Choice and Control of Death

  • Choice and Control of Death


Is there a right to die?

Should there be…?

These are questions that tug at the heart and cause philosophical debates.

Oregon became the first state to legalize assisted suicide with its “death with dignity” law in 1997. It, and four other states, allow terminally ill patients a choice to die with dignity. Seven more states are debating similar laws.

“In recent weeks, Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old newlywed recently found to have terminal brain cancer, has campaigned to extend similar laws to other states. Maynard has said she wants to avoid the final stages of her illness, in which the fast-growing tumor could leave her in great pain, demented, and unable to speak or respond to her family. “I do not want to die,” Maynard says. “But I am dying. And I want to die on my own terms.” She has said she plans to take a legally prescribed dose of lethal drugs around Nov. 1 [2014]”



A battle may be brewing over what some consider nothing more than “assisted suicide”, and over what others advocate is a “right to die” by controlling the timing and circumstances of ones own death.

It’s a worldwide concern for debate from all aspects of the populace. The U.S. is not alone in the controversy.

“Opponents of the death-with-dignity movement in the U.S. point to Europe as an example of where the ‘slippery slope’ might lead. ‘I used to be a supporter of the Dutch law,’ said Theo Boer, who reviewed euthanasia deaths for a government committee. But in the Netherlands, Boer said, legalizing euthanasia turned out to be ‘wrong — terribly wrong.’ “

It’s all concisely addressed in the source article by The Week, covering even Switzerland’s suicide tourists, stating that a recent BBC investigation found that it’s possible “to travel to Switzerland, see a doctor, and die — all in one day.”

Do you find that eye-opener shocking or comforting?



source: “The battle over assisted suicide” by The Week Staff

image license CC0 Public Domain at Pixabay