Today’s New York Times has a piece on physician-assisted suicide: two states, Washington and Orgon, have laws that allow doctors to prescribe fatal doses of barbiturates for terminally ill patients. As far as I can see (and have witnessed on one video from Dignitas, the Swiss organization that helps organize doctor-assisted suicides), one just goes to sleep.
The piece highlights Dr. Richard Wesley, a physician who was diagnosed with ALS four years ago, is now wheelchair bound, and seems to find immense relief in knowing when he can choose his end.
As the Times piece notes, Massachusetts residents will vote on a similar law in November, but initiatives like this one have failed in California, Maine, and Hawaii. I don’t understand why this form of euthanasia isn’t legal everywhere. First, and most important, it saves patients (and their families) immense suffering.
Second, there are strict rules for undergoing the…
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