Hooker seeks expedited ruling in assisted suicide lawsuit

Political activist and dying cancer patient John Jay Hooker is asking the state Supreme Court for an expedited hearing on an appeal of a judge’s refusal to allow his doctors to prescribe life-ending medication without facing criminal consequences.

Further from The Tennessean:
“This case involves the imminent death of a party (Hooker),” the appeal, filed Tuesday by Nashville attorneys Hal Hardin and Cynthia Chappell, reads. “A terminally ill Tennessee citizen’s interest in his or her own manner of death is of utmost personal and public importance.

“The confusion resulting from the trial court’s opinion and the need for guidance on constitutional issues also calls for expedited review of this case.”

The Tennessee Supreme Court is usually the last appeals court to hear cases, but has occasionally agreed to hear them out of order. Earlier this year it intervened and ruled on several issues related to the state’s lethal injection execution protocol while the protocol was being contested in a Davidson County court.

The justices of the state’s highest court will decide whether to hear Hooker’s case.

Hooker is asking them to reverse a September decision from Nashville Chancery Court Judge Carol McCoy upholding a state law that makes it illegal to help anyone commit suicide. McCoy said Hooker’s doctors would be committing criminal acts if they wrote prescriptions for life-ending medications.