Recently the story of Brittany Maynard, a woman with terminal cancer, has been in the news a great deal. She moved to Oregon in order to take advantage of the Death with Dignity law that allows for physician-assisted suicide. On November 1 she chose to use the medication and ended her life. I wanted to discuss the topic of physician-assisted suicide, though not specifically Maynard’s case. Her choices are her own and her death deserves the respect and honor we would accord to any life.
I happen to live in Oregon, and have my entire life. I was young when the Death with Dignity act was passed — it was first passed in 1994 and was reaffirmed in 1997. In order to qualify under the law, terminally ill patients must prove their residence in one of the states that allows it (Washington and Vermont also have similar laws), be over 18, be able to make and communicate their own health care decisions, and be diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months.Read More