X-Message-Number: 7680
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 15:34:25 -0700
From: David Brandt-Erichsen <>
Subject: Florida setback

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP Feb 11) - Charles Hall lost the right to kill himself
with his doctor's assistance Tuesday when the state Supreme Court reinstated
a stay in his legal case.

A trial judge in West Palm Beach ruled Jan. 31 that Hall had the right to
physician-assisted suicide, marking the first such ruling in the nation.
But the state immediately appealed that decision, automatically triggering a
stay of the ruling.

Another judge in West Palm Beach lifted the stay on Thursday as the 4th
District Court of Appeal asked Florida's high court to accept the appeal as
a matter of great public importance.  In Tuesday's unsigned order, the state
Supreme Court accepted the case, reimposed the stay and scheduled oral
arguments for May 9.

The appeal was filed on behalf of Hall, who lives in Beverly Hills, and his
physician, Dr. Cecil McIver. An answering machine at Hall's home refers
reporters to his attorney, Robert Rivas.  Rivas said he felt very bad for
his client, who was the only person who would suffer because of Tuesday's
order.  Rivas said he was quite surprised the Supreme Court reimposed the stay.

"Ordinarily a trial court's decision on this type of matter is supposed to
stand unless the decision is irrational," he said.  "I can't see how she
could be reversed on this."  Rivas said Hall's condition was "pretty bleak"
and that he wasn't going to be able to feed himself soon.  "And Charles Hall
is saying he's not going to tolerate a feeding tube," Rivas said.

But Hall wasn't planning on seeking his death immediately, Rivas said.  "He
didn't request his physician's assistance in his death today and he wouldn't
have tomorrow, but how soon he would have wanted it we just can't say,"
Rivas said.

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=7680