Judge rules against legalizing assisted suicide in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Nashville judge has ruled against a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate who is terminally ill and wants to die by assisted suicide.

John Jay Hooker has terminal cancer and has doctors who have expressed a willingness to prescribe him a lethal dosage of painkillers.

The doctors sought protection from prosecution if the 84-year-old Hooker was administered the drugs.

But Chancellor Carol McCoy ruled against the plaintiffs on Tuesday, saying they “do not have standing to bring this action.” She said administering such drugs would be engaging in “criminal conduct.”

State law allows a person to refuse end-of-life care, but assisted suicide is illegal in Tennessee.

Hooker’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call on Tuesday for comment. But Hooker told The Associated Press by phone that he plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.