Who should have the “right to die”?

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Three decades ago Jack Kevorkian became the face of the incredibly controversial debate over medically assisted dying. Under the title “Dr. He claimed he helped at least 130 patients die before being convicted of second-degree murder in 1998.

Kevorkian died in 2011, but the dispute over whether it should be legal for doctors to help people end their lives is far from resolved. Today, 10 states and Washington, DC, allow medically assisted suicide – a procedure in which life-ending drugs are administered to patients who self-administer the dose. Laws vary, but generally state that to be eligible, individuals must have a terminal illness and a life expectancy of less than six months. Only two states, Oregon and Vermont, allow medically assisted suicide for nonresidents.

While the US is one of only one Handful of countries In order to legalize what is often referred to as medical assistance in dying (MAID), our laws are significantly more restrictive than those in some of our peer countries. For example, America is the only country that requires a terminal diagnosis. All others allow people living with terminal illnesses that cause them “unbearable pain” to choose a medically administered death. Most allow both assisted suicide and euthanasia, in which doctors directly administer life-ending drugs. Some also allow MAID for people with serious mental illness and allow individuals to make “advance requests” if they are expected to lose the ability to make their own decisions in the future, for example due to dementia.

In recent years, Canada has become the country with the highest number of medically assisted deaths in the world. There were more than 10,000 GIRLS Cases in Canada in 2021. That’s more than that Total of assisted suicides are estimated to have occurred…

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