In the US, there are many things a person has the right to do. Regarding these things, what actions are legal for person A to do but which would be illegal for person B to do even if formally authorized by A? Only one comes to mind:

(How) Can Person A grant immunity to Person B for ending Person A's life?

Are there others? If specifics are needed, suppose the state is Oregon.

  • FWIW, "sovereignty" is a very bad choice of words because it is associated with a movement of paranoid anti-government terrorists who think they have the right to ignore the law. – ohwilleke Jan 12 '18 at 19:06
  • question edited. – Slip Jan 14 '18 at 3:04

Legal Representation: You have the right to represent yourself in a legal proceeding, but you cannot assign that right to anyone that you choose, only to certain approved individuals.

Vote: You can vote, and you cannot assign that right to another.

Jail Sentence: You can (indeed must) serve a jail sentence or be executed for a capital crime yourself, but you cannot allow another person to do that on your behalf.

Military Draft: When we had the draft (most recently), you could not authorize another person to serve in your stead.

Marriage: You can marry your neighbor's sister (if she is not related to you), but you cannot transfer that right to your neighbor (who is the brother of the intended bride).

These are different things from committing suicide, but it's not clear exactly what concept of exclusive sovereignty you're getting at.

  • Note that "when we had the draft" covers several different eras. At one point in the distant past, it was, in fact, possible to hire someone to serve in your stead. – Robert Columbia Jan 11 '18 at 19:38
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    Not in the sense of showing up and getting in the booth for a person. In most states there is a way around infirmity: I will see if I can find out if you're out of luck in any state (highly unlikely). It's not clear how in Washington one would/must signal intent to a person filling in your form (the distinction being between "making the decision" and "delivering / filling in the form"). – user6726 Jan 11 '18 at 22:23
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    Notably, while only you can marry, someone else can conduct a divorce on your behalf. Also, FWIW, one of the more interesting plot threads in the Marvel comics based TV series Runaways involves someone who served a jail sentence for someone else's crime by mutual (illegal) agreement. Also, while general election voting can't be delegated, lots of kinds of voting in the business world and HOA world can be delegated by a voting proxy. – ohwilleke Jan 12 '18 at 23:22
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    In addition to marriage, consent to sexual activity cannot be delegated. People incapable of consent can't legally have sex period (except in places where marital rape is legal and then it is confined to sex with a spouse). – ohwilleke Jan 12 '18 at 23:26
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    There is a class of legal causes of action (e.g. defamation and personal injury claims at least for pain and suffering) which do not survive death unless reduced to judgment prior to death. Historically, and still in most places, these claims also can't be transferred or assigned to third parties (except via a contingent fee agreement with a lawyer). – ohwilleke Jan 12 '18 at 23:28

Similar to @user6726 item about legal representation,

Building Trades: Person A can do various carpentry, electrical and plumbing work on the house they own and reside in, but are restricted in their choice of person B to do it for them.

Healthcare: Same with healthcare, I am guessing. Person A can slice off their own [skin tag] or sew up their wound, or take medicines, but outside of certain emergency situations (e.g. anaphylaxis), are restricted in their choice of B for medical procedures.

  • I'm not actually sure about the building thing. I can't do my own structural carpentry without a permit; I can hire an random person to do the carpetry (at the risk that it won't pass inspection). – user6726 Jan 12 '18 at 2:03
  • I might be wrong. But the homeowner+resident likely does not need to be licensed to get the permit for any projects requiring a permit. This quote is what came to mind: "If you do not own and live in the dwelling, a State of Oregon licensed electrical contractor must do the work." – Slip Jan 12 '18 at 2:15
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    More importantly in health care, you can not delegate to someone else the power to give informed consent to heath care treatments if you are a competent adult who is able to communicate your wishes. Healthcare powers of attorney are only effective when you are incompetent yourself and are immediately suspended if you regain capacity even briefly. – ohwilleke Jan 12 '18 at 23:24
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    And the person doing an operation cannot delegate to someone else (who is not competent doing it). – gnasher729 Jan 13 '18 at 2:16
  • A priest, or a registry officer, can't delegate performing a wedding. – gnasher729 Jan 15 '18 at 22:58

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