Assisted Suicide

John Jay Hooker et al v. Herbert Slatery, et al

May 19, 2015 - John Jay Hooker files lawsuit arguing that the Tennessee Constitution protects a broad and fundamental right to doctor-assisted suicide and is asking state courts to strike down state law which prohibits the practice.

Plaintiffs: John Jay Hooker, Robert Ballard, MD, W. Barton Campbell, MD, Jeffrey A. Sosman, MD

Defendants: William E. Haslam, Governor, Herbert H. Slatery, III, TN Attorney General, Glenn R. Funk, Davidson County District Attorney

Judge: Chancellor Carol McCoy

Status: John Jay Hooker's attorneys agree to voluntarily dismiss appeal. Case is closed, Chancellor McCoy's decision stands.

Legal Documents:

John Jay Hooker et al v. Herbert Slatery, et al complaint

Chancellor Carol McCoy's ruling upholding Tennessee's law

Tennessee Supreme Court denies Hooker's appeal directly to the Supreme Court


July 10, 2015 - Hearing held by Chancellor McCoy.

July 22, 2015 - Tennessee Right to Life joined with other state-based medical and advocacy organizations to file an Amicus Brief supporting Tennessee's ban on doctor-assisted suicide.  The brief was authored and filed in Davidson County Chancery Court by attorneys representing Alliance Defending Freedom and promotes the state's position that protection for human life is a basic purpose of government and that such policy decisions should be left to the General Assembly.

September 29, 2015 - Ruling by Chancellor Carol McCoy upholds Tennessee's state law prohibiting the practice of doctor-prescribed suicide.

October 7, 2015 - John Jay Hooker appeals to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Case ID: M2015-01982-COA-R3-CV

October 20, 2015 - John Jay Hooker appeals directly to the Tennessee Supreme Court, Case ID: M2015-01982-SC-RDM-CV, to bypass the Court of Appeals.

November 9, 2015 - The Tennessee Supreme Court denies John Jay Hooker's direct appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court, orders the case to be heard by the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Case ID M2015-01982-SC-RDM-CV.

February 17, 2016 - Not Dead Yet, ADAPT, Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Disability Rights Center, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Empower Tennessee, Memphis Center for Independent Living, National Council on Independent Living, T.A.R.P. Center for Independent Living, Tennessee Disability Coalition, and United Spinal Association file an Amicus Brief supporting Tennessee's ban on doctor-assisted suicide and Chancellor Carol McCoy's ruling.

May 25, 2016 - John Jay Hooker's attorneys voluntarily dismiss appeal ending the lawsuit.