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Health Law Keyed to Furrow
Washington v. Glucksberg
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Glucksberg (Plaintiff) sued the state of Washington (Defendant), claiming that its prohibition against causing or aiding a suicide was an offense to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiff asserted the existence of a liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment that extends to a personal choice by a mentally competent, terminally ill adult to commit physician-assisted suicide. The district court agreed, and concluded that the statute was unconstitutional as it placed an undue burden on the exercise of that constitutionally protected interest. A panel of the court of appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed. The Ninth Circuit heard the case en banc again, reversed the panel's decision, and affirmed the district court. The court decided that the statute was unconstitutional as applied to competent adults who are terminally ill and wish to bring upon death sooner by using medication prescribed by their doctor. Certiorari was granted by the United States Supreme Court.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.