Is Assisted Suicide Considered a Crime in Maryland?
The act of suicide, itself, historically was treated as a crime. Criminal defense lawyers in Baltimore have wondered how one, who is already dead, could be punished for their crime? In any event, the act of suicide is no longer a felony. However, assisting another in suicide is. The law prescribes:
- deceiving one into taking his or her life
- knowing providing the means, or
- knowingly participating in a step in the process.
There are exceptions for health care providers and family members who provide palliative medications, or who, based on the patient's wishes, may withhold or stop certain life-sustaining measures. Of course, a physician is not insulated by the exceptions if they administer the palliative medications with the additional intent that death occurs.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 2/24/20.