Say I ask someone to shoot me non lethally. Not assisted suicide, Just shot. Is this legal? Isn't it like asking to be assaulted with a deadly weapon?
You may legally ask someone to shoot you, or do all sorts of other things to you. There are no laws against asking or various kinds of speech: laws restrict the doing. If you ask a person to shoot you and they do it, that person will probably be arrested for assault (or murder, depending on how it works out) – shooting a person is assault. A possible defense against an assault charge is consent, but that defense isn't freely available whenever a person says "I give my consent for you to assault me". You cannot consent to foreseeable serious bodily injury (more accurately, the law does not recognize such consent as valid consent). You can agree to be struck (in a boxing match) because such force is not serious bodily harm; and if unforeseeably serious bodily harm results, the consent defense is available. But if you ask a person to shoot you in the liver, they will be prosecuted for assault, because the resulting serious bodily harm is foreseeable.
45-8-105. Criminal incitement.
(1) "Criminal incitement" means the advocacy of crime, malicious damage or injury to property, or violence.
(2) A person commits the offense of criminal incitement if the person purposely or
knowingly advocates the commission of a criminal offense and the advocacy is:
(a) directed to inciting or producing that imminent unlawful, criminal action; and
(b) likely to incite or produce that unlawful, criminal action.
(3) For purposes of this section, "imminent" means immediate in time, impending, or on the verge of happening.
(4) A person convicted of the offense of criminal incitement shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years.
I mean I highly doubt that there is a law specific enough to make such an action illegal, but you would definately be sent to a psychologist for an evaluation.
It is possible that your accomplice could be charged with a crime. The 18 U.S.C. § 351(e) aka clause regarding assault, defines it as:
"An attempt with force or violence to do a corporal injury to another; may consist of any act tending to such corporal injury, accompanied with such circumstances as denotes at the time an intention, coupled with present ability, of using actual violence against the person."
So this clearly shows that the friend commited assault. As I'm sure you know, this isn't the end of the legal road; there are still affirmative defenses. Here are some that could be used:
- Assumption of Risk. The injured person clearly assumed the risks as they asked you to do that. But it is not that simple: this defense doesn't apply to felonies or suicides. Assault with a weapon is a felony.
- Contributory Negligence: The person who was shot was negligent by telling someone to shoot them. However, this only applies in civil cases, not criminal.
- Illegality: The plaintiff and defendant agreed to do this act that caused the injury. But again, only works in civil cases.
- Release: The victim allowed the defendant to shoot them. However, this requires a written and signed contract, prior to the crime.
- Waiver: This is basically the same as Release with added benifits that actions can imply consent. However, this only works in civil cases.
I can foresee this being very jurisdiction-specific! I note that the question is tagged "Nevada". In the UK though, the shooter would likely be arrested for grievous bodily harm or actual bodily harm ("grievous" implies a risk of death), and the victim would likely be arrested for aiding and abetting the assault on themselves.
We have case law on this in the UK in the form of Operation Spanner, where gay S&M practioners were arrested after the police found copies of videos of some consensual S&M sessions. All participants were found guilty in court, including the "victims". This has reinforced the UK legal position that it is not possible legally to consent to anything which will cause more than trivial harm to yourself.
You can certainly always ask for it, and it's not against the law per se (in general).
Although, if a psychiatrist hears about it, you may get in trouble for alleged suicidal tendencies and whatnot psycho-crap they come up with, and you might end up detained, though not by court order. If your friend shoots you in the public, disturbance or breach of the peace might (possibly will!) apply. The same goes for endangerment. Think about where the bullet might go after going through you (or after missing you). What if it actually hits someone. Think about someone having a car crash because of that shooting (even if no one is being hit). Malicious mischief is a felony in many jurisdictions. Someone wants you to pay for their therapist afterwards because they had to watch the scene? Well, that's actually quite possible.
And no, you aren't out of the equation because you have been involved in the planning. You're in.
It's comparable to taking a Crocodile-Dundee-style walk on the chimney. If you own the apartments to which the windows belong, you are perfectly allowed to do that. You are perfectly allowed to stand on your rooftop, looking down the abyss for half an hour (for, I don't know, amusement, or to get used to vertigo), but that doesn't mean you won't get trouble anyway.
You are perfectly allowed to shout "Fire" in a theater, or "I have a bomb" in front of a public building, too. Only just, that doesn't mean there will be no serious consequences.
A cop walking down the street might very well shoot your friend in the back when seeing the weapon (and when hearing the shot). Or if he is a bad shooter, or if he mistakes the situation for something different (two armed robbers?), he might shoot both of you. The fact that asking to be shot isn't illegal doesn't mean that police won't show up in hospital once you go there to get treatment for your wound (in fact, that's guaranteed to happen because the hospital will call them).
Bottom line: Very bad idea.
Still, contrary to popular belief, you can indeed consent to to foreseeable bodily injury, and the law very much considers this valid. Some jurisdictions have extra wiggle clauses which are difficult to understand (if possible at all) and which leave a lot of leeway towards interpretation (such as "agreements that are against common morals are void", now ask 5 people of different age and ethnicity what is "common morals"). But in general, yes, such a thing is possible.
Example: Cosmetic (non-reconstructive) surgery is bodily harm which bears a considerable risk of complications (adhesions, contractions, to name a few) and is potentially lethal. Surgery involves pointy instruments and drugs, so in jurisdictions which have extra provisions ("aggravated", "dangerous", "griveous", "griveous using poison") for bodily harm, it fulfills the terms for being the most serious form possible. Cosmetic surgery has no "need" health-wise, in such a sense that you are going to die or suffer massive negative consequences (lose an arm or an eye) from not undergoing surgery.
Nevertheless, you can very much ask for it, and the surgeon can do it, legally, and even professionally. You sign a paper, and everybody is good to go.