Why File an Amicus Brief?
Our country’s legal system allows people and organizations to advise the courts on matters affecting public policy. Groups often file Amicus briefs to add perspective to a current controversy before the court. Scientific and professional organizations use them to provide specialized knowledge of how a court decision may affect society. The briefs supply arguments, not evidence. In the case at hand, the Court of Appeals requested that groups in agreement file a single brief. The brief joined in by IHF argues that “If, as the Supreme Court held in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, a person has a constitutionally protected right to refuse unwanted lifesaving medical treatment in order to die, then surely there exists an equal or even greater constitutional right to obtain wanted medical treatment in order to remain healthy and alive.