Assisted suicide is the act of a terminally ill patient consulting a physician to receive a lethal dose of medication with the rational intention of ending their life. When a person is in their last stages of life, they may decide to end it because of suffering that medical treatment can no longer alleviate or they want to die by their own accord without their life being taken by an illness.
In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that it is not unconstitutional for states to prohibit assisted suicide after the Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill cases both challenged the bans on assisted suicide in two different states. There are only three states, Oregon, Washington and Vermont, which have legalized assisted suicide and two, Montana and New Mexico, which allow it under judicial consent.
Forty-five states have laws similar to that of California’s, which states, “Every person who deliberately aids, or advises, or encourages another to commit suicide, is guilty of a felony.”
Although there many people opposed to legalizing assisted suicide, it respects a patient’s autonomy, can help relieve suffering and won’t be harmful with the help of strict guidelines.
Never miss a local story.