mercy killing

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Mercy killing is the active administration of euthanasia, with the intent of ending a patient’s life in a single act, as the Montana Supreme Court described in Baxter v. Montana. Mercy killing does not involve the consent of the patients; nor does it involve the patients’ decision to administer drugs on themselves to cause their own deaths. In People v. Bagwell, the Court of Appeals of Colorado, Division Two warned against the danger of murders being disguised as mercy killings.

Additionally, in Puccetti v. Spencer, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals discussed a case about the Oregon Revised Statutes Section 498.016, which is a mercy-killing statute that allows the killing of "crippled or helpless wildlife" for a humane purpose.

[Last updated in March of 2024 by the Wex Definitions Team]