As of now, only Oregon and Washington have assisted suicide laws. Given that Oregon had one first, and then Washington followed suit, that may be the way it spreads: from state to neighboring state. Why? Because it's easier to see that it's working in an adjoining state. Also, adjoining states often have similar cultural values.

What are your views? Anyone here actually against assisted suicide or have grave doubts about it? 


Tags: Oregon, Washington, assisted, suicide

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This is a most challenging dilemma. I am not sure how you could guard against that sort of abuse.

I have a friend whose dad runs a 'power of attorney' scam in Florida for older folks who don't trust their children. He would be just the type to take advantage of these laws if it proved to be to his advantage (rather than his clients). There's a lot more like him out there than anyone would be comfortable with.

If it were possible to curb that scuzzy little part of society, I would be all for it being nationwide.

That's the only intelligent argument I have seen--how to ensure the suicide actually really does want it.  (It's a similar dynamic to people arguing women should not be allowed to wear a veil, because there's no way to know she really wants to wear it, as opposed to her husband and neighbors demanding it of her.)

I believe the Oregon law simply allows the doctor to prescribe the suicide med, and the patient can take it whenever they want to.  Rarely do they actually do so, but the comfort of knowing that they can end their pain whenever they want is extremely helpful; they don't feel trapped and have a way out if it gets worse.

Yeah, but there are other ways of abusing elders. 

In Oregon, there are safeguards, but of course those opposed to assisted suicide stridently plead that the safeguards won't always work.

What, tell me, always works?

Mass came close in the last federal election with an assisted suicide ballot. I think it was 51 to 49, so while the ballot measure failed, it seemed like a sign that it's only a matter of time. I doubt that people will trend more conservative on the issue.

I don't really have much on the against side as I think a person's life is generally their own to end whether the reasons make sense to me or not. I could see some issues regarding valid consent, justification for death, liability and familial intervention presenting some complications, but much of that seems like it would get smoothed out in time. Let someone die too soon, or don't let them die soon enough -- someone's probably going to try to take it to court eventually either way.

...or have grave doubts about it? 

No, I'm pretty certain I will be cremated and not buried.

As I write my eighty two year old uncle lies in a bed at a convalescence home, basically comatose, heavily sedated with morphine to counteract the pain of stage four bone cancer. He now weighs less than a hundred pounds and assistants are by his side 24-7. He is incontinent and fed intravenously. 

Why in this world someone in his condition should be denied a dignified exit is beyond me. We should all have the right to stipulate that when certain conditions of impairment arrive we can gracefully receive that terminal cocktail that ensures no further pain is necessary. The right to a dignified death trumps the overrated Oath of Hippocrates.

I asked a friend once, that if ever a situation arose where I was no longer mentally sharp, to find a way to kill me if she could do it with impunity. (Let's see if archie can resist commenting on that one.) She said she would.

I don't think she'll do it, though.

I asked a friend once, that if ever a situation arose where I was no longer mentally sharp, to find a way to kill me if she could do it with impunity. (Let's see if archie can resist commenting on that one.) She said she would. I don't think she'll do it, though.

Well, she's let you live this long, so obviously she can't figure out a way to snuff you without being caught. It's asking a lot of a gal, Unseen. You might try doing yourself in instead and sparing her the risk.

(Too slow, Arch!) :p


I understand that most doctors, having seen the things that happen in our system which will try like crazy to keep you alive even in situations like this, have filed DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders.

"grave" doubts?  you must be joking!



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