The Criminalization of Treating End of Life Patients with Risky Pain Medication and the Role of the Extreme Emergency Situation

October 31, 2011

This Note examines the legality of physicians treating patients near the end of life with risky pain medication, specifically during an extreme emergency situation. The issues discussed include whether such treatment should be criminalized and, if criminalized, what standard should be used to determine culpability. This Note proposes that physicians should not be shielded from the criminal justice system, but that the standard of double effect intent should be expressly adopted in the adjudication of such cases.

October 2007

No. 1