(CNN)Physician-assisted suicide is legal in five U.S. states. It is an option given to individuals by state law in Oregon, Vermont, Washington and California. It is an option given to individuals in Montana via court decision. Individuals must have a terminal illness as well as a prognosis of six months or less to live. Physicians cannot be prosecuted for prescribing medications to hasten death.
The specific method in each state varies, but mainly involves a prescription from a licensed physician approved by the state in which the patient is a resident.
The process of reporting applications and deaths varies by state. Only those states where physician-assisted suicide is mandated by law have a reporting process.