Close X

Assisted Suicide in Georgia

Assisted suicide is illegal in Georgia.  OCGA § 16-5-5 makes assisted suicide a felony punishable by 1-10 years in prison.  That sentence could be suspended or probated and a fine could be required as a condition of probation.

The definition of the crime applies to "any person with actual knowledge that a person intends to commit suicide who knowingly and willfully assists such person in the commission of such person's suicide."

"Assists" means physically helping or physically providing the means.

There are exceptions intended to immunize certain medical procedures which do not have the immediate intent to cause death, even if death is hastened or the risk of death is increased.

Exceptions

(c) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to:

(1) Pursuant to a patient's consent, any person prescribing, dispensing, or administering medications or medical procedures when such actions are calculated or intended to relieve or prevent such patient's pain or discomfort but are not calculated or intended to cause such patient's death, even if the medication or medical procedure may have the effect of hastening or increasing the risk of death;

(2) Pursuant to a patient's consent, any person discontinuing, withholding, or withdrawing medications, medical procedures, nourishment, or hydration;

(3) Any person prescribing, dispensing, or administering medications or medical procedures pursuant to, without limitation, a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care, an advance directive for health care, a psychiatric advance directive, a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form pursuant to Code Section 31-1-14, or a consent pursuant to Code Section 29-4-18 or 31-9-2 when such actions are calculated or intended to relieve or prevent a patient's pain or discomfort but are not calculated or intended to cause such patient's death, even if the medication or medical procedure may have the effect of hastening or increasing the risk of death;

(4) Any person discontinuing, withholding, or withdrawing medications, medical procedures, nourishment, or hydration pursuant to, without limitation, a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care, an advance directive for health care, a psychiatric advance directive, a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form pursuant to Code Section 31-1-14, a consent pursuant to Code Section 29-4-18 or 31-9-2, or a written order not to resuscitate; or

(5) Any person advocating on behalf of a patient in accordance with this subsection.

Upon a conviction of a person who is a health care provider, the appropriate licensing board is to be notified and revocation of the person's license is to ensue.

A prior version of the statute attempted to criminalize statements or offers of assistance in committing suicide.  That portion of the statute was struck down as unconstitutional prior restraint of speech.  The current version of the statute does not include similar language.

Commitment

Dedicated to getting you the best possible result in your case.

Consultations

We provide brief no charge consultations for new criminal, traffic and DUI cases. Fees may be charged for consultations or case reviews for post-judgment matters including sex offender issues.

141 Savannah St W
Ste B

Toccoa, GA 30577
706-282-4696
706-282-4694 (fax)
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu: 08:30am - 05:30pm
Fri: 08:30am - 12:00pm