Half of U.S. states consider right-to-die legislation

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Brittany Maynard, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at 29, moved from California to Oregon, where physician assisted suicide is legal, dying there because California forbids the practice.

Photo courtesy of Mariano Cuajao via Flickr

Brittany Maynard, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at 29, moved from California to Oregon, where physician assisted suicide is legal, dying there because California forbids the practice.

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"Brittany Maynard's death ... made it a political issue for younger people, not just older people," said medical ethicist Arthur Caplan.

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  • Larry

    Finally, really rational arguments against, “Right to die” legislation! None of this, “God owns your life” nonsense.

    Many of these laws lack proper checks and balances to ensure it is not being used as a excuse to speed up receipt of inheritance or clear beds at rest homes/hospitals.

    I would add one more objection. If one is capable of providing clear consent to kill themselves they are also capable of performing the act themselves. Without assistance by physicians or civil servants.

  • James Carr

    Since we are all going to die, the “right to die” is as moot as the “right to breathe”. This is another terrible idea to legalize suicide. Let’s open up this Nazi practice and call it a virtuous choice. “Gather ’round, kids, Daddy’s gonna blow his head off… I love you.” Secular perspectives are crude and immoral.
    Abortion, Gay Marriage, Suicide, Drug Use. Nice legacy the “civilized” world is leaving the future.

  • Larry

    ““Gather ’round, kids, Daddy’s gonna blow his head off… I love you.”

    If they did that, one wouldn’t need “right to die legislation” in the first place. That was my objection. If you can blow your head off you don’t need doctors or government figures to help you die.

  • James Carr

    Hell has frozen over……we agree on something.

  • Larry

    But thankfully not for the same reasons. I couldn’t give a rat’s posterior about what you think is “moral decline” or your opinion of the act as “unvirtuous” or not.

    Its the lack of necessity in dragging doctors and our laws into it. If you can decide to die, you can kill yourself.

  • James Carr

    Oh, I wasn’t implying we liked each other….

  • samuel Johnston

    My friend will be 100 this summer. His wife is 96. She has been confined to a wheel chair for over twenty years. Now she is unable to speak, or take any care of herself, or make herself understood. She just sleeps unless awakened by the staff of the nursing home. My friend’s mind is clear, but his body is worn out. He only lives through will power, because he refuses to leave his wife “alone”. After all, they are highly educated immigrants, and are not understood or appreciated by their low wage caretakers. My friend longs for his wife to die so that he may die as well.

  • Fran

    There will be a great crowd of survivors of the great tribulation and Armageddon on earth after the end of this wicked era we are living in (Revelation 7:9, 13-17). There will be those who will not have to face death at all.

  • Fran

    I can appreciate how he feels; he is still showing true love for his wife because he does not want to leave her alone.

  • samuel Johnston

    Fran,
    Certainly, but my purpose was to illustrate how complex the problem of when, and how to, end life really is. If his wife were to die tomorrow, the man would feel he had done his duty, and he would immediately seek his own death -but would not have the means to accomplish it without assistance. If I, or even a family member, were to assist, we would be subject to criminal prosecution. The truth is that many, many, Doctors have always assisted such patients. Why should they have to run legal risks in order to do so?

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  • Larry

    Not to be overly gruesome, but how would he not have the means to seek his own death? If his mind is clear, he can find means to end his life.

    It may not be as quick and painless as an overdose of pain medication, but it is possible.

  • dmj76

    Perhaps such difficult issues can be decided by the people directly involved and we can leave the police out of it.

  • Chewy

    These articles keep repeating that New Mexico has a right to die in place. The last time I checked (2 weeks ago) the Court of Appeal had not yet ruled on the Albuquerque trial court opinion. And it will surely go to the NM Supreme Court. The trial court ruling is probably stayed and in any event only applies in that judicial district (Albuquerque and thereabouts). So please do some research and try to refrain from repeating other poorly documented articles.

  • samuel Johnston

    I simply think we should leave such decisions to the doctors and the families. As the Jesuits say, the best is the enemy of the good.