“Life Does Not Stop and Start at Your Convenience” The Aid in Dying Movement Gains New States

Emma Fusco

Aid in dying has been a movement that has been under fire, with states like Oregon taking much of the flack.  Luckily for them, the backlash will likely now be dispersed over more states.  New York, Colorado, and the District of Columbia may soon join Oregon and a handful of other states where doctors are permitted to prescribe lethal doses of painkillers to terminally ill patients. [1]

Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, and Montana are all under very strict guidelines in order to grant physician-assisted dying, and the pending regulations in the aforementioned three states are likely to follow in their footsteps.[2]  In order for physicians to legally assist patients in dying, two physicians must come to the conclusion that the patient seeking aid in dying is likely to die within six months.[3]  The terminally ill patient must also be of sound mind and free of coercion.[4]  Some states also require for the request for the lethal dose of drugs to be ask for again 15 days after the initial inquiry of such drugs.[5]

In states where this practice is banned, terminally ill patients are left two only two options.  The first is to somehow obtain a lethal dose of drugs under the table, exposing health care workers to law suits.[6]  The second option is to refuse food and starve to death.[7]  Is this how you would chose to die?


[1] The Editorial Board, Aid in Dying Movement Advances, N.Y. Times, Oct. 10, 2016, at A20.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.