Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
A physician's claim that the lives of certain of his patients would be endangered by child-bearing, unaccompanied by any claim under the Fourteenth Amendment of an infringement of his own liberty or property rights, does not give him a standing to question the constitutionality, as applied to himself, of a state statute prohibiting the giving of advice as to the use of contraceptives.
The physician alleged that Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 6246 and 6562, if applicable to him, prevented his giving professional advice concerning the use of contraceptives to three patients whose condition of health was such that their lives would have been endangered by child-bearing, and that appellee law enforcement officers intended to prosecute any offense against the statute and claimed that the proposed professional advice constituted such an offense. The relief sought was a declaratory judgment as to whether the statutes were applicable to the physician and if the statutes constituted a valid exercise of constitutional power under U.S. Const. amend. XIV, prohibiting a state from depriving any person of life without due process of law. The trial court ruled that the statutes prohibited the action proposed to be done by the physician and were constitutional.
Did the physician have standing to challenge, as a deprivation of life without due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, a state statute prohibiting the use of drugs or instruments to prevent conception, and the giving of assistance or counsel in their use, where the lives alleged to be endangered are those of patients who are not parties to the suit?
The court held that the proceedings in the state courts presented no constitutional question that the physician had standing to assert. The sole constitutional attack upon the statutes under the Fourteenth Amendment was confined to deprivation of life, not the physician's but his patients'. Thus, the court dismissed the appeal.