A law which would allow Oregon doctors to administer lethal doses to end the lives of terminally ill patients remains on hold.

Last November, this law, which would have been the first of its kind in North America, was narrowly approved by Oregon voters.

However concerned citizens, including National Right to Life, have challenged the law as unconstitutional, claiming that that it discriminates against the terminally ill. U.S. District judge Michael Hogan granted this group an injection on December 7 and the law has been on hold since then.

Now all the arguments determining the law’s constitutionality have been made by the state and by the challengers and groups are waiting for Hogan’s ruling.

The main argument from the challengers has been that there is no way to legitimately define terminal illness, rendering the law unconstitutionally vague. James Bopp Jr., a lawyer representing National Right to Life Indiana, presented the case of a woman who has survived three years after having been told by her doctor that she had only six months to live.

Bopp also said that often those who request lethal doses are suffering from depression which should be treated separately from the illness.

Oregon’s Assistant Attorney General Stephen Bushong argued that the state has no business interfering with a voluntary decision made between a patient and a doctor.

“We sell guns. We sell alcohol. We sell tobacco. And people die,” Bushong said. “The state is not depriving anyone of life. That is a voluntary action.”

The ruling in Oregon will play a great role in the make-up of any future pro-euthanasia legislation.