Florida A & M University Law Review



The discussions about the right to privacy have evolved, and the national landscape on physician-assisted suicide has changed since Krischer. Surely, it is time Floridian citizens are given the opportunity to decide whether the right to privacy guaranteed by the Florida constitution includes the right to die with dignity. Numerous states across the nation have adopted legislative provisions which afford those within that state’s borders the ability to die with dignity through physician-assisted suicide. In addition, the seemingly unrelated decision of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges has reopened the discussion of Glucksberg and its holding. In Obergefell, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion emphasizes that the right to marry – specifically, gay marriage – is inherent in a person’s right to privacy because it is part of his or her dignity. Accordingly, this decision effectively overruled Glucksberg’s analysis and implicated a change in the evaluation of the constitutional right to privacy. Since the Florida Supreme Court leaned heavily on Glucksberg to decide Krischer, the stagnant conversation in Florida regarding physician-assisted suicide deserves to be renewed under today’s national and local sociopolitical climate with Obergefell in mind. Part I will examine developments in state legislations regarding physician-assisted suicide and the history of physician-assisted suicide in Florida. Part II of this note will analyze the Court’s decisions in Glucksberg and Obergefell, as well as the hypothesized implications of Obergefell on Glucksberg. Finally, this Note argues that Florida’s discussions about physician-assisted suicide are outdated. Therefore, new legislation or jurisprudence should be put forth regarding physician-assisted suicide in light of, amongst other things, the renewed evaluation of Glucksberg after the decision in Obergefell.