31 October, 2007

After Ten Years, States Still Resist Assisted Suicide

Principles in Practice:
"This month marks the tenth anniversary of Oregon’s pathbreaking assisted suicide law. But despite legislative proposals in California and elsewhere, Oregon remains the only state to have provided clear procedures by which doctors can help end their dying patients' pain and suffering while protecting themselves from criminal prosecution. For a decade now, Oregon doctors have been permitted to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to a mentally competent, terminally ill patient who makes written and oral requests, consults two physicians, and endures a mandatory waiting period. The patient's free choice is paramount throughout this process. Neither relatives nor doctors can apply on the patient's behalf, and the patient himself administers the lethal dose."


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