X

ProCon.org Feels Free, But It Isn't

You can always expect thoroughly researched pros, cons, and related information on today’s hottest topics at ProCon.org. Your tax-deductible donations keep this service free and ad-free for 25+ million students, teachers, journalists, and regular folks.
ProCon.org Feels Free, But It Isn't

You can always expect thoroughly researched pros, cons, and related information on today’s hottest topics at ProCon.org. Your tax-deductible donations keep this service free and ad-free for 25+ million students, teachers, journalists, and regular folks.

ProCon.org is needed now more than ever before. These are divisive times. Emotions are heightened. It’s harder to have respectful conversations and to find common ground. ProCon.org gives everyone an unbiased exploration of important issues to encourage understanding and critical thinking. We can all heal the increasing divide and ground conversations with facts. Millions use our site every year, but few give. We’re going to start changing that with your help. Thank you for making a donation today and for sharing ProCon.org with others.
SUPPORT PROCON.ORGX




Kansas Laws on Assisted Suicide
Kansas Statutes Sections 21-5407 and 60


21-5407. Assisting suicide.

(a) Assisting suicide is:

(1) Knowingly, by force or duress, causing another person to commit or attempt to commit suicide; or

(2) intentionally assisting another person to commit or to attempt to commit suicide by:

(A) Providing the physical means by which another person commits or attempts to commit suicide; or

(B) participating in a physical act by which another person commits or attempts to commit suicide.

(b) Assisting suicide as defined in:

(1) Subsection (a)(1) is a severity level 3, person felony; and

(2) subsection (a)(2) is a severity level 9, person felony.


60-4401.

Citation of act. K.S.A. 60-4401 through 60-4407, and amendments thereto, shall be known and may be cited as the "prevention of assisted suicide act."


60-4402. Definitions.

As used in K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5407, K.S.A. 60-4401 through 60-4407, 65-1120, 65-1436, 65-1627i, 65-2006 and 65-2836, and amendments thereto:

(a) "Licensed health care professional" means a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery, licensed podiatrist, licensed physician assistant, licensed nurse, dentist or licensed pharmacist.

(b) "Suicide" means the act or instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally.


60-4403. Standard of conduct of licensed health care professional related to assisting suicide; family member conduct; spiritual treatment.

(a) A licensed health care professional who administers, prescribes or dispenses medications or procedures to relieve another person's pain or discomfort does not violate K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5407, and amendments thereto unless the medications or procedures are knowingly administered, prescribed or dispensed with the intent to cause death. A mid-level practitioner as defined in K.S.A. 65-1626, and amendments thereto, who prescribes medications or procedures to relieve another person's pain or discomfort does not violate K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5407, and amendments thereto unless the medications or procedures are knowingly prescribed with the intent to cause death.

(b) A licensed health care professional, family member or other legally authorized person who participates in the act of, or the decision making process which results in the withholding or withdrawal of a life-sustaining procedure does not violate K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5407, and amendments thereto.

(c) Providing spiritual treatment through prayer alone, in lieu of medical treatment, does not violate K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5407, and amendments thereto.


60-4404. Cause of action for injunctive relief against person about to violate assisting suicide law.

(a) A cause of action for injunctive relief may be maintained against any person who is reasonably believed to be about to violate or who is in the course of violating K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5407, and amendments thereto, by any 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 health care provider of the person who would commit suicide.

(4) A public official with appropriate jurisdiction to prosecute or enforce the laws of this state.


60-4405. Cause of action for civil damages against person violating assisting suicide law.

A cause of action for civil damages may be maintained against any person who violates or who attempts to violate K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5407, and amendments thereto, by any person who is the spouse, parent, child, sibling, or entitled to inherit from the person or who is the personal representative of the person who did or would commit suicide for compensatory damages and exemplary damages, whether or not the plaintiff consented to or had prior knowledge of the violation or attempt.


60-4406. Injunctive relief or civil action; attorney fees awarded.

Reasonable attorney fees shall be awarded to the prevailing plaintiff in a civil action brought pursuant to K.S.A. 60-4404 or 60-4405 and amendments thereto, or in a proceeding for a judgment of contempt of court for violating an injunction issued under K.S.A. 60-4404 and amendments thereto. If the defendant prevails, and the court determines that a plaintiff brought the suit or the proceeding for a judgment of contempt frivolously or in bad faith, reasonable attorney fees shall be awarded to the defendant.


60-4407. Severability clause.

If any one or more provision, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word of this act [*] or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is found to be unconstitutional, the same is hereby declared to be severable and the balance of this act [*] shall remain effective notwithstanding such unconstitutionality. The legislature hereby declares that it would have passed this act [*], and each provision, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more provision, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word be declared unconstitutional.


Source: Kansas Legislature, "Statute," www.kslegislature.org (accessed Nov. 7, 2012)