Sissela Bok, PhD, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, in her chapter "Physician-Assisted Suicide" from the 1998 book Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: For and Against, explained:

“The term ‘physician-assisted suicide’ is a neologism, perhaps less than ten years old, employed in challenges to laws prohibiting doctors (as well as all others) from being direct accessories to suicide… Depending on who is speaking, it has been used for activities as different as physicians prescribing pills for a patient and explaining what amounts would be needed to bring about death, and Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s far more active part in construction and operating the contraptions used for the ‘patholysis’ that he has dramatized, photographed, and videotaped, with the patient executing the last step.”