Last updated on: 11/8/2012 2:55:39 PM PST
South Carolina Laws on Assisted Suicide
SECTION 16-3-1090. Assisted suicide; penalties; injunctive relief.
(A) As used in this section:
(1) "Licensed health care professional" means a duly licensed physician, surgeon, podiatrist, osteopath, osteopathic physician, osteopathic surgeon, physician assistant, nurse, dentist, or pharmacist.
(2) "Suicide" means the act or instance of taking one's life voluntarily and intentionally.
(B) It is unlawful for a person to assist another person in committing suicide. A person assists another person in committing suicide if the person:
(1) by force or duress intentionally causes the other person to commit or attempt to commit suicide; or
(2) has knowledge that the other person intends to commit or attempt to commit suicide and intentionally:
(a) provides the physical means by which the other person commits or attempts to commit suicide; or
(b) participates in a physical act by which the other person commits or attempts to commit suicide.
(C) None of the following may be construed to violate subsection (B):
(1) the withholding or withdrawing of a life sustaining procedure or compliance with any other state or federal law authorizing withdrawal or refusal of medical treatments or procedures;
(2) the administering, prescribing, or dispensing of medications or procedures, by or at the direction of a licensed health care professional, for the purpose of alleviating another person's pain or discomfort, even if the medication or procedure may increase the risk of death, as long as the medication or procedure is not also intentionally administered, prescribed, or dispensed for the purpose of causing death, or the purpose of assisting in causing death, for any reason; or
(3) the administering, prescribing, or dispensing of medications or procedures to a patient diagnosed with a medical condition that includes an element of suicidal ideation, even if the medication or procedure may increase the risk of death, as long as the medication or procedure is not also intentionally administered, prescribed, or dispensed for the purpose of causing death, or the purpose of assisting in causing death, for any reason.
(D) Subsection (C) must not be construed to affect the duty of care or legal requirements other than those in this section concerning acts or omissions under subsection (C).
(E) A person who violates subsection (B) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than fifteen years or fined not more than one hundred thousand dollars, or both.
(F) Injunctive relief may be sought against a person who it is reasonably believed is about to violate or who is in the course of violating subsection (B) by a person who is:
(1) the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of the person who would commit suicide;
(2) entitled to inherit from the person who would commit suicide;
(3) a current or former health care provider of the person who would commit suicide;
(4) a legally appointed guardian or conservator of the person; or
(5) a public official with the appropriate jurisdiction to prosecute or enforce the laws of this State. An injunction shall legally prevent the person from assisting any suicide in this State regardless of who is being assisted.
(G) The licensing agency which issued a license or certification to a licensed health care professional who assists in a suicide in violation of subsection (B) shall revoke or suspend the license or certification of that person upon receipt of a copy of the record of:
(1) a criminal conviction, plea of guilty, or plea of nolo contendere for the violation of subsection (B); or
(2) a judgment of contempt of court for violating an injunction issued under subsection (F).
Source: South Carolina Legislature, "South Carolina Code of Laws," www.scstatehouse.gov (accessed Nov. 8, 2012)