Last updated on: 11/9/2012 9:28:00 AM PST
Virginia Laws on Assisted Suicide
§ 8.01-622.1. Injunction against assisted suicide; damages; professional sanctions.
A. Any person who knowingly and intentionally, with the purpose of assisting another person to commit or attempt to commit suicide, (i) provides the physical means by which another person commits or attempts to commit suicide or (ii) participates in a physical act by which another person commits or attempts to commit suicide shall be liable for damages as provided in this section and may be enjoined from such acts.
B. A cause of action for injunctive relief against any person who is reasonably expected to assist or attempt to assist a suicide may be maintained by any person who is the spouse, parent, child, sibling or guardian of, or a current or former licensed health care provider of, the person who would commit suicide; by a Commonwealth's attorney with appropriate jurisdiction; or by the Attorney General. The injunction shall prevent the person from assisting any suicide in the Commonwealth.
C. A spouse, parent, child or sibling of a person who commits or attempts to commit suicide may recover compensatory and exemplary damages in a civil action from any person who provided the physical means for the suicide or attempted suicide or who participated in a physical act by which the other person committed or attempted to commit suicide.
D. A licensed health care provider who assists or attempts to assist a suicide shall be considered to have engaged in unprofessional conduct for which his certificate or license to provide health care services in the Commonwealth shall be suspended or revoked by the licensing authority.
E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or conflict with § 54.1-2971.01 or the Health Care Decisions Act (§ 54.1-2981 et seq.). This section shall not apply to a licensed health care provider who (i) administers, prescribes or dispenses medications or procedures to relieve another person's pain or discomfort and without intent to cause death, even if the medication or procedure may hasten or increase the risk of death, or (ii) withholds or withdraws life-prolonging procedures as defined in § 54.1-2982. This section shall not apply to any person who properly administers a legally prescribed medication without intent to cause death, even if the medication may hasten or increase the risk of death.
F. For purposes of this section:
"Licensed health care provider" means a physician, surgeon, podiatrist, osteopath, osteopathic physician and surgeon, physician assistant, nurse, dentist or pharmacist licensed under the laws of this Commonwealth.
"Suicide" means the act or instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally.
Source: Virginia General Assembly, "Code of Virginia," www.virginiaassembly.gov (accessed Nov. 9, 2012)