Book - Looseleaf

Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking, Third Edition

Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking, Third Edition by Alan Meisel, Kathy L. Cerminara

Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking, Third Edition

By Alan Meisel, Kathy L. Cerminara, Thaddeus M. Pope
Update Frequency
Last Update
Product Line
Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
Available formats


The Right to Die, Third Edition analyzes the statutory and case law surrounding the profound issues of end-of-life decisionmaking. Whether the situation calls for long-term planning or quick, unexpected decisionmaking, this cogent, one source treatise guides you through all the available channels for helping your clients reach the ultimate resolution.

This comprehensive edition guides general practitioners, elder law, health law, and health care professionals through complex issues pertaining to passive and active hastening of death and such subsequent statutes as The Oregon Death with Dignity Act. Also covered in the Third Edition are such issues as:

  • Civil and Criminal liability for such efforts
  • Do-not-resuscitate orders
  • Advance directives
  • Health care powers of attorney
  • Palliative medical care
  • Decisionmaking for children and newborns
  • Surrogate decisionmaking statutes
  • Resolution in a clinical versus a court setting
  • And much more

ISBN: 9780735546653
SKU: 10045752-7777
  1. What is the Right to Die
  2. Nature and Sources of the Right to Die
  3. The Appropriate Forum for End-of-Life Decisionmaking: Courts or Clinical Settings
  4. Decisionmaking Standards for Incompetent Patients
  5. Limitations on End-of-Life Decisionmaking
  6. Application of End-of-Life Principles to Particular Treatments and Illnesses
  7. Advance Directives
  8. Surrogate (Family)Decisionmaking Statutes
  9. Decisionmaking for Children
  10. Decisionmaking for Handicapped Newborns
  11. Civil Liability
  12. Criminal Liability: Assisted Suicide and Active Euthanasia
  13. The Problem of 'Futile' Medical Treatment


Alan Meisel, a leading national and international authority on end-of-life decision making and informed consent to medical treatment, is the founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Bioethics and Health Law and the Law School's Health Law Certificate Program.

Professor Meisel is the principal author of the treatise, The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking , now in its third edition. The first edition won the 1989 Association of American Publishers Award for the outstanding book in the legal practice category. Professor Meisel has published widely in the fields of health law and medical ethics in numerous medical, legal, and ethical journals.

Professor Meisel served on the Ethics Working Group of the White House Task Force on Health Care Reform in 1993. He was assistant director for legal studies at the President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine in 1982, where he helped draft the Commission's studies on informed consent and on end-of-life decision making. A Fellow of the Hastings Center, Professor Meisel has served as a consultant to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment on its studies on Life-Sustaining Technologies and on Institutional Protocols for Health Care Decision Making.

He is also the founder and director of Law School's Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Program.

Professor Kathy Cerminara bridges the medical and legal professions with her work on patients’ rights in the end-of-life decision-making arena. She co-authors the nationally known treatise, The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking, and is a reviewer for several medical and medical-legal journals. Her scholarship most recently has focused on the intersection between end-of-life care, palliative care, and health care coverage policy. At the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, she is a full professor and serves as Director of Faculty Development.

Professor Cerminara teaches Torts, Health Policy, Bioethics & Quality of Care, Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, and other health-law-related courses. She also created and was the initial director of the online Master of Science in Health Law program for non-lawyers.

Prior to joining the Law Center faculty, Professor Cerminara taught at St. Thomas University School of Law and the University of Miami School of Law, clerked in the Western District of Pennsylvania and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and practiced law with Reed Smith Shaw & McClay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Professor Cerminara received her J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh and her LL.M. and J.S.D. from Columbia University. She is an affiliate member of the Health Law and Tort Trial and Insurance sections of The Florida Bar, a retired member of the Pennsylvania Bar, and a member of organizations such as the American Bar Association, the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics and the American Health Lawyers Association

Thaddeus Mason Pope is Director of the Health Law Institute and an Associate Professor of Law at Hamline University. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Albany Medical College, where he teaches both M.S. courses and CME for the Alden March Bioethics Institute. During 2013-2014, Professor Pope is a Network Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

In his scholarship, Professor Pope has focused on three main areas: (1) patient rights, (2) end-of-life medicine and (3) public health ethics. Whether addressing medical futility disputes or smoking bans Professor Pope is especially concerned with exploring the justifiability of private and public limitations on individual liberty.

Professor Pope's nearly 100 publications have been printed in: law reviews, bar journals, medical journals, nursing journals, bioethics journals, and book chapters. He authors a regular column for the Journal of Clinical Ethics . And he writes about legislative, judicial, regulatory, medical, and other developments concerning end-of-life medical treatment conflicts for the Medical Futility Blog and

Professor Pope’s engagement with these issues goes well beyond scholarship. For example, he has participated both as appellate counsel and as expert witness in cutting-edge healthcare litigation. He has been invited to testify before both the President’s Council on Bioethics and the Texas House of Representatives. He is a member of MEDCAC, the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee. He has served as legal consultant to several Policy Statement groups of the American Thoracic Society. And Professor Pope helped draft MOLST regulations for the state of Delaware.

Before joining Hamline in 2012, Professor Pope taught at the Widener University School of Law from 2007 to 2011, and at the University of Memphis from 2005 to 2007. Before joining academia, he clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and practiced for seven years as a corporate litigator with Arnold & Porter LLP in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Professor Pope was graduated from Georgetown University, where he received both his J.D. and a Ph.D. in philosophy and bioethics. He earned his B.A. (in philosophy) from the University of Pittsburgh with highest honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa