Home Health Forget pro life, America’s becoming pro death! Map reveals how 29 US states have either legalized euthanasia or are considering it

Forget pro life, America’s becoming pro death! Map reveals how 29 US states have either legalized euthanasia or are considering it

by Alexander
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Physician-assisted suicide has become legal in 10 states and Washington, D.C., while 19 other states are considering their own legalization measures.

Most U.S. states have legalized physician-assisted suicide or are considering legislation.

The medical death movement has seen a groundswell of support since it struggled to rack up victories in the 1990s, with most successful initiatives only put into practice after 2013.

In ten states and Washington, DCeuthanasia is legal, while 19 other states are considering their own legalization measures.

Most states where it is legal allow doctors to administer life-ending medications to a person who has six months or less to live, but the exact criteria varies by state depending on who is in charge there. .

Physician-assisted suicide has become legal in 10 states and Washington, D.C., while 19 other states are considering their own legalization measures.

The U.S. population is aging rapidly: By 2040, about one in five Americans will be 65 years old or older. At the same time, more than 170 million Americans could be living with one or more chronic diseases by 2030.

But while many state leaders and health professionals advocate for assisted dying as a new option for end-of-life care, many doctors argue that the practice goes against the foundations of their profession.

Efforts in the 1990s to legalize physician-assisted suicide largely failed, with the exception of Oregon, which, in 1997, became the first state to legalize what it calls “death with dignity.”

The authors of the Oregon legislation were careful in drafting it not to characterize the act as suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing or manslaughter, part of an effort to change its name and reposition it as a regulated, medically sanctioned procedure.

The term “assisted suicide” and others like it are now considered obsolete by doctors, choosing instead to call it “medical aid in dying” because the patient controls when he takes the death-inducing medication prescribed by a doctor.

Euthanasia is legal in seven countries: Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain, as well as several states in Australia.

Euthanasia is legal in seven countries (Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain) as well as several states in Australia.

Lynda Bluestein, 76, who pushed for Vermont to expand its physician-assisted suicide law to non-state residents, died while taking lethal medications.

Lynda Bluestein, 76, who pushed for Vermont to expand its physician-assisted suicide law to non-state residents, died while taking lethal medications.

Eleven years after Oregon passed its law, Washington became the second state to pass a Death with Dignity law through a ballot initiative voted on by residents.

That law was expanded in 2023 to allow more health care providers to approve requests for medically assisted dying and allowed medications to be mailed to patients.

In 2009, medical aid in dying became available in Montana when the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of terminally ill Navy veteran Bob Baxter. Vermont was next in 2013 with its law, followed by California, which then reauthorized it in 2021.

Colorado, DC, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and New Mexico followed in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021, respectively.

Another 19 states are considering measures to legalize medical assistance in dying. By contrast, several others, including Vermont and Oregon, have expanded their laws to allow nonresidents to go there to obtain life-ending medications from a doctor.

Among those who traveled from other states to Vermont was Lynda Bluestein, a 76-year-old Connecticut woman with a terminal cancer diagnosis, who lobbied Vermont to ease its restrictions on out-of-state assisted dying.

She traveled to Vermont to end her life this month, and her husband Paul described his wife’s final moments as “comfortable and peaceful.”

He said his last words were: “I’m so happy I don’t have to do this (suffer) anymore.”

But even if the practice becomes legal, many doctors may be adamantly opposed to carrying it out, saying it contradicts their directive to do no harm.

The central ethical statement of influencers American Medical Association has said for years: “Allowing doctors to engage in assisted suicide would ultimately cause more harm than good.”

“Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as a healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious social risks.”

The practice is legal in Canada as of 2016 for those whose death is “reasonably foreseeable.”

A new law that would make medically assisted dying accessible to people suffering from mental illness was initially scheduled to take effect next month.

Around 13,200 Canadians elected assisted death in 2022, 31 percent more than the 2021 figure, federal health ministers reported.

Of them, 463 were not terminally ill, but suffered from other unidentified conditions.

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