By Alan Meisel
PEOPLE have been killing other people ever since Cain slew Abel. And people have been punished for killing ever since God punished Cain. Well, at least that is the biblical version. Regardless of its origins, killing another human being–and aiding others in taking their own lives–has long been regarded–or perhaps has always been regarded–as an offense not only against the victim but against society as a whole. These basic beliefs are the historical, cultural, and psychological context in which the practice of assisted dying must be viewed and understood.
Alan Meisel, A History of the Law of Assisted Dying in the United States, 73 SMU L. Rev. 119 (2020).