100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Timothy E. Quill

Timothy E. Quill

Physician-Assisted Suicide

“There's an Elephant in the Room”

Vacco v. Quill

521 U.S. 793 (1997)

In March 1991 Dr. Timothy E. Quill, a physician practicing in upstate New York, did what no other doctor had done before.

He publicly discussed his role in assisting a patient to commit suicide, and he did so in an article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. Quill had known his patient, whom he called “Diane,” for eight years and had watched her turn her life around after bouts with alcoholism and severe depression. Then she fell ill, and Quill diagnosed her with acute leukemia. “Together we lamented her tragedy and the unfairness of life,” but he urged her to begin chemotherapy as soon as possible, to be followed ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles