Last updated on: 6/1/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Robert Beezer, LLB Biography

Title:
Former Judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Position:
Con to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“Constitutional protection for a right to assisted suicide might spawn pressure on the elderly and infirm–but still happily alive–to ‘die and get out of the way.’ Also at risk are the poor and minorities, who have been shown to suffer more pain (i.e. they receive less treatment for their pain) than other groups… Further, like the elderly and infirm, they, as well as the handicapped, are at risk of being unwanted and subjected to pressure to choose physician-assisted suicide rather than continued treatment…

The poor, the elderly, the disabled and minorities are all at risk from undue pressure to commit physician-assisted suicide, either through direct pressure or through inadequate treatment of their pain and suffering. They cannot be adequately protected by procedural safeguards, if the Dutch experience is any indication. The only way to achieve adequate protection for these groups is to maintain a bright-line rule against physician-assisted suicide.”

Dissenting Opinion, Compassion in Dying v. Washington, 1996

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to end-of-life issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to end-of-life.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1984-Mar. 30, 2012
  • Private Practice, Seattle, Washington, 1956-1984
  • Judge pro tem, Seattle Municipal Court, 1962-1976
  • Reserve Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, 1951-1953
Education:
  • LLB, University of Virginia School of Law, 1956
  • BA, University of Virginia, 1951
Other:
  • Born on July 21, 1928
  • Died on Mar. 30, 2012
  • Nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Ronald Reagan on Mar. 2, 1984. The appointment was confirmed by the Senate on Mar. 27, 1984 and the commission was issued the next day. Senior status was achieved on July 31, 1996.
Quoted in:
  1. Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?