Former candidate asks Tennessee to allow assisted suicide - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Former candidate asks Tennessee to allow assisted suicide

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A former Democratic gubernatorial candidate who is terminally ill is asking a state court in Tennessee to declare he has a right to end his life when he wants and on his own terms.

Attorney Hal Hardin represents John Jay Hooker and three physicians who have expressed a willingness to prescribe Hooker with a lethal dosage of painkillers. The 84-year-old has terminal cancer.

Hardin has asked the Nashville-based court to declare that a person has a fundamental right to die with a doctor's help under the Tennessee Constitution.

Attorney Steven Hart represents the state, which is asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit. Hart said the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled there is no fundamental right to assisted suicide.

Physician-assisted suicide is currently legal in five states.

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