of discrimination and bias against people with disabilities. It would establish a discriminatory double standard for how health care providers, government authorities, and others treat disabled individuals versus others. Only disabled people would be removed from the protections of generally applicable laws on abuse, neglect, and homicide. And only disabled people would face an offer of assisted suicide, as opposed to an offer of services and supports, in response to suicidal ideations.”

Case Documents

Kligler v. Healy Amicus Brief

Kligler v. Healy Opinion